A plantagenea thing

Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)March 1, 2012

I'm wondering if I'd be off the mark if I sort of collected all the plantagenea offspring as the backbone of my hosta garden?

Like Venus, Aphrodite, Doubled Up, a few crosses. Make them the basis of my hosta garden here in zone 9A, formerly known as zone 8B?

I'm also becoming very fond of the venusta descendents, ever since I fell for Masquerade. Plus the ones with irresistable leaf coloring and texture which I cannot help but TRY.

Just wondering, and any advice will be appreciated.

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bkay2000(8a TX)

I love the idea. I have Venus and plantagenea. I just got them late last year.

My cousin stumbled onto Aphrodite at the garden center last year. It was a Monrovia plant. Venus is fairly hard to find, or at least it was last fall. I got mine from Jim's. They say Plants Delights really charges you for shipping, but I would be tempted to do it rather than use Jim's. If he was the only choice, I would order in the spring. Mine was scraggly looking and was shipped in 100 degree temps. It's coming up, but it just doesn't look very good. It kind of looks like the Barbara Ann that did not make it all the way back last year.

I think your idea is a great one. I've wanted to see if those offspring would do better here or not. I've bought several. Guacomole has done really well for me. It loses the green after mid summer, though. I already told you about So Sweet. I have several fragrant ones, but they are fairly new. We'll see how they do this year after last year's devestating heat.


    Bookmark   March 1, 2012 at 11:12PM
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Gesila(MI Z5)

I'm doing something similiar. We've created a small garden that includes plantagenea offspring as the backbone. I've combined them with Lavender, Sage, Walker's Catmint, and white Bellflowers and a water fountain.

It wasn't picture ready last year, keeping my fingers crossed that everything made it through the winter!


    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 12:11AM
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BKay, did your zone designation change any with the new USDA chart? Mine was changed from 8b to 9a, which bodes ill for hosta growing. I've shopped PDN for some time, and it seems for my shipping area that you can have 6 plants shipped for the same price. I figure it is good enough reason to always buy six items instead of just ONE.

I'll have to check the place up north which was offering both Venus and Aphrodite. I have Guacamole ordered late last summer, still in a small pot but showing some eyes coming up now.

I have terrible trouble growing lavender here, I think it is the humidity, but I can grow all sorts of sage/salvias, and I really plan on a fountain one way or another. Gesila, you are doing what I envision.

Any help listing the plantagenea offspring--or a link to such a list--will be most appreciated. I figure the plantagenea family stands a much better chance of thriving here, and I know I've killed a lot of plants in my time, but it wasn't intentional. I'd like to see them alive and well and living in south Alabama.

I guess I might find a list in the Hostapedia index perhaps. So...

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 12:43AM
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Anyone, check me if you know different. I'm going with some information written at the PDN website discussing fragrant hostas, mostly, but also ones deriving from plantagenea.

In this discussion, he states,"...currently...there are 56 registered hosta cultivars w/ fragrant flowers. Of these, only 27 are available commercially, as the remainder turned out to be poor garden specimens." (Tony Avent, I assume.)

H. 'Honeybells' (h.sieboldii with h. plantaginea)
H. 'Sweet Susan'
H. 'Royal Standard'
H. 'Iron Gate Delight'
H. 'Iron Gate Glamour' white edge
H. 'Sugar and Cream'
H. 'Summer Fragrance' 4-5' tall scapes of very fragrant large purple flowers
H. 'Fragrant Bouquet' fragrance, variegated foliage chartreuse/wide creamy margin
H. 'Invincible' thick glossy leaves, blooms large light lavender fragrant. Slugs love
H. 'Old Faithful' fragrant
H. 'Austin Dickinson'fragrant
H. 'Guacamole' fragrant
H. ' Fried Bananas' fragrant
H. 'Hoosier Harmony' fragrant
H. plantaginea 'Ming Treasure' fragrant, tolerates heat & humidity
H. 'Buckwheat Honey'
H. 'So Sweet'
H. 'Sweet Jill'
H. 'Emily Dickinson'
H. 'Fragrant Blue'
H. 'Sweetie'
H. 'Bennie McRae'
H. 'Sombrero'
H. 'Austin Dickinson'
H. plantagenea 'Aphrodite'
H. plantagenea 'Venus' mutation of Aphrodite
H. 'Warwick Essence'
H. 'Fried Green Tomatos'
H. 'Mistress Mabel'
H. 'Sugar Babe'
H. 'Diana Remembered'
H. 'Sweet Sunshine'
I'm thinking that Solberg's H. 'Sugar Plum' might also be a fragrant plantaginea
H. 'Grape Fizz' heavy substance green leaves purple striped flowers
H. 'Fragrant Queen' sport of H. 'Fragrant Bouquet'
H. 'Fragrant King'
H. 'Emerald Charger' sport of 'Stained Glass'
H. 'Stained Glass' mutation of H. 'Guacamole'
H. plantaginea 'Doubled Up' tetraploid sport of H.plantaginea glossy rubbery leaves

