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Re: American Gardener magazine

Carol Wallace,
Hi my name is Paula Pierce, and I live in Minnesota. I belong to the Hosta
Open Where you question was forwarded.
I defiantly don't consider my self an expert In Hostas, With some I am just a
newbie with only 4 or 5 years under my belt. In those years I have managed to
aquire a collection of 600 + varieties.

I might be able to bring up some different Ideas than Paul (I will include
his letter) Who Has been in hostas much longer and sells them.
One of the differences in our Lists and concerns would be I am a consumer (I
buy Hostas from Paul) I live on the opposite end of town (more like a 3 than
a 4 for zones),
I have sandy soil and don't live next to a lake.

The challenges right now in the hosta field are Nematodes and viruses from
the ground or things that are planted around our hostas. For example Clematis.
I would add the DEER to that list, See, I don't have an electric fence like
Paul. Bunnies also like Hostas, Voles also do damage. And Number 1 for some
varieties Slugs.
Yes, Minnesota Has one of the best climates for hostas, With the National
Hosta Convention here last year we did have some world renowned experts and
they did say we grow them bigger here.
It's funny the ones that Paul lists as hard to grow for him...I can do very
nicely. My Uzo-no-Mai is one of the smallest hostas and has been growing in
my nursery area for 3 years now..and doing just fine. Pizzazz, Snow Cap and
Color Glory Do very well for me. Pizzazz is one of my favorites.
I am not sure anybody could list just 3 favorites because It has so much to
do with what you like.
My personal Start was with the Green and Green and white hostas. I intended
to line my 140 ft driveway with them.
I then found out more about Hostas and found that at that time there were
2000 registered hostas.
I moved into the Green Wavy ones. Like Ruffles, Curls, Green Piecrust,
Bridegroom, High Kicker (with a white back). Krossa Regal is one that can't
be missed.
From there I really got into the White centered ones. A good contrast to the
Plain Green ones. Like Loyalist, Fire and Ice, Morning Light, Pandora Box
(for really small ones), Revolution, for it's speckled white center.
Then there are the Fragrant Hostas. I think Fragrant Blue is my most awesome
blue hostas.
Anything from the Plantagina group of hostas would have to be on the favorite
group, Shiny and fragrant, The new Aphrodite, and Venus with the double and
triple flowers, are a real delight And can tolerate more sun.
I have to put something in here about the gold hostas. Paul's personal
favorites. Golden Sculptor, Golden Teacups, Sun Power, Daybreak, Sun Glow.
Darwin's Standard, and Queen Josephine Have to be my picks for the shiny leaf
hosta with some of the best color.
Good Color on Great Expectations, Summer Breeze, Patriot, June, Inniswood,
Night Before Christmas.
Guacamole has wonderful color and the most beautiful fragrant flowers.
A new world opened up when the streaky hostas started appearing.
Color Parade And Savannah Supreme were my first ones. Regal Promenade, and
Nancy Minks, Sea Yellow Sunrise I got in the fall are going to be wonderful
The Shape of the leaves ..Or the irregularities are also an eye catcher Like
on Guardian Angel, Emerald Necklace, Embroidery, Royal Tiara.

People create new ones because people demand it.
Right now the some of the most sought after hostas are the ones With almost
Black leaves like Lakeside Coal Miner, Or Red Peticoles(or stems) like Fall
Bouquet, Cinnamon Sticks, One Mans Treasure.
One of the things people are working for now is a red leaf for a hosta.
Not sure this really helps you or not...There is almost no way to limit to
just one or two or even three hostas. But if you go over list people send
you..you will see some of the same ones come up over and over again. If you
can pick 3 of those..it will get you closer.
If you have any other questions of me let me know. and if you would like to
pose your question to another hosta group can I suggest....Garden Web
Hosta Forum  They do questions quite often about their favorite hostas and
you might be able to do a search to look up the lists.
Quite often a new hosta might be registered...and take years and years to get
to the general population. With the advancement of Tissue Culturing of
hostas...that is starting to shortening of that time. Them money also becomes
and issue. When there are not many of the hostas...the price is sometimes way
out of reach for a lot of us. So we might not know all the new hostas yet.
But we have our eyes on them...

Paula Pierce
Minnesota Hosta Society Member
American Hosta society Member

In a message dated 03/08/2001 5:58:14 PM Central Standard Time,
bobaxe@sbtek.net writes:

Specifically what I need to know are the answers to these questions:

My area is Minnesota:

1. What are the biggest challenges a Hosta grower in your area faces?

They get very large.

2. Which Hostas do best in your area -- please name names!

Almost all of them grow well-just a few have struggled, over the years I have
had about 600 varieties, and it would be easier to list the ones that have
not done well than the ones that do best.

'Uza No Mai' has been my biggest (wink) disappointment. Not as winter hardy
as it could be.
'Snowcap' and 'Color Glory' are two others that are a duds for me.
'Pizzazz' is another.

3. What do you consider to be the 3 best Hostas introduced in the past 5

Hard choice again:
This comes down to personal taste and I will keep my answer to those that
appeal to a wider circle than my self.

'Pandora's Box'
'Robert Frost'
'Fried Green Tomatoes' and 'Fried Bananas' and Guacamole'
'Regal Splendor'

There are many more, but I will limit my self to the above three choices.

And as a kicker -- why, in your opinion, with so many varieties if Hostas
already on the market, do breeders keep creating new ones?

Same reason people keep righting new books.



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