A Question About Fragrant Hosta

don_in_coloradoFebruary 10, 2013

Hi all,
I haven't found anything on the web to make me think this would be successful, so I'll ask the forum with all its' hands-on experience with hosta...Does anyone know of any fragrant variety that has been planted in bright shade, without any real direct sun, and actually thrive to the point of producing servicable fragrant flowers? I've got a spot right outside the master bath window, in the aforementioned bright shade area, that the scent would flow right into the house. If it would ever be worth trying, heck, I'll try it. So I ask the experts...Has anyone here ever had first-hand experience with this?

Worth asking. Thanks all.

Regards,
Don B.

This post was edited by Don_in_Colorado on Sun, Feb 10, 13 at 16:46

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Jon 6a SE MA

I have several Fragrant Bouquets that do very well in bright shade and sunnier locations. I think this would work well for you.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 5:38PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

EVERYTHING should prosper in bright shade ...

i really dont understand the question ...

plantiginea and her ilk.. are the few that can take full sun.. in many regions..

but it does not follow they cant grow in shade vigorously ... especially bright shade..

see the flaw in your presumption??

ken

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 7:41PM
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don_in_colorado

I'm not presuming anything, Ken. I'm saying I don't know one way or the other, and what info I could find elsewhere on the web was conflicting. Sure it makes sense that they'd flower well enough in bright shade, but instead of presuming they will, I was pretty sure I could find someone on here who has/had 'em growing in bright shade.

Thanks,
Don B.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 8:39PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

Don, my environment is different than yours. I'm in zone 8 and grow in pots. I have So Sweet, Sugar and Cream, and Guacamole in bright shade and they bloom. I posed a similar question last summer and Bev Stegman suggested Royal Standard and mentioned that it's her favorite fragrant hosta. I bought one in bloom last year, but I'm not sure where it was grown. However, I'm sure it will bloom just fine.

bkay

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 9:53PM
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don_in_colorado

Thanks everyone, I appreciate the info.

Don B.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 10:24PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

RS is a work horse...

for me.. plantiginea is subject to late frosts ...

i swear you plant a 3 plant clump of RS.. inside 3 years.. it will have a bazillion plants ... its the fragrant version of lancifolia or gold tiara ...

sounding a bit peckish on my choice of words.. i was just trying to help.. no matter what my word choice..

have a great day ....

ken

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 7:59AM
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bernd ny zone5

2 of my hosta 'Fragrant Bouquet' and my 'Fragrant Dream' grow and bloom in bright shade.

I have a plantaginae 'Aphrodite'. It was in bright shade on its first year in 2011, got a scape with buds, but did not bloom. I moved it into morning-2pm sun, it grew wonderfully in 2012 and bloomed (2 flowers only). I understand that to have a plantaginae bloom you need several hours sun.
Bernd

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 8:09AM
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don_in_colorado

Thanks everyone for the incoming stream of practical info, and specifically what types of fragrants you have blooming and where.

Ken, I take no offense, and always welcome your extensive experience and great advice.
This advice steered me in exactly the right direction; I was considering a row of plantaginea outside the window; but now I know 'Royal Standard' and 'Fragrant Bouquet' will very probably perform better there.

Besides MY love of hosta, I have a plan: My wife likes to open the bathroom window in late summer for the nice breeze, and I'll bet once she smells 12-15 or so simultaneously-blooming clumps of fragrant plants, she will appreciate 'em all that much more ;)
If she doesn't, well then I'll have 15-20 more fragrant hosta...win-win!

Cheers everyone!
Don B.
Westminster, CO.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 8:49AM
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don_in_colorado

bkay, the hosta in front is a Royal Standard I assume; the other 2 solid green ones, are those plantaginea? And the cream-margined one is Sugar and Cream?

Thanks,
Don B.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 9:22AM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

The one at the bottom is Royal Standard. The kelly green and the blue green ones are the two I've had for many, many years. They were mislabeled, one as Elegans and the other as Royal Standard. Neither one is either. The kelly green one is some kind of sieboldiana, which I know only because it blooms really early. The one with the yellow edge is Pizzazz.

I have two Sugar and Creams (one was a gift). I would not buy it again. In fact, if you want one, I'll send you one. There's nothing to make it special. It's not particularly pretty. not particularly fragrant. It doesn't hold up well. I've seen it as a landscape plant and it works well, however.

bkay

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 5:49PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

well i will learn you some more..

plantaginea is a night bloomer.. opening in the evening ... plants are pollinated by night creatures [it was even suggested that is why its fragrant .. too attract such in the dark] ... so if you want pollen or to cross on it.. better NOT try early morn ... like most other hosta ..

