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Re: what is the solution, again?

  • Subject: Re: what is the solution, again?
  • From: Bill Nash <raffi@sympatico.ca>
  • Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2001 22:41:03 -0400

At 11:05 PM 09/29/2001 -0400, Alttara wrote:
>Hi all,
>Someone (mary?) posted a message awhile back about a sugar and water 
>solution in which to keep scapes inside to continue them ripening, after 
>frost. What is the solution? How much sugar/water/bleach?

Alttara; I tried that, in the past two years running; and used about a half 
teaspoon to a full teaspoon of sugar in a quart preserving jar, with a few 
drops of Javex bleach.  Last year, I tried adding a bit of SUPER'thrive 
(magic fertilizer?) but nothing outstanding happened as a result of this.

The pods on mid-season bloomers ripened nicely; providing germination 
however, the late bloomers like for example H. longipes 'Grand Slam' 
produced seed which looked good, but it sprouted nothing!  About the only 
sure method, to ripen seed of the late flowering hostas, is to pot them up; 
and bring them into a sunny window until the pods show slits; and harvest 
the seed, and then, put the dormant plant into 35 to 37* Fahrenheit 
refrigeration for 6 to 8 weeks.  Two years ago, I brought Grand Slam 
indoors to ripen seeds, and would you believe, the seed did not start 
splitting until mid-February, when it was collected.  This selfed seed 
provided excellent germination.  My garage is insulated and heated, and in 
mid-February we are like into minus 20 degrees of frost, so it is rather 
easy to provide the dormancy to hostas via garage storage until spring.

I personally, don't believe the *cut scape in sugary-water plus bleach 
routine* can be successful in maturing seeds of the late season blooming 
hosta varieties, but then, this is just one person's opinion, right? I've 
never had any success with late blooming longipes types in sugar water, 
since the flower stem seems to simply rot away after a couple of months, 
but then, maybe the water needed changing every few days, since it does get 
murky looking quite fast, even with the bleach added?

nothwithstanding, I hope this is helpful to you

Bill Nash\canada\zone 4

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