Hostas in trouble

jojogardennewbieJuly 25, 2006

I bought a variegated hosta and planted it under my purple maple and they are not doing so well. I think I know why but first have to understand I knew zip about plants and gardening when this happened. I bought this hosta and the sales lady at the nursery told me there was at least 5 hosta's in the pot. When I took it out of it's pot the roots were so clumped together that I took a lot of strength to pull the pieces apart. Now I know I should have cut it apart instead of pull it apart. I planted them and watered them regularly. They were turning yellow and the leaves were shriveling up so I thought I was over watering them and cut back on the water. They are still not doing so well. They looked like they were growing for awhile and now they look sick again. What should I do?

Thanks Jolene

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Maples have tons of surface roots and are terrible about stealing the water from anything growing near or under them. Check the soil near the hostas about 4 inches deep after you've watered them. If you're not getting the soil damp at least that deep, the hostas are too dry. Then check every couple of days to see if they need watering again. If it's too wet that deep, hold off on watering, but they can tolerate really wet soil. Most often hostas are either too dry or in too much sun when you see the leaves shriveling and drying up.

July is not an especially good time to divide hostas. You should have waited till next spring. That said, they should survive the division if everything else is ok.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 1:28AM
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The first thing I thought of was the "five" plants that the nursery lady said. Most hostas bought in pots may indeed have what looks like five little plants but they are too small to divide at this point and also in July. I would have tried to find a spot as Sandy said somewhere around the roots to accomodate the hosta. If they survive give them time before moving again with the watering suggested by Sandy. Hostas are fun and interesting plants to grow. A couple of good books to help you might be "the hosta book, second edition, by Paul Aden and hostas by Rosemary Barrett.

So many to choose, have fun.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 7:35PM
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Thank you both for the advise. I will definately do what you suggested. I didn't do this in July, I devided them and planted them in May. They were growing very slowly then stopped and are drying up. I follow your instructions and report back when they are doing better, or kick the bucket
Thanks again Jolene

    Bookmark   July 29, 2006 at 12:46AM
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