Am I planting too shallowly?

bkay2000(8a TX)April 14, 2014

I'm still on a quest to figure out why I lost so many hosta this spring. Of course, this is a survivor, but am I planting too shallowly?


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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

Yes, just by a bit. Maybe a half inch. It could also be that the mix is settling and compacting a bit. The roots shouldn't be showing. It's an easy fix.

BTW, I like the look of smaller labels like that in pots. I think I'll switch.


This post was edited by steve_mass on Mon, Apr 14, 14 at 20:32

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 8:30PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i would say NO ...

i would think.. that surface roots are extremely COMMON in potted hosta ...

and i would rather you have them a tad high.. than too low ...

especially in regard to teaching newbies the proper depth ...

now.. if that were out in the garden ... i might throw a little soil over it ... but i wouldnt dig it up.. cutting off root tips or whatever.. to place it one half of a freakin inch lower ...

and i might set it a little lower .. if and when i repotted it...

but if you are asking should you disturb this hosta at this moment in time.. i would suggest there are a lot of other things that are more important ... in your garden ...

what this might actually indicate.. is that repotting might be near.. some time this season or early next .... since its obvious... it looks happy as a clam as it is ...

try not to fix what is not broken ... crikey... you might break it ..... and if you do.. throw it on the driveway ....


    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 11:12AM
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funnthsun z7A - Southern VA

Bkay, I know we are in the same boat on the quest to figure out what happened to some of our pots, but I know it wasn't being planted too shallowly. I have some out front in my new hosta bed that are easily that shallow, if not more and I had 100% return rate on those. I still think it was no water over too long of a period, but that's just my opinion thus far. I am planning to have a conversation with Plant Delights about the issue at their spring open house May 2nd to see if they can confirm my suspicions. Since they are in this zone, they should be able to help with that.

I do know, too, that their potted up hostas are VERY shallow from Plant Delights. I don't think shallow planting is the right trail on this one, just my 2 cents, for what it's worth...

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 11:55AM
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I got about 4 hosta from Plant Delights this spring, and while they were busting out of their pots and all, they were also healthy.

BKay, here is what those looked like on arrival.
Get Nekkid left, Sunny Side Up right

and Surfer Dude.

Then after repotting, Sunny Side Up going strong...but it was splitting the pot it was in, so was Surfer Dude

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 1:49PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

funn ... the question to ask them.. is what per cent of potted hosta do they lose EVERY winter ... then you might not be so offended by losing one or two ...

you may recall ... and if not, i will repeat it .... after i moved 1650 potted to a new house... i was offered the chance to be the banquet speaker at hosta college ... regarding the project.. and i spent a good amount of time bemoaning the fact that i lost 7.9% of my hosta... right around 100 ....

both van wade.. and bob solberg.. after the speech ... came up and said they would be rich men.. if they ONLY lost 7.9% of their potted stock each winter ...

and if a seller has 100 of them.. and lose 10 or 15... they still have plenty of prime stock to send out.. so you cant think to yourself.. they do it all so perfectly ....

the moral of the story .. is that anyone who claims they never lost a potted hosta after winter.. is most likely living near that river .. denial ... or lying thru their teeth ...

i suppose babs will chime in that she never loses one... but most of us arent wintering things over in z9 CA ... but not many of us would even call her version of dec/jan/feb a winter ...

its the questions you ask.. more than the responses you get.. that get you the real information ...


    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 3:04PM
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funnthsun z7A - Southern VA

That is actually a very good point, Ken. Dually noted.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 6:19PM
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jadie88(7 MD)

When I can't make up my mind if I've potted to high or not, I split the difference and add straight mulch instead of potting mix. But then, I think "more mulch!" Is my response to almost everything. :-/

I like the dose of perspective, Ken.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 7:38PM
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Can always tell if the pot is machine planted or by a human who knows what they are doing; the soil is 1 inch higher than it should be in the machine planted pot.

I like to see my mature hosta roots crawling up from the clump, whether in a pot or in the ground.

Looked at the mature Aphrodite clumps in the big bed this evening - looks like tiny snakes coming out of their crowns, those new roots looking for soil. I will put a small amount of dirt on them and they will be happy - maybe why so many large clumps seem to come out of the ground, as the roots go looking for air and nutrients!

Just thawed my hands from weeding in the 35 degree "heat" and snow flying. Anything to get outside this time of the year.

Bluebells are blooming with the daffodils this year.


    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 9:02PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

I lose some every year. I just lost so many this year. I lost close to 25%. I had about 70 and lost about 18.

To be fair, I can deduct those 18 liners I bought last fall and that will leave me 50 plants. I lost at least 10 that would usually survive/thrive for me. Twenty percent is pretty high without knowing what happened.

I pulled Aphrodite out of the pot and looked at it's roots and they looked fine. However, the crown was rotted. Everything around it was fine.

Very Strange.


    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 9:18PM
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BKay, I have a photo of Captain Kirk which shows what Chris called an "elongated crown" or at least that is how I remember him calling it.

Looks like a bamboo joint high above the potting mix.
I planted it the way it looked on arrival, with the pale section beneath the mix, and the dark green above. Chris saw it, and said it was too high if the crown had that joint up high with roots growing out of it.

The picture was soon after I got it, had potted it up, and so I piled more mix around it to bring it back down. Hoping as I did so it would not rot anything. Wish I could find that first discussion, but so far have not located it on the forum.

Captain Kirk back in 2012

I could not see the base of the petioles in later photos, so I will try to remember to take a new picture of the crown area tomorrow.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 10:23PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

I remember that discussion, Mocc. Not enough detail to find it, though.


    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 11:04PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

I lost a few this year. Mostly I can blame myself, but every once in a while some bite the dust for no good reason. No frost, no freezes, controlled moisture, controlled sunshine. My excuse for this years' losses is that I failed to spray Capt. Jack's Bug Brew often enough to combat an unusually large infestation of spider mites (the bain of dry Summers here in California) last Fall while we were off traipsing around Singapore/Malaysia/Brunei. Stuff more. ;-) I'll come up with a different excuse next year.

Ken, who/what do you blame your losses? Maples?????? ;-)


    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 12:46AM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Here's the link I think u r looking for...also bumped thread for you. :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Elongated crown Captain Kirk

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 1:48AM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Bump to follow original post

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 2:12AM
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