My Hosta Has Been Injured

bevingaMay 25, 2008

Last Tuesday evening, we had bad weather here. We were all at the school's Baccalaureate in town and knew there were tornado warnings, but according to the people keeping an ear to the weather, it wasn't in the area as the church building.

As I drove home that evening, I noticed all kinds of tree debris along the road, the sides, the middle, from I-75 going on Hwy. 20-E toward Canton. As I got closer to our neighborhood, all I could think was, "Please Lord, don't let me drive up to my house to find one of those huge trees in the middle of my roof." Fortunately, all I found was more leaves, limbs, tree debris, but nothing harming the house...WHEW!

A few days later as I was working in my yard, I noticed a bed of hosta, as well as a couple of hosta I have planted around my mailbox, looking really pitiful. While the storm passed over our house, it dropped a lot of golf-ball sized hail. It shredded my hosta! They look pitiful. I had been so impressed with how they had just taken off this year and some of them more than doubled in size. (I just planted them last year)

Now I'm wondering whether or not new leaves will put out to take the place of these shredded ones. Any advice on what I should do to help them?



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buford(7 NE GA)

Yes, they will put out new leaves. You may want to remove the damaged leaves, that may spur the hostas to put out new leaves faster.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2008 at 6:43PM
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There are two schools of thought about removing the damaged leaves:
1) Leave them alone, regardless of how they appear, they can still photosynthesize and provide energy to the plant.
Fertilizing with Alfalfa tea will also help the plant recover and produce new foliage, at which time the leaves that suffered the worst damage can be removed.
2) Cut them off and force the plant to produce new foliage.
This may provide a more aesthetic appearance, but it also weakens the plant. New foliage may be slow to develop and the plant will lose vigor. Not recommended for young plants and those that have not been established for several years.
I grow more than 500 Hostas and I seldom remove any damaged leaves. I have been known to splint broken leaf stems with short pieces of bamboo and florist's tape(green). :Q)))
Alfalfa tea can be made by soaking the pellets in water until they dissolve. Available at pet stores(Rabbit food).

    Bookmark   May 25, 2008 at 8:43PM
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Thanks! I feel better knowing that they will put out new leaves. you mind telling me how many pellets per gallon of water? I think I'll leave the injured leaves and wait for them to recover, but I'd like to give them a little boost.

By the way...(okay, I'm ignorant) what nutrients does Alfalfa give the plants?


    Bookmark   May 25, 2008 at 9:44PM
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Upon second thought, you may want to just sprinkle a small handfull of pellets around the Hosta, underneath the foliage and water in well. They will decompose rather rapidly and serve the same purpose as Alfalfa tea.
To make the tea, just dump a handfull of pellets in a 1-2 gallon bucket of water and let it steep for a couple of weeks. Be prepared for an exceedingly foul odor to emerge from the decomposing pellets!
Alfalfa meal(pelletized) is usually listed as having a N-P-K ratio of 3-2-2, but that can vary, depending upon other ingedients and binders used in composition. Try to find the type that does not have molasses and grain, as other ingredients.
Alfalfa also contains Triacontanol, a growth stimulant. Many farmers, including my family, used it as a rotational crop to enrich the soil, as we practiced low-till, organic farming for vegetable, grain and fiber production, many decades before it became fashionable!
Good choice and good luck!

    Bookmark   May 25, 2008 at 10:59PM
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buford(7 NE GA)

I used alfalfa last year on my roses and the results were fantastic (even in the drought). This year I'm going to use it on more plants. But not my hostas. They are already HUGE. I've never seen such huge leaves. I guess all the rain we've had this spring did it.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2008 at 8:38AM
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Thanks, RB. I am going rabbit-food shopping! :)

Buford, my hosta leaves were huge as well, and I was so proud of them...then came the hail. Oh well...I'm thankful for the rain, hail and all. Now, we've got to find a roof person to come and check the roof to see if it was never ends!


    Bookmark   May 26, 2008 at 11:49AM
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