Amazing Hosta!

eahamel(9a)March 27, 2013

I got this hosta more than a year ago just to see how it would do in my hosta-hostile environment. It did well until it got hot, then died. Instead of emptying the pot, I stuck another one on top of it and kept that one watered. Well, guess what - the supposedly dead hosta is reviving! A bit late in the season, but I'm amazed. I think I'll bring it indoors and keep it under lights this summer.

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bkay2000(8a TX)


I don't think it's "reviving". It's waking up from it's dormant season. This is the normal time for that in your zone. It's my guess that the heat induced the dormancy and it just continued right on through the normal dormant time (winter).

You are in the zone stretching area for hosta, although we have a couple of zone 9 growers on the list. They'll chime in soon.

What do you hope to gain by taking it inside?


    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 9:01PM
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Might as well just keep it outside, my friend......A generously-watered Hosta is a happy Hosta, especially in your zone! Where is zone 9A, The Sun? :) Seriously though, that's a pretty little Hosta...I think BK is nail-on-the-head with the explanation she gave you, heat dormancy makes perfect sense...

Don B.

This post was edited by Don_in_Colorado on Thu, Mar 28, 13 at 2:38

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 9:37PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Yep, just what Bkay said. It is now time for hostas to wake up in the higher zones. You said it got hot where you are. Where are you? (what state?)

Is this a photo of the "dead" one or what you planted on top of it?

I'm in zone 9b, but we don't get really hot here in Summer in the SF Bay area. And as Don in Colorado suggests, if you give it lots of water then it should be fine even if you get really hot. Bkay keeps hers alive in Texas!

Don't bring it inside now unless you have a late frost or freeze, and then just in a garage or cool place for protection. They need to be dormant (cool and dry) for 6 weeks when you grow them in pots. That usually happens for me between early Dec and mid-Feb.

Yes, they are AMAZING plants and that is one reason why we are hostaholics here.



    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 10:19PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

glad to see you in one of my other haunts ....

it doesnt surprise some of us..

you know.. up here.. they will live if thrown on the driveway/compost pile/etc ..... w/o a pot ... you can barely kill them if you want to ... and seed can sprout in the cracks of the sidewalk ...

but alas.. they are not houseplants.. and do have a requisite cold period ... i do not recommend bringing it in the house..

summer dormancy is a function of heat and drought ... and can be.. in the warm areas.. a cause of southern blight ....

perhaps babka will favor you with a pic of her set up in her very warm zone.. perhaps one pic of her tea house.. and one or her plants dormant..

of my 1500 hosta.. about 1000 came in the mail.. you just proved.. it can be done .. the sky in now the limit .... and you are now fully enabled ...

good luck with that.. lol ..


    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 7:51AM
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Y'all, I'm in Houston. Winter is just about finished, it will be around 70 or higher today. I was thinking about keeping it over the summer as a houseplant because it will get very hot in a couple of months and it will go dormant again, and I wanted to avoid that. Yes, it looks like it slept through last summer and this winter and is just now waking up. Really surprised me to see it coming back out!

Ken, I've seen hostas growing in yards when I visited Long Island a few years ago, and really wish we could grow them here like that. They're sold as annuals here, to be grown in pots for a short time. I asked here for recommendations for some that might survive our hot, humid summers, and this one was recommended. It was Golden Tiara.

This post was edited by eahamel on Thu, Mar 28, 13 at 8:18

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 8:03AM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

I'm in Dallas, and it's not that much hotter in Houston. Getting enough cold might be the problem. Keep them in pots. Do you happen to have a walk-in cooler or extra space in your refrigerator for 6 weeks in the winter? (joke). My Aunt has some in the ground in Georgetown.


    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 9:37AM
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ilovetogrow z9 Jax Florida

Put that guy outside.
Place in a cool spot in the summer with pretty much shade.
CHECK TO WATER OR WATER EVERY DAY USING A WELL DRAINING PLANTING MIX. Do not let them get soggy. They will rot. Know anything about pine fines? Get acquainted with them.
And keep them in pots forever for your zone.
Watering and keeping them cool, just like I want to be on a hot summer day, is how I keep mine better during the summer. I am in Jacksonville Florida.
Welcome to Hosta Land. You will have more before the spring is over.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 4:39PM
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EAHamel, you are about 30 miles further south than I am. And I am in Mobile AL, also zone 9a.

A couple of mine probably went heat dormant last summer, but later in the fall they came back alive and grew until some time in late November. Normally, they go to sleep when it gets fall up north, some varieties even turn beautiful orange or gold before they turn in for the winter.

They are not house plants, but they can be container plants. All of my 304 varieties are in containers (except for 3), and I move them to either morning sun (early morning in our climates) or a spot where they get good light but also a nice shade. In order to bloom, they need light. Too much light, and they will bleach out, look terrible, but not die unless you forget to water them for several weeks in the summer. If you have a spot near a water hose that is also fairly shady with no afternoon sun, that would be a great spot to try your survivor.
The root system must be gigantic by now. If you have any plant food, like some liquid mixed with water, that will work faster than the Osmocote slow release pellets. Keep a hosta well watered, it SWEATS and loses a lot of moisture trying to keep cool. If it cannot keep cool enough, it will go heat dormant, like yours did last year.

Right now you have a pot with one hosta, and let me warn you. I started innocently enough that way myself. Now I am a full blown HOSTAHOLIC with 304 from last year, and about 21 more just received last night from a nursery out in Washington state. So while a hosta looks innocent enough, you must be very VERY careful or you'll fall in love with them.

Glad you brought your question to the forum. Yes, there are a few of us gardening on the hosta frontier. :)

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 9:55PM
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Moccasin, yes, we are on the frontier, all right! I love them, and am astounded that you have so many. I don't have room for more than a few, and intend to get a couple more when they go on sale. I have mine in almost total shade, and am going to see if it will do okay getting a bit of morning sun. They are amazing plants, and very beautiful.

Hellebores will be my next challenge. I've known of one person who successfully grew them here, he was written up in the newspaper's gardening column. A couple of nurseries do sell them, but they really have to be grown as annuals here. Maybe.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 12:03AM
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