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Re: Hosta Question (Larry McLean)

  • Subject: Re: Hosta Question (Larry McLean)
  • From: Larry McLain olemacdee@yahoo.com
  • Date: Wed, 29 Jan 2003 12:13:48 -0800 (PST)

Bill, the problem I have is that I live too far north, and if I want to collect any ripe seed, I have to either bring in the plants or cut the scapes. Our first freeze is usually the middle of September. Last year was unusually warm for us. My hostas would be too large to pot up and bring in. This was the first year for me cutting the scapes and bringing them in. I thought it worked great. If I did want to pot up some special ones for indoor breeding, I would use the new green house that I built last summer. I wasn't sure how good it would work with our 40 below winters here, so I only have some dormant hostas, some fish that where given to me last fall, and a few other plants that I potted up to see if they would make it. I am surprised that it only goes down to fifty in there at night and warms up to eighty + in the day. I have a small baseboard heater in there, that kicks on at night. I may have to pot some late bloomers next year, and try them out in there. I will still cut all my other scapes, to ripen indoors. I thought that really worked great, for us with the short falls. We actually only have two seasons here, winter and summer. Larry
 Bill Nash <raffi@sympatico.ca> wrote:Larry...etc.

There's all kinds of stuff (chemicals/powders/solutions?) pertaining to the 
cut-flower preservation business. Back in the mid 1980's; growing British 
Delpiniums; I recall, that there was a magic chemical solution called 
'Silver Thiosulphate' and that formula was said to preserve cut delpinium 
flower spikes (used by all of that cut-flower industry/business?). I don't 
have the formula.

I would suggest, that you try the 2oz. of Listerine in a gallon of 
distilled water, since even tho' the Farmer's Almanac was wrong on their 
weather predicting of this year, they may be right on that aspect -- 
me-thinks? ;)

trying to mix up glass jars with a sterile seed-growth and ripening 
solution; and the mess involved with soaking flower scapes; and then, 
stinking up one's house with the polluted water solution in the process -- 
my thinking therefore -- leans towards POTTING-UP those late summer 
bloomers, which one wishes to do seed work with? It is a lot easier in the 
long run, and one, can almost expect GUARANTEED SEED GERMINATION where seed 
podding has taken. Sometimes, with a very late season ground freeze up, 
the seed producing hostas taken indoors to ripen the seed; can be simply 
stuck back into the ground outside again, after the seeds have ripened and 
were collected. Meanwhile, my garage is insulated and heated; as well as 
having fluorescent lighting over shelving therein. This means, the garage 
temperature at this time of the year (unheated?) is running just below 40* 
Fahrenheit, so all I need to do, is put the seed producing plants in there, 
for their dormancy period, until springtime arrives, after seed has been 
collected. BTW...used fridges can be bought, for much less money than a 
good hosta sells for retail these days; and this is, another way of storing 
hostas during dormancy, after seed has been collected. Also handy to have, 
for propagation purposes i.e. storage of rhizomes? Not to mention, an 
extra place to have one's *ice cold beer* when that sunshine-heat of summer 
arrives? ;>))?) 'slurp'

I'd suggest, everyone bring their actual plants indoors, to pollinate and 
ripen their seeds this way -- when-ever & where-ever -- a longer seed 
ripening time-frame-window is needed? On the matter of potting up hostas; 
and then, bringing them indoors; and then, trying to pollinate them? -- 
this can be frustrating also, in that, it seems to me -- not very many 
pollen placements: set up seed-pods, by what I've seen? Mind you, using 
frozen pollen, taken from the freezer compartment may be the problem also? 

And Laryy: Let us know how that powder, from the cut-flower shop works; and 
good luck with it?

Bill Nash Guelph Ontario Canada Zone 4 
<<--- re below --->>
At 12:39 PM 01/29/2003, you wrote:
>Bill, I have a thought! When a person buys cut roses for the better half, 
>the florist sends along a packet of powder to add to the water to extend 
>the life of the cut rose. I have never thought to look to see what the 
>ingredients are, but I am wondering if adding this powder to the water 
>would extend the life of the scape longer? I found that wether I added the 
>sugar to the water or not, the scapes lasted the same amount of time. I 
>did not do any controlled experiments to see. The water with sugar, 
>clouded up a lot faster than just water alone. I believe I read somewhere 
>on this forum, that Alex Summers only used water. Not sure if it was 
>treated water or possibly rain water. My memory comes and goes, so I could 
>be wrong. I believe I also read where soaking willow sticks in water will 
>work the same way as those rooting powders. Maybe adding pieces of willow 
>sticks to the scapes would make them last longer? Could be I took too much 
>medicine this morning too! LOL! Larry

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