No sign yet of hostas - should I worry?

maryneedssleep(5a (PA))April 14, 2012

I planted 20 Frances Williams hostas and 20 painted ferns in a new shady garden late last fall. This is the first year I have lived in Zone 5, and I don't have much experience with hostas. The ferns have all emerged, but I haven't seen any signs of the hostas. My neighbor has many small green and white hostas that are fully leafed out. Is it possible Frances Williams is a late shower? When should I give up and replant?



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Wait for them - Frances Williams is still waking. I have a pic in 08 of FW still as pips in mid-May.....they will be ahead of that this year.


    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 11:46AM
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Well, your best answer would come from someone in zone 5, of course. But I think I can offer you some hope. In my zone 7 garden, a few varieties are completely leafed out (Sagae, Orange Marmelade, Golden Tiara, Green and Gold, Liberty) However, my one Frances Williams is taking her time and the pips are only about 2 inches tall. It was a very strange, warm winter here, and I don't recall in previous springs that there was this much time difference for the different varieties to emerge.

Goodness, you planted 20! She gets big! Your shade garden will be glorious in a few years.


    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 11:51AM
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hosta_freak(z6 NC)

Frances Williams is one of the sieboldiana types,and they are notorious for being late. Mine,however are all leafed out this year. Phil

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 12:57PM
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Lykaon - Ohio Zone 6a

I'm just south of you in SW Ohio and my FW is barely up.

I'd guess if you pull back the mulch a little you would find eyes. It would take something wierd to lose all 20 of your plants.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 2:08PM
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maryneedssleep(5a (PA))

Thank you all for your reassurance and explanations... I did not see eyes when I pulled back the mulch, and that is why I was worried. I'll give them more time.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 5:28PM
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leafwatcher(zone 5)

I am in zone 5 Central Iowa, and my Frances Williams is about 11 inches tall, but not fully unfurled, this is after 5 days of near freezing and two frost temp mights.. It was however covered all those nights..

Hope yours are just being shy !

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 6:09PM
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Mary I'm in the Poconos zone 6b and mine hasn't come up yet either not even a single bud showing so don't worry their just slow.


    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 7:16PM
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nucci60(6 Ma.)

I have at least 80 hostas that have broken ground, but 4 Fragrant Bouquet and two Twilight in one shady spot are "missing in action" so far.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 3:40PM
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bernd ny zone5

I am in zone 5 and many of my hostas do not even show, including all my 6 Frances Williams. Only Lancifolia, Fortunei Albomarginata are leafing out. It seems that Hardiness zones are for winter, but leafing out depends on how much warmth/heat the ground and hostas have seen this spring. In my area in NY state there was one 70-80 dgrs week in March (tomorrow 90!) and hostas are on their usual schedule. I have a lot of pips showing though.
Only other leafed out hostas are the seedlings in my basement.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 8:24PM
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Mary, Bernd just found my F.W. poking through the mulch today so yours shouldn't be far behind. So many now just coming up. With the warmer temps this week I hope to have some nice growth to post pictures by week's end.


    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 9:51PM
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Not all "zones" are created equal. I'm zone 7 on Long Island, NY, and all but one of my hostas are still pips and barely furling. Yet I see photos from people in zone 5 and 6 with fully leafed out hostas. I think it has to do with how steady the temperatures are. My NY zone 7 has relatively stable steady temperatures compared to a zone 7 in the middle of the country, where a week of 80 degree heat in March could get all the hostas to leaf out. The more you garden, the more you'll learn your microclimate.

In my experience, the NOID "green ones" and "green and white ones" that have been around for decades tend to leaf out in my area way earlier than the new hybridized varieties. This early in the year, I wouldn't worry at all.

However, if you don't see anything in a few weeks, I'd carefully dig one up. You said this is your first year in that zone, so I'm assuming its a new house, and there's always the possibility that you have some kind of vole or pest of some kind.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 9:45AM
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frosty - you're right - zones have to do with hardiness a plant needs to survive/thrive for winter conditions in an area, not when to expect plants to emerge in spring.


Here is a link that might be useful: 2012 map

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 10:31AM
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