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Re: Discussion plants with lots of new growth

In a message dated 9/11/1999 8:07:41 PM Central Daylight Time, 
SECK138@aol.com writes:

<< I went to a meeting where it was mentioned that we 
 have all bought plants that were thriving only to have them come back up in 
 the spring considerably smaller.  That the thriving plant could have been 
 forced with fertilizers to become big too quick and was in fact a young 
 plant.   What are others thoughts on this subject.  Thanks Chris

This is a valid observation, I would like to make a few observations to go 
along side the above condition. If we buy our Hosta on the bases of the 
number of leaves or the number of divisions it has, this does not mean we are 
buying the plant that will be the largest one next year.
What I look for in a Hosta that I want to be large next year is the thickness 
of the stem at the soil level or junction of the crown and the root growth. 
The thicker the base of the stems the larger the plant. 

A plant with one or two nice sized stems is going to be larger than a plant 
with 5 to 10 smaller stems-even if it has lots more foliage.

Pot size DOES matter, plants in a smaller pot do not spread there roots out 
and do not have as large of eyes as a plant in a one gallon pot.

Field dug plants that have been cut from the crown of a large plant with a 
knife or shovel will many times be smaller next year. The reason for this is 
that a lot of the areas on the rhizome do not have vascular connections to 
roots and many of the roots do not have connections to any actively growing 
crown tissue. 
The plant has to grow all new roots and replace sections of the crown too.
This is the reason I prefer to do as little cutting when dividing.

When buying a new plant I find that it is best to remove all the soil from 
the plants roots and spread them out and fill with soil from the area that 
they will be growing in.

I remember one year a gentle man was looking at some of the Hosta I was 
selling and made the comment that he had purchased plants that looked that 
large before from other places and that they come up smaller the next year. 
The problem with the plants he had purchased before was that they were crown 
divisions made when the plants were all ready large and they had not been 
given the conditions they need to produce optimal root growth in there 
containers, so when he planted them they "shrunk" over the winter to their 
appropriate size corresponding to the root mass and amount of crown material 
resulting in smaller eyes.

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