MOST of the other smelly ones.. are NOT night ... but offhand.. i do NOT have a list in my head of when they open ...

so your next question would be.. when is the window open.. and when do the flowers open ... should you wish to maximize the stink ...

how about that ..

a good example of this.. is putting plantaginea around the deck.. so when you sit outside after dinner.. the opening flowers entrance you ...

i would tend toward putting a few varieties ... some bloom earlier than the august lily ... so to stretch the length of odor .. diversity might help ...

good sniffin .....

ken

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 6:59AM
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don_in_colorado

Bkay, thanks very much, I'll be happy to take one from you. I'll try any hosta at least once.

Ken, thanks for more info on fragrants. If Royal Standard has 'typical' morning blooms like my Guacamole-related fragrants, that works just fine for the 'plan' since the window is usually opened in the AM and stays that way most of the day. For night-bloomers, I have a great place for those too!

Thanks enablers!
Don B.
Westminster, CO.

This post was edited by Don_in_Colorado on Wed, Feb 13, 13 at 18:12

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 10:22AM
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bernd ny zone5

Don, I read somewhere that hackers scan websites for Email addresses to send you stuff. I would change your address in the last posting to ...comcast dot net.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 1:42PM
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Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)

Don, I think it was Bob Solberg (Green Hill Farms) who said he put Doubled Up on his deck so he could see and smell it better. It produces the double blooms I'm told. I do not think my new DoubleUp bloomed. However, my Royal Standard had about 8 scapes on it and set prodigious amounts of seedpods, and it was gorgeous.

I'd focus on the ones closest to the genes from Mama Plantaginea herself, such as Royal Standard, Guacamole.....

Get Don Rawson's list of fragrant flowered hosta, then go to the MYHOSTAS.BE website and look at the offspring of plantaginea herself--the site shows both sports and hybrids, so excellent place to start.

There is a very small hosta called SugarBabe which is reputed to have a very sweet fragrance, it could make a quite feminine gift to your wife, all potted up for Mother's Day, the timing would not be right for BLOOMING then, but the plant should be nicely leafed out. A couple of places sell it that I know of.

For a pretty leaf, I like Fragrant King, then Fragrant Queen or Fragrant Dream. But I'm really waiting for all my fragrant clan members to put on a show late in the summer (mostly) although some hybrids of the fragrant varieties bloom earlier. I'm not knowledgeable about what blooms when, but this year I hope to spend more time observing and learning the plants themselves rather than potting and watering so much.

I submit that your objective is a good one, your motives are admirable. Woo her with hosta!! Do you have a hammock out there on the deck?

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 11:11PM
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don_in_colorado

Thanks for the info, Moc. No, we don't have a hammock, but a nice patio table within sniffing distance of where I'm planning on siting some fragrants. I just added a couple of Royal Standard and a couple of plantaginea to my Green Mountain order. Added to the several fragrants I have, have ordered and WILL order, I should have a pretty good assortment to plant this spring. Good idea about keeping the plantaginea genes as close to mom as possible, I think; makes sense(Scents)? to me. And Guacamole, Fried Bananas and Fried Green Tomatoes etc. are REALLY getting inexpensive! I own all 3, plus a couple of Stained Glass and a Cathedral Windows, but I'm sure planning on getting a few more as opposed to re-siting them. My 'fragrant Area' I bragged about back in August should be photo-worthy soon, I need pics to back up my boasts LOL. Thanks again Moc for the info, I greatly appreciate it. And to eveyone else as well. This hosta business sure is a lot of FUN!! :)

Regards, we're almost to pip-time!
Don B.
Westminster, CO.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 2:44PM
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Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)

Okay, I'm just catching on to something, about plantaginea being a night bloomer, late late in the day.

Maybe my pot of night blooming cereus close by would help lure the pollinators to the garden. I know in the mornings when I water them, I get no hint of fragrance. For sure, getting them watered MORNINGS is important to let the pollen and such stay on the blooms for night time visitors. Hopefully, 2013 will be a banner year for the fragrant part of my garden.

I am pleased to have others exploring the fragrant hosta options in their gardens too. Mostly the focus of hybridizers has been on the leaf pattern, the color of the petioles and scapes. Some hosta are rebloomers, so that is an option to work for....and so is the color of the bloom and the fragrance. If it turns out to be a stunning durable scent, the size of the blossom would not matter to me! One day, it shall all come to pass. Even BLUE flowers with scent, pink ones too.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 9:37PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

For sure, getting them watered MORNINGS is important to let the pollen and such stay on the blooms for night time visitors.

