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Re: Treating shipped Hosta

If you like your plants shipped the first warm day of spring, your next
door neighbor doesn't want his until there's no more danger of frost.
Unless you tell the grower when to ship, it's a guessing game, and we
generally feel that it's safer to ship a couple weeks late than a couple
weeks early.  And if we ship too early, if the plants freeze it will be
our fault and we'll have to replace them for free.  There is no good
answer.  It's not a big problem if you are a grower in Iowa and all of
your customers live in Iowa, but most of my customers don't want their
plants before they break dormancy in Maryland.

We don't cut off the leaves because we don't see any reason to.  No matter
what they look like, as long as they are green they are still producing
food for the plant.  We assume that if they get a bit messy and the
customer doesn't want to leave them on they can just cut them off.  But
unless they look awful and unless that matters, why make the plant waste
energy growing new ones?

Whenever I get complaints about taking so long to ship I just tell the
customers that I'm having so much fun taking care of all these plants I
just can't stand to let them go.

halinar@open.org wrote:

> I have a really general question regards shipping hostas.  For some
> reason hosta people wait until the plants are in full leaf to ship
> them, and then send them with all the leaves attached.  Of course the
> leaves are likely to be wilted somewhat.  Why do hosta people way so
> long before shipping hostas?
> Hostas are very durable plants and can take a lot of mishandling, and
> they can get quite dry.  The first question is why not ship hostas
> earlier in the season when they are still dormant - just put the roots
> and crowns in a plastic bag with some slightly moist peat moss or wood
> shaving?  The second question, if you do wait until the hostas are
> fully leafed out, why not just cut off the leaves.  I talked to one
> commerical wholesale nursery and they said they buy hostas in the
> middle of the summer from a particular person and he just cuts off all
> the leaves.  They pot them up and a few weeks later the new leaves are
> looking as nice as ever.
> I am also convinced that many people who sell plants of all kinds do
> not know how to ship plants.  I've received daylily plants where the
> grower literally threw them into a box - what a mess.  To say the
> least I do not buy plants from that person any more.
> Joe Halinar
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