I'm sure this is an incomplete list, perhaps inaccurate as well, but it is the best that this non-rocket scientist can do for now. And that's all I've got to say about that, said Forrest. :)

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 1:49AM
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I'll put this one in here as well.
Just a link though. I won't go into it, but
I'm pleased to see that the little Hosta Venustas are
there. It all depends on the natural chill requirements
and thankfully I see there are more than Hosta plantagineas
which fall into the low chill requirements.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hosta for warm climates

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 2:18AM
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buckeye15(No OH)

There are plenty of other fragrant ones. Some of these may not be registered but are available. Here are a few off the top of my head:

H. 'Fragrant Dream'
H. 'Cathedral Windows'
H. 'Fragrant Fire'
H. 'Sweet Innocence'
H, 'Miss Saigon'
H. 'Sunny Delight'
H. 'Ginsu Knife'

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 7:02AM
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buckeye15(No OH)

I forgot to add:

H. 'Holy Mole'
H. 'Avocado'

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 7:11AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

sounds pretty good ...

plantaginea takes full sun.. UP HERE .... i dont know how that will work for you down there ... your sun intensity is a lot greater than ours ... but compared to other hosta.. you should be all set .. it goes w/o saying that water is imperative

tend to favor less sun if you get into such white white tissue ... especially during the noon to 5 pm slot if possible ...

a lot of the double or triple flowers.. simply abort before flowering .... when they do flower.. they are extraordinary the years they do ... but dont be surprised if it is not every year ...

a few on your list ... are simply plain old green hosta .. that have 'some' fragrance .. and rather large at that .... do NOT pick them all.. IMHO ... frankly a few of them.. i doubt you could tell apart ... and some.. you wonder how they decided they had a fragrance at all ...

i dont see sweet winifred on your list .... wonder why that one popped into my head with your extensive list ....

and ONLY plantinginea itself has the 6 inch PURE white flowers.. all other are 3 to 4 inches.. with some indication of purple.. even if it fades immediately on opening ...

good luck


    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 7:16AM
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bernd ny zone5

My Aphrodite did not bloom last year, though it had a flower stalk with big buds. This seems to be common with double flowering plantaginae. I bought it in a pot at a nursery, planted it only July 2011. I plan to move it into more sun here in zone 5. Others, like Royal Standard bloom profusely.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 8:09AM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b


Here's the blurb from Hallsons on the flowering habits of Aphrodite.
"The very large, double white flowers develop best with regular and consistent moisture, especially when they are sending up flower scapes, though they are not very reliable to flower. Some will say that sunlight is important, however we've grow our Hosta 'Aphrodite' in both sunny and shady locations and have found that natural moisture trumps the sunlight requirement when it comes to reliable flowering."


    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 8:49AM
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I too have had trouble getting Aphrodite to open up her blooms, the buds just blast and turn brown. I moved her into full sun last fall, we'll see how she does with more sun and heat. It's supposed to love it. I have no problems with plantaganea tho, it blooms it's head off.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 10:35AM
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In a way I have been doing the same thing, though informally. I have renamed one of my gardens "Fragrant Hosta Garden" for the time being, and found all of them are planteginea progeny. To me it is worth doing if for no reason than the wonderful aroma on a warm summer night - mosquitoes be damned!

I have fallen in love with ventricosa flowers, and have dedicated a small area for all progeny of that species.

As an old whitewater boater, "whatever floats your canoe" is my credence. Go for it!


    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 4:19PM
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Ken, I do not think any hosta could take full sun in the higher zone numbers. In northern Cal. where night temps may drop, and humidity may moderate as well, the double plantagenea blooms might fulfill their promise. I do not think, with our warm nights and high humidity and persistent drought in more places, that full sun is where I'll be locating ANY hosta.

When I read the Tony Avent piece about "Hosta for warm climates," I realized that other hosta besides plantagenea could be grown here, all dependant on the requisite chill factor. Sometimes I like something impulsively, and it later proves to be a "good thing" for my garden...like the little MASQUERADE venusta plant, and all its venusta relations. Plus other types of hosta as well.

