Re: Color change in hostas
> Yep. I'm out here, somewhere. If only I could slow down enough to find
> Seriously, you said:
> > It came up gold this spring, looks great, very nice. Lo and behold, here
> > is June 22 and it has turned completely green.
> > Why does a hosta do that?
> This is what Schmid calls viredescence, isn't it? Opens gold, turns green.
> I am not at all sure why this happens. I suspect that the trigger is
> something environmental, either accumulated heat, or daylength. Or
> something like that.
> I am posting this down to Jim Hawes for an opinion, too. Jim, why do
> viredescents (is that the right word?) or their backwards partners, the
> lutescents, do what they do? Does anyone really know?
> > Could there be an imbalance of fertilizer such
> > as use of minors effect the coloring? I use Sierra Blend with minors
> (which I
> > understand has been changed to Oscomote with minors)
> The answer is yes, but it's not very likely if you are fertilizing as you
> Enjoy the summer heat!
Rick, Ken, Gayle and others,
In regard to Gayle's inquiry about color changes, I can give you my
opinion but can't respond directly to Gayle because the email address
did not appear on the message. Therefore I am cc'ing to hosta-open and
to OLG (thru Ken).
I agree with you that fertilizer MAY influence some color changes on
leaves within the season. The more likely cause of major changes in
colors within one season (as we all know) are the inherent
characterisitics we identify as viridescence, lutescence and albescence.
These are described by Schmid as you pointed out.
IMHO, such changes are often closely correlated with the physiological
state of the plant (whether juvenile or mature), and are not necessarily
caused by the environmental differences only within the season.
Further, it may be difficult to generalize on causes because each hosta
is genetically different and may express color changes in a different
fashion and rate over the season. An understanding of plastid population
changes within plant cells is the key to understanding viridescence,
albescence and lutescence in hostas. This subject has been discussed in
some detail in "Those Blasted Plastids", an email article "published" in
June 1997. It probably will be published in the Hosta Journal in the
Fall Edition for a wider audience.
Hope these opinions are helpful.
Jim Hawes Oakland MD
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