What's happened to my hostas?

kimberlysc(z7 SC)April 25, 2008

I've got several hostas this year that have come up but the middle is missing from the hosta. Just the outside circle. What the heck is happening? As a matter of fact all my hostas aren't filling in like they should. By this time in the past they have been absolutely beautiful. Is this normal? Are they dying out? How long do hostas actually last? Sorry for all the questions. I'm learning here.

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

they must be very old hosta.. to have fairy ring....

dig out the dead middle leave the rest there ... and put fresh soil or compost into the hole.. they should start growing back next year ...

every spring is different.. mother nature is a cruel mistress ... there is no date certain ... some years its weeks early ... other years.. weeks late ...

as long as they are there... they will come.. when the weather tells them to come ...

hosta can live on the driveway for decades ... ought to do just fine in mother earth ... if you just give them enough water to thrive ...

find something else to worry about... your hosta will do just fine ... with the water ...


    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 9:18AM
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Search "Fairy Ring" but I don't think that is what you are talking about.

What I think is happening is not unusual at all. If it will show up on this photo you will see the eye on the left is coming out in the center with one eye while the one on the left is sending out new eyes while the center is not.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fairy Ring

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 1:58PM
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kimberlysc(z7 SC)

Thanks Ken and Esther for your help. The hostas are 9 years old. It's amazing I went to 2 reputable nurseries here in South Carolina and they looked at me like I was crazy when I was telling them about the hostas. They had no clue. They sell hostas but don't know a thing. I also emailed a company from where I have bought a few hostas before. They indeed gave me the same information here about the fairy ring, I was told to dig them up, divide them and rework the soil. Ken I can try just digging up the middle and see what happens. These hostas in the front of my home use to be so beautiful. Not anymore though.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 9:52AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

if you have more than one.. experiment... dig and divide out the dead stuff on one ... on the other ... dig out the center ...

and dont be a drama queen about hosta.. they will recover just fine ... try to drown them ....

and just for the heck of it... if you divide one ... make a little pile of soil on the driveway .. and put one piece on top barely planted... and let me know if it makes it thru the summer .. lol .. preferable in shade in SC ....

good luck


    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 10:53AM
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hostamanfred(5 Ohio)

every spring I find half a dozend hostas still laying on top of the ground, appearantly overlooked in the haste of prepearing for winter. They all show nice healthy eyes, after overwintering in the open air.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 11:43PM
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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

Also for a fairly quick recovery of hosta with a dead center, try digging them out, dividing the clump in half and planting them with what was the center to the outside and the outside toward the center. Leave a little space in the center for growth.
They will look pretty darn good almost immediatly.
Linda C

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 1:04AM
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luckyladyslipper(MA 5b-6a)


I had this happen to me several years ago. One year 8 or 10 small hostas either never emerged or had one pathetic eye that didn't survive the season. (This may be related or not, I have no idea.) The next year, the center failed to appear on a large (probably 24" high and 42" wide), maybe 10-year-old hosta. I dug up one of the gnarled eyes, took it to a reputable nursery. They were baffled. The next year, nothing at all. I was heart-broken. It had been huge and gorgeous. I'm not a drama queen, but sometimes they don't recover.

I would definitely try lindac's or Ken's advice. Leaving it alone was the wrong thing to do.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 8:01PM
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