====>>> pollen doesnt work that way ... its only viable for a few hours... and degrades in heat very fast ...

the ones that are viable.. any given night .. opened that afternoon ... i doubt it lasts over thru the next day.. and perhaps an indicator.. is that it has little scent left .. by the next morning .. i am guessing on that part... but it makes sense not to bother to lure in the pollinators.. if the pollen is dead ...

being a species.. P should come true from seed ...

but because it opens so late in summer ... there is not enough time for the pods to mature to viable seed .... for many of us the further north you go ... [90 days from 8/15 is mid-november.. and the plants are dead to the ground for me in MI ] ... some have tried cutting the stalks before freeze and trying to mature them in sugar water ... i lost interest at that point ... lol ...

so ... if you wanted.. as your goal.. to add fragrance to your seedlings.. you 'take' pollen from P .... in the evening.. and somehow 'store' it.. to put on something else .. the next morning when those flowers are fresh .. ... [they used to use those black film canisters.. of which.. i bet you cant even buy them now ...] ..

[for the truly crazed ... you try to store your pollen in august.. to put it onto those very early sieboldianas the following may.. i think it can be done in the freezer.. but again.. i lost interest at that point.. lol ...]

BUT!!! ... being a species.. it would be time/effort wasted to put pollen of other things.. onto P .... it will not be accepted ...

there.. more useless hosta knowledge ... i cant remember how old i am.. but i remember this stuff.. of course.. that might just be denial ... lol ..

ken

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 7:21AM
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don_in_colorado

Here's the proposed area for the fragrants.(not that anyone cares, but just in case you were a tiny bit curious...) The bathroom window is about three feet this side of the A/C unit. I've got most of the rocks removed now; I'll then make the steppes a bit more level and replace/reposition beams as needed. Then amend my clay 'soil'... Of course, this area is not reserved for fragrants only, just about 12-15 varieties closest to the window. I have 'Blue Hawaii' and 'Queen of the Seas' planted at the very top with some Athyrium 'Ghost', Japanese Tassel, and Autumn ferns, with some Lamium 'Purple Dragon' for groundcover...and room for a lot more plants, flowing all the way down the hill! This is a really fun project, gotta love this hosta business... Come on, Spring!!

Cheers,
Don B.
Westminster, CO.

This post was edited by Don_in_Colorado on Mon, Feb 25, 13 at 0:42

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 9:22PM
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Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)

Now I think that is a great way to position your hosta, you can see them looking upward. And have some stepping stones to help the guy servicing your a/c unit to know where to put his feet even when the hosta are not visible.

Is that wooden privacy fence yours? Then perhaps a shelf enforced by the horizontal 2x4 midway up would be a nice spot for some of the miniatures or dwarfs.....if the sun exposure is right. I chatted about that so much now I have my DH interested in "planting pockets" going vertical. They may be called "wooly pockets?" but always it is a matter of keeping them properly watered and oriented to sun/shade. AND air circulation.

Instead of plant markers in this bed, you could just have a map. It would look good to be painted on a sign near the bed itself, like one of those "You are here X" signs at the mall.

Yeah, gardening fever is upon us! Our gentle rains the last two days and 50* tonight is helping wake things up in the garden. All the Japanese magnolias are in high bloom, the azaleas are rather sporadic but showing up, the camellias are making a last gasp before they retire for the year. The day lilies are up and green, but they never really went to sleep. LOVE spring, but ours is so very short....we blink and we're in almost summer, then high summer, then late summer, and everything turns brown that's fall.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 9:06PM
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don_in_colorado

Moc, thanks for the good ideas, I've added them to the miasma of other ideas whirling around in my head. We're getting a blizzard at the moment, plenty of time to look at pics and think some more...I like the idea of minis on the fence...interesting...on the ground, I'm thinking larger varieties, with smaller ones near the bottom of the hill, maybe...Good spots for 'blues' and less sun-tolerant types, being the north side of the house. The 'map' idea is pretty cool, too. So many to choose from; good stuff!

Regards,
Don B.

This post was edited by Don_in_Colorado on Sun, Feb 24, 13 at 22:16

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 7:58PM
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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

Below is a picture of Guacamole blooms which serve us well as cut flowers. Strongly scented flowers from a plant which receives no direct sun.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 11:41AM
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Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)

Nice bouquet there, HarryShoe. Perhaps this summer I'll have enough scapes to enjoy the blooms indoors.

And Don, another reflection back to some music by Gladys Knight and the Pips (do I date myself?)....

"If you can do it in your imagination,...
You can do it in real life."

Just keep on pushing ideas around in your miasma and something will start to grow on you. :)

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 11:57AM
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Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)

I'm going to insert the name of a small white-margined fragrant hosta that seems very perky and a nice replacement for Sugar And Cream. It won't get too tall and could be pleasing in front of the larger hosta.

It is Emily Dickinson. A lovely shape, grows nicely, takes the sun nicely. I don't give her full sun, but she did get some late rays of the setting sun plus broken shade during the balance of the day.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 1:27PM
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hostaLes(5)

This is about the most sun it gets and only for a short while in early afternoon. It hasn't produced a scape yet but this should be it's leap year. It was planted here in 2010. I am anxious, waiting to see what happens. If nothing, next spring it might be moved closer to my Guacamole, plantaginea and Stained Glass.

Les

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 1:38PM
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