First Hallsons Order!

Aquae(7 GA)April 16, 2014

Hello everyone!

I love hostas and after reading all the rave reviews on here about Hallsons I ordered three! I bought a blue angel, a krossa regal and a halcyon. I just received them today and they're dormant. (Though I expect our warm Georgia spring to change that quite soon! :) )

I've never planted a dormant hosta before! My question is: Do I need to soak it in water or anything before I plant it? Also, this may be a dumb question but how do I make sure I don't plant it upside down? I haven't pulled them out of their little bags yet but I assume the eyes will be fairly obvious?

Thanks so much!


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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5


open bag.. observe..

plant roots down.. eyes/pips up .. roots come out of the bottom opf the crown.. and the piups the top of the crown.. you now know the 3 major parts of a hosta ...

wait a minute.. wheres your priority.. really ??? .. you fired up the technology BEFORE opening the box.. crikey .. we might not let you join us.. lol ...

throw in bucket of water .... while gathering shovel .. pick spot ..

dig hole.. create a cone in such.. and set roots around it .... and set the crown/eyes.. at ground level .. NOT BELOW ... make sure its all snug.. so it doenst sink with soil settling ...

water .. water .. water ... mulch helps ...

if you have to hold them for a while.. put one inch of water in a bucket... and put the roots in it.. but not the crown ... and store in a cool the basement ...

once all this is done.. start planning your next order.. lol ...


    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 12:51PM
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Yes, I soak mine for a few hours. I don't think it's necessary, though. Keep the top (crown) out of water, though. The roots should be shaped more or less like a tarantula. Plant the feet down. Using the tarantula analogy, the body of the arachnid is the crown. There also may be more than one crown (tarantulas), although they will be all grown together.


    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 12:57PM
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jadie88(7 MD)

Welcome! What a great way to get started in hosta.

After such a bitter winter, those hosta will feel that Georgia sunshine and think Chris sent them on a tropical vacation!

You'll find it pretty easy to tell which way is up with hosta...they aren't like the woodier plants like dicentra, astilbe, and peony, where you have to look at it for a minute to get your bearings.

There are many great posts on how best to plant the bare root hosta...smarter folks than me will chime in, but a few highlights...

--you don't need to soak the roots, but it doesn't hurt, and you should NOT soak the crown. You should get them unpacked pretty soon and you can put the roots in water with the crown dry until you can plant them out.
--once you have your planting hole prepped, make a mound in the middle, place the crown on top of it (it should rest just at ground level), and spread the roots in a fan or skirt-like fashion down the mound. Then fill it in and water it down. I've found some of those super-beefy root systems need two layers of root "skirt" so they aren't all smashed together with little soil contact. So, mound of soil, roots fanned out, more soil, more roots fanned out, then the rest of the soil. Makes no sense until you're in mid-process, I think. :)

This post was edited by jadie88 on Wed, Apr 16, 14 at 12:59

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 12:58PM
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ken, they don't have basements in Georgia (or Texas). That's a northern thing.


This post was edited by bkay2000 on Wed, Apr 16, 14 at 13:09

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 12:59PM
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Aquae(7 GA)

Thanks so much for all the advice everyone! :) I can't wait to get my babies in the ground and see their leaves pop up, I'm so excited! I'll get pictures once they do! Right now they're not exactly photogenic, just a giant pile of roots in dirt!

LOL at Ken, I got on here AFTER opening my box and checking out my hostas! That's how I knew they were dormant. ;)

BK, we also do have basements here. Most of the houses I've ever lived in (All in Georgia) have had basements actually! :) They're wonderful for getting out of that awful Georgia Summer heat!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 2:02PM
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Babka(9b NorCal)

Chris usually has some printed instructions in the box. Dormant ones don't need to be soaked. Plant them as suggested above, give them a light watering to settle the soil around the roots and then wait until they send up green shoots from out of those pointy eyes before you begin to pour on the water. You will be smiling soon, probably less than a week if you have warm weather.


    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 2:44PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

they don't have basements in Georgia (or Texas). That's a northern thing.

==>>> which means they dont have a cool place to hold them.. so stick them in mother earth ...

if you opened them.. to find them dormant.. but could see roots or pips ???

whatever.. i was just welcoming you with my bizarre sense of humor.. we let anyone in... like bkay.. lol


ps: actually if you could NOT plant them for a few days.. they would probably best be held.. in the veg crisper.. in the fridge ...

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 4:33PM
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I also got my order in from Hallsons today. Ordered a "Rainbows End" and got a "pot of gold" for free LOL I just got the joke as I am typing this...

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 6:29PM
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Great info for us first time Hallson buyers. I hope to get mine tomorrow and welcome them to the 80 degree Texas days!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 9:29PM
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Hi there. I got my Hallsons order yesterday, and inside with the packing slip was a half page of instructions from Chris Wilson on how to treat your new arrivals.

[quote in entirety]
Upon arrival:
Unpack box and check condition of all plants. Keep dormant hostas sealed in the bags until you can plant....and ACTIVELY GROWING HOSTAS moist but NOT SOAKING. Plant with a couple days, or pot them up in a coarse, well-draining potting soil to hold longer.

Soil/Location.......Hostas prefer humus rich, moisture retentive, woodland soil in part to full shade. Some are more sun tolerant than others, but keep plants well watered in sun.

Mini: 1/4 - 1/2""
Small: 1/2""
Medium: 1/2 - 1""
Large & Giant: 1"" +
(from soil surface to the top of crown or base of the eyes)
NOTE: Dormant hostas should not have any eyes or roots showing after planting since dormant buds only grow below the surface. Some plants grow eyes horizontally underground and must be covered.

Enrich soil with generous amounts of compost or peat humus and mix a couple teaspoons garden food into the soil. Dig hole large enough to fix the roots without coiling them, spreading the roots out in the planting hole. Plant with the dormant eyes at the depth listed above with the dormant eyes covered. Plants that are leafed out or starting to break dormancy can be planted at the same level they were previously gorwing with the white stems below ground and greenish stems above. Water in after planting but dormant hostas should be alloweed to dry out between watering until they are actively growing. Once actively growing begin regular, deep watering, 2 to 3 times a week.
[end of message]

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 5:18PM
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I got my Hallsons order yesterday. And got about half of it in pots today. I put my plants in nursery pots because I am never sure where I want them. That and I do everything slowly, arthritic ankles and knees. Some days okay and some days not so much.(but I do get it done eventually!!) I have had good luck with all my plants that way so far. And I am contemplating putting the nursery pots in larger fancy pots so I can move them around. Digging in my garden is done with a digging bar, not a shovel. It is an old rock quarry ! Great for drainage not so good for digging. Oh yeah and my order was for Kaleidochrome,Warwick Comet, Sky Dancer,Nightlife,Fire Island, Dragon Fire,Blue Hawaii, Queen of the Seas and my bonus was Flamenco Mouse (my first' mouse'). We are off and running, so you folks back East won't be far behind and it looks like the Southerners are ahead of us Westerners. I do love this time of year!!!!

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 8:42PM
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