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Re: Evaluating seedlings (Was: Re: Beauty Curve in Hostas)

Gerry/Bob O'Neill wrote:

> Ran,
> When you are breeding for color, seems obvious how you evaluate seedlings
> (I assume you grow on promising ones to maturity to see final color).
> But what objective measures do you use to evaluate plants for heat
> tolerance, or slug damage, or other less obvious characteristics? How long
> do you have to grow a seedling before you can fairly judge heat tolerance?
> Do those of you who hybridize in the North send out candidate plants to
> growers in the South for evaluation? Just curious, not hinting for plants. :-)
> Gerry (Noting that even you Yankee hybridizers could evaluate hostas for
> heat tolerance this week!)>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
A few years ago, I made a couple of mistakes in picking Hostas to
register.  Fortunatly , I cought this before these plants were placed on
the market.  I learned that part of the process, needs to be "trials" in
gardens in other areas, and in differen parts of my garden.  This now
takes me up to (in the case of Oh My Heart, and Gray Fox) as much as 12
years.  I place prospective plants in the sun, in "slug infested" parts
of the garden, in fairly dense shade, sometimes in relitivly dry areas. 
I do select for color, but that is only part of the package. I am
usually looking for seasonal longivity, good scape height and bloom
form, beautiful leaf forms, as well as unusual plant profiles.  All this
takes time, and I worry about all the new plants being registered and
put on the market so fast.  
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