My hostas did not come back

terriebariMay 22, 2008


I bought a huge hosta plant last year at a garden club sale. It was absolutely gorgeous. I split it into 5 plants and planted them in a shade area along my driveway. The plants did fine all summer last year.

Only one came back this year, and it is half the size I'd expect it to be.

The area gets quite a bit of water (melted snow) and it's along the woods. I'd like to figure out what happened, if that's possible, so that I can plant something else and not have the same issue. Is there any way to determine what happened? Would excess water over the winter do this? Possible a deer issue? I don't think it was the deer because there are hostas all through my neighborhood, and nobody else seems to have had an issue.



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bunnycat(z6 NY)

Hi Terri,
Dividing a hosta will cause the sections to go back to a more juvenile form (smaller leaves). It isn't evident until the next yer. (The leaves on the divided sections don't shrink, of course)
If there was a lot of standing water, the crowns could have rotted.
Salt from the road might have done some damage.
People could have walked on them and injured the crowns badly.
Rodents (voles) could have eaten the roots and crowns. That is a very common problem, especially if you are near woods or farm land.
There is always a chance that some damaged little pieces will gain some strength and put up a few leaves later on. Cross your fingers.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 5:17PM
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Terrie--I am so sorry! Don't give up on hosta, though! They are normally the most hardy of plants.
I think Nancy has covered the possibilities! Perhaps, you could invest in some hosta that are not very costly,
and put them in the same area, as a test for next year! If the same thing happens--I guess you'll know it's not
the best location for hosta in your landscape!

Hang in there--surely you have areas that will support them in your yard!!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 11:41PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i think nancy MAY HAVE left out

lack of water .... no facts regarding the requisite need for at least one inch of deep water per week .. or more ...

and if she divided in the heat of summer.. without proper sterilization of the tools.. and the crown ... crown rot is a possibility .. though they wouldnt have lasted into the fall ...

this question should be on the discussion side of the forum ... the conversation side is for wildly off topic stuff .... but.. alas.. we found it.... and answered ...

the huge plant you started with.. was 3 to 5 to 7 years old....

by cutting it up ... you sent it back to the juvenile stage.. and it will take 3 to 5 to 7 years to get back to what you bought ...

a proper ID would give you a closer approximation as to how long...

dont give up.. ken

    Bookmark   May 23, 2008 at 8:46AM
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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

Also, did you plant them too deep? or too shallow? Or did you leave big air pockest beneath the roots....did every section have some crown AND some root? Did they get a lot of snow melt chemical on them during the winter? Did the snow plow scrape them off with the snow?
If you had just left the divisions lying on their side in the bushes, they would have lived...I know, I have done that.....something happened, they didn't just die.
Linda C

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 6:19PM
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elegans1989(5 Toledo OH)

They didn't have these isues because the deer were eating the hosta in your yard. We were in a deer path and the deer ate my Neighbors yard and then jumped the fence to our yard. We could only stop it by puting up a deer fence from her house to our house.


    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 11:21PM
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