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Re: I Wanna Cry

Josh (with request to Ken Marek to resend to OLG),

When I read your post about "disappearing Hostas" it recalled to my mind
that the same thing has happened to me on occasions. I went outside this
morning to investigate why my 'Artist Palette' had not come up. Also,
what happened to my 'Bright Lights' in bed 2 and a 'Sum and Substance'
in my Alex J. Summers Distinguished Merit Award Winners Bed? I found
that there was a different reason for each hosta's "disappearance".

1.'Artist's Palette' was in rather heavy soil. I dug it up and found
that it had two small buds that had sprouted but were slow in emerging 
from the heavy soil. The roots appeared healthy. I washed the soil from
the roots, repotted the valuable plant into Promix, placed it in the
greenhouse where I am sure it will attain more growth soon. When it
does, I will replant it in a better location.

2.'Bright Lights' had been planted about 5 years ago under a large maple
tree. It had gradually dwindled to a very small plant. I dug it up and
found its roots entangled with masses of roots from the maple tree. I 
washed off all soil and found them to be  healthy otherwize but that
tree root competition had most likely prevented nutrients and moisture
from entering the plant. No buds had sprouted yet. All roots were
healthy and white when washed. So I chopped the rhizome into several
pieces and replanted them elsewhere. I believe they will sprout and grow

3. The 'Sum and Substance' was in worse shape. It had sprouted but had
not grown. There was smelly rotted tissue in the crown and most roots
had rotted. A few new roots had begun to sprout out. The crown was so
far gone that I decided to not try to save this plant or use it for this
special spot in my garden. Instead, I removed some of the soil from this
location, poured in chlorox diluted to about one part in five of water,
then allowed it to dry out. I will replant this spot with a healthy
clump of 'Sum and Substance' growing elsewhere. I will improve the soil
in the "planting hole" because I want S&S to perform, not disappear.

By now, you have learned what I learned...that there can be several
causes for "disappearing hostas". Each case will be different. So play
detective and figure out "who done it" in your garden.

Jim Hawes Oakland MD

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