I just purchased my first Empress Wu. Trying to decide if I should just pot it up for now since it is small, and plant permanently later......or stake out a 6' area for this monster and plop it in the ground.....?
If you have the spot for it I'd plant in the ground that way there is no disturbance to the plant being in a pot then planted again. Hostas do not like to be disturbed and repotting into the ground in the future will affect growth for the following year. This is a super fast grower for a hosta.
I bought 2 small Wu's about 3 weeks ago and I gave each a 5' birth (I want them to touch when they mature). They look small and it looks like I'm missing some plantings but my understanding is they grow quick.
I got an itty bitty Wu at the end of last summer and put it in a gallon pot where it over-wintered. The leaves were about three or four inches long then. Now? About ten inches. I have a spot where I am planning to put her, it's just a matter of getting it all prepped out. What I suggest you could do is plant some annuals around the area with her to fill out the empty space, or some easy to move perennials that you can pop out and move elsewhere when Wu takes over. It's what I plan to do.
My Wu is in the center of a raised round bed where two paths converge in my woods, and I surrounded her with albo marginatas that I can easily move when she overtakes them. That way she doesn't look naked and alone.
Sandy, your woodland garden is a dreamscape. I cannot wait to see it around July or August.
My Empress Wu was planted April 2010 into our little vegetable garden, did not like direct sun at all in spite of regular watering, got transplanted behind a wooden fence and under a little pear tree. This year it had 8 eyes, leaves are partially unfurled. I would like to suggest not to give it too much sun.
Hosta Empress Wu last May 20 2011, leaves still unfurling :
Sometimes a plant can take a full growing season to adjust to the site in which you plant it. Nurseries are growing under 60% shade cloth. When you take that plant and put it in a lot of direct sunlight, sometimes it is shocked by the change. You can help such a situation by potting a plant and gradually getting it used to its new location. Or you can let it suffer through the first year and then see how it does in year 2. I wouldn't move a plant after one year in a spot, unless you have other evidence that it's just not a proper site for it. Usually green Hostas can take a lot of sun.
Your Wu looks great after just one year, Bernd~~mine isn't growing that fast at all. In fact, it has hardly increased in size...maybe from one eye to two? This is creep year, so perhaps leap year will be better...or maybe I need to move it to where it gets a little more sun (no direct sun at all where it is now)
I have that hosta now for 2 years, and it came in a pot with more than one eye. It seems to be happy now at this spot, did not get affected by any freezes. I do not like to stress plants by placing it in a sunny spot and not always be able then to water it when needed.
I no longer plant new plants immediately, be it that there is no more easy space available, and I have to think about a location, etc. In a few weeks my seedlings will get outside, more space required, so I will pot them into larger pots, put them in some shade and wait a few months.