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Re: Watering

Hi All,
As I pointed out in my book (pp. 367-368) Hosta water economy requires at
least 1.5 inches of rain per week. During the 4-year drought recently, many
of our hostas simple faded away (watering ban!). As Josh pointed out, not
enough water, especially after flowering, no sugar build-up in the rhizome
so no increase. Many areas in Japan receive their highest rainfall after the
hostas bloom and it can be anywhere between 70 and 110 inches annually. The
high rainfall months are between June and October so out of synch with North
American rainfall. The transpiration rates are even higher here, because of
higher temperatures, particularly in the central and southern parts. When
hosta get lots of rain in Japan, they get drought here and they don't like
As far as minis are concerned, treat them almost like rock garden plants. I
wrote about it in the Hosta Journal (Vol33/No 2/Page 44). I grow
'Uzu-no-Mai' and get increase and flowering every year. Don't mulch it, it
will rot. Reread the article. It also blooms freely here. Where there is
frost heave (we have a bit too sometimes), keep the free-draining soil very
dry and you won't get a lot of heave. North where snow always melts some
during warm spell, the heaving occurs because there is a lot of water in the
soil top layer = cultivation layer. I also use flat pieces of slate to keep
the lower leaf layer from touching the soil. Be very fussy about watering.
In winter, when they are dormant they need no water, or barely so. Remember
that some hostas may not be hardy enough for zones 2-4 if the water economy
is out of kilter. If all fails, put the fussy ones in pots where you can
regulate the water economy much better. That's cheaper than buying
'Uzu-no-Mai' as annuals every year. Good luck, George

W. George Schmid
Hosta Hill - Tucker Georgia USA
Zone 7a - 1188 feet AMSL
84-12'-30" West_33-51' North
Outgoing e-mail virus checked by NAV
----- Original Message -----
From: "Josh Spece" <jspece@sbtek.net>
To: <hosta-open@hort.net>
Sent: Friday, April 16, 2004 9:10 PM
Subject: Re: Watering

> > Anyone have recommendations for how much to water?   3-5 inches per
>  > week?   1-3?   I imagine early in the season, until about July 15,
>  > is the most important time but I'm open to other authoritative
>  > experience.   Maybe there has been some articles in either of the
>  > Journals?
> No authoritative experience here, but it seems to me that late
> summer/fall watering is every bit, if not more, important than early
> season watering.  The plants are storing up energy and forming next
> springs dormant buds in late summer.  Too little water then could lead
> to a smaller plant the following year.
> Josh
> IA
> z4
> --
> /\ In The Country Garden & Gifts
> \/ Specializing in Hostas and Water Gardens
> /\ http://inthecountrygardenandgifts.com
> \/
> /\ Josh's Garden Web
> \/ http://inthecountrygardenandgifts.com/jspece/
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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