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Re: what affects hosta growth

  • Subject: Re: what affects hosta growth
  • From: "W. George Schmid" <hostahill@Bellsouth.net>
  • Date: Mon, 14 Jun 2004 16:46:40 -0400

Hi All,

I didn't want to bring up what Andrew had the guts to do: Many of those
"beautiful" cultivars are lousy growers, wimps, and a few other
unmentionable things.

Here in Tucker, Zone 7a - 1188 feet AMSL, 84-12'-30" West_33-51' North with
dry summers and late freezes and a few other nasty weather problems, the
very best hostas are the seedling ones I dig up in the middle of a path,
mostly all green. Usually, for a few years they have survived getting
stepped on (a lot), get no fertilizer, get no extra water, grow in dense
Georgia red clay, and bear all kinds of harsh events with aplomb. If it
makes it through five years of such brutality, it gets moved to one of the
woodland spots where it usually thrives even more. Yes, Andrew is right,
soil is important in cultivating any plant, but the most important thing is
the genetic make-up of a hosta cultivar. To a hosta seedling with H.
longipes in its background, soil doesn't seem to matter much. They grow on
rocks back home and get splashed with a lot of water. Unfortunately, very
few of the "fancy" cultivars have that kind of background and croak under
most conditions. So, Andrew is right, pick good genes (for your growing
area, soil, climate - i.e., research their parental background - that is why
parental info is so important as Andrew pointed out in a prior e-mail re
registration). With good genes the plants will take care of themselves, well

Few of us can afford to kill a plant three times before they give up (to
paraphrase Tony Avent) and at 50 bucks per that wastes a lot of money. If I
want a good garden hosta I go find that unknown, trampled seedling that
refuses to give up and I will have a hosta that will be a good garden plant,
or, I make my own hybrids using parents that have great survival genes.
After all, hostas are supposed to be the best "low-maintenance" plant for
shady gardens. I have had it with hostas that just won't grow, melt out,
burn out, or get necrotic margins in early spring. Those trampled seedlings
not only have stamina but they possess a beauty all of their own. 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: "Andrew Lietzow"

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