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Re: What makes the difference?

All the answers you are getting would be valid if we were looking at the
same kind of plants from different sources, but if I understand what you
are saying, I think the answer is much simpler.  The small hostas you
received were juvenile plants, probably right out of tc, and like
seedlings, puppies, and children, they always grow quickly, assuming there
is nothing wrong with them.  Older plants simply don't do that.  They go
through a cycle of growth each year, first putting on leaves, then roots,
then going through the reproductive cycle.  Sometimes, depending on the
variety and the length of the growing season where you live, they may grow
a second flush of leaves after flowering and some even flower again.

Even though they grow very fast when they are young, it can take years for
them to catch up with mature plants, especially in the larger varieties.
If you compare a tc liner of Sagae to a division from a plant that is
several years old, it will probably be 3 or 4 years before the liner shows
the character of the older plant.  If you've only seen younger plants at a
garden center and have never seen a mature specimen, you might not
understand why Sagae is so popular because the juvenile leaves aren't all
that interesting.

We try to pack our plants well because we know that customers would prefer
them to arrive looking nice rather than all beat up, but frankly I
disagree with Joe.  I'd rather have the big, beat up plant than the small
pretty one.


halinar@open.org wrote:

> Margaret:
> >I received 2 orders from the same place.  Both times, plants were
> >young, and a little abused looking. <snip> their prices were cheap,
> >and once the plants were put into the ground, they took off like
> >rockets, doubling in size.
> There are basically two types of gardeners - the first group wants
> large plants that make as much impact as possible right away while the
> second group is more price conscience and is willing to wait a bit
> longer before the plant matures.  In either case you can get good
> quality or bad quality.  Some growers growers go after one or the
> other and others try to make a balance.  Some companies like the
> defunct Michigan Bulb Company specialized in buying the lowest grade
> plants possible and selling them off cheaply.  However, even the price
> conscience gardeners want a quality plant even if they are willing to
> accept smaller size.
> In regard to hostas the value should be in what you paid for the plant
> for the size you got and its quality.  Hostas are quite tough, so even
> if they don't look so hot when you get them they will usually do well
> after awhile.  It's more how the plants are shipped that are going to
> efect the quality you receive then the size.  I would much prefer a
> smaller plant packaged and shipped well then a larger plant just
> thrown into a box with all the roots cut off.  I haven't received many
> hostas that were shipped to me, but I've seen quite a few of the
> hostas that Charlie Purtymun has received and I can say that there are
> some hosta growers out there who really should take a short course on
> how to ship plants.
> Joe Halinar
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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