It is not as hopeless as I was beginning to think. And not all GREEN either. If that were true, I'd be picking the leaves and blendering them up into a pretty expensive green smoothie.

ARE hosta edible, by the way? Just curious.

Also, it seems there is a trend to hybridize more warmer climate hosta, judging from the plants available from Nancy and Bob Solberg and Tony Avent as examples. Of the new plants due to ship in late April and early May, blind luck lead me to choose many quite likely to flourish in my hot climate garden. I like white flowers best of all, I like fragrant ones too, and I like white in the leaf as well. So I suppose that helped me avoid too many gross mistakes. If they'll grow on the driveway,as you say, Ken, Alabama should be a piece of cake for the tougher plants.

Do you reckon we could get a FAQ of the subject "Hosta for warmer climates?"

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 5:21PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

Our USDA zone stayed the same. I'm still 8a.

Sugar and Cream looks pretty much like So Sweet. I have it, but it's new, along with Stained Glass and Cathedral Windows.

You know I grow only in pots, don't you? I've had really good luck with pots. I keep talking about planting some hosta in the ground, but haven't. When it comes to putting some of my babies out there for the slugs, I keep procrastinating. I even bought three So Sweet last year for a spot under some Dwarf Burford Holly. It's still empty and those hosta are still in a pot.

Here are some Plantaginea offspring: http://myhostas.be/db/view/%3Ci%3Eplantaginea%3C/i%3E

If you haven't used the myhostas.be database, you can find the offspring of most any given hosta there. Then you can look up the offspring of the offspring.

Good Luck.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 8:13PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

I'm in 9b. I don't get Avent's list. We have very low chill,(enough, though, for fruit and nut trees) but that hasn't stopped me from growing all kinds of hostas. (in pots). As long as they stay dormant for 6 weeks. Keeping them dry and shaded helps no doubt. I grow a LOT more varieties than Avents's list. I think I have 4 or 5 from his list in my 80+ varieties.

Are his "warm climates" referring to the inters or the summers? The USDA numbers are for cold temps.

My Northern California sun is about the same as Southern Illinois, except that we don't get any clouds or rain, so morning sun until about noon is all the hostas like. Most of mine however are exposed to that southern sun, so they live under a shade cloth.


    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 12:24AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i had a bread made with petioles .. sorta like a zucchini bread at hosta college once ...

not being a fan of vegetable breads.. nor zucchini ... i cant say it changed my life ... but i wouldnt bake myself some ... otherwise it wasnt bad ...

the flowers are used as any other flower in food ...

some have suggested that some.. maybe the fragrant ones.. are a bit peppery ....

and i think thats all i know about eating hosta ...


    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 2:50PM
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Ken, good to know. The nasturtium is also very peppery. That is a plus in my book.

Hmmmm, having ordered a super dooper Vitamixer to create green smoothies for medicinal purposes, I might resort to hosta-eating. A little grazing never hurt herbivores.

Yeah, I can justify my addiction to hostas by touting them to my veggie-growing hubby as EDIBLE FOOD GRADE PLANTS. He might even pay for me to buy Empress Wu.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 3:04PM
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I think it is a great idea. I have been working on a fragrant walk in my front yard for 3 years. All of the hosta have plantagenea genes. In my zone 4, front walk under a mature Norway Maple - that is nothing like what you deal with, I know, I find that I have developed some favorites.

Favorite green: Royal Standard - it grows anywhere and smells magnificent. Favorite margined: Fragrant Boquet - you can't beat the pretty green on this one, and Fragrant Queen - even better, but still new. Favorite surprise: Stained Glass, I didn't like the pictures of this one but received one as a first-timer at the Nationals in Minneapolis. It is a great color and good grower in tough conditions. Favorite new: Adorable, although I can't vouch for its fragrance, it lives up to its name.

I also have some that I can not recommend. I wouldn't bother with Honeybells again - its not that fragrant for me. I wouldn't buy Guacamole again either - the pests in my garden, rabits and cut worms, prefer this hosta over all the hosta I have.

I have others that I'm not ready to recommend. A new one that seems promising is Cathedral Windows. Fragrant Blue and Fragrant Blue Ribbons have subtle fragrance but are strong growers and a unique color amongst fragrant hosta.
The only invincible type I have is Fragrant Star, I just can't tell, after 4 years, if I like it or not. I keep moving it so it's hard to know. I bought Mirage late last year, very, very small. I hope it makes it through the winter.

There are so many more - have fun.


    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 11:01PM
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