Potting up a leafed out hosta?

Rock_n_Ruf(5)April 8, 2014

Hello everyone!
I brought in some of my potted hostas to get a little head start on spring, but I think my "Choo Choo Train" might have outgrown it's current home...
All of the leaves just look stressed.
Looking at these pictures, and how far along it is, would any of you replant this in a bigger container?

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Please ignore Rock's nose....

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 10:23PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Slide it out and see if the roots are really crowded. Sometimes you cannot tell when they are leafed out, and Rock has a really big nose or this is a hosta with small leaves, or he is much closer to the camera. Hostas like to be tight in their pots, but you don't want it to be rootbound either.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 10:39PM
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Pieter zone 7/8 B.C.

It's hard to say what might have lead to the plant looking stressed, but, I'd look at how wet the potting mix is and how much light it is getting before I'd even think about a re-pot. With the plant being this far leafed-out it may well struggle when you finally decide to take it outdoors.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 10:40PM
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Did you just put this plant in a pot? Or does its petioles flop like that normally?

What Ken reecommends, and I havce discovered that, once again, he is RIGHT, is to take some low tack masking tape and holding the plant bottoms up so the leaves are hanging down straight, is to gently wrap the plant with some of the tape (my tape is blue). Do it tight enough that it will hold the pets erect when the plant is put in the ground or in some potting mix. With some of my plants, I also put a pole, or maybe an old curtain rod section, as a steadying object. It can be removed later.

After a week or more the tape sometimes loses its sticky, and if it is worn out you might chance removing it. But don't be in too big a rush, if the plant still cannot hold up its leaves you want to help it along.

Here is one of my recent arrivals which needed some assistance, which I provided with a stake and then the blue tape. I put this on a few days ago, and I noticed today that the plant is improving but not ready to hold up its own leaves yet.

The latest picture of my most recent arrivals. Tape and all.:

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 11:34PM
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He is attached to my side, so he was pretty close to the camera...
This hosta is three years old and I've had it in that planter since day one.
The mix feels fine and it gets plenty of artificial light along with a little bit of sunlight through the day.
This is the first year it has looked like this and with as big as it is supposed to get (72"W x 24"T), I'm thinking it has to go into a bigger planter pretty soon!
I will try the tape method when I get home and give it some time with that to see how it preogresses throughout the next couple weeks.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 7:04AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

lack of light intensity ...

and i wonder about lack of spring time levels of humidity in the house ... especially if you have a forced air furnace in z5 ...

it will have to be hardened off to outside.. both to temps and light ...

in my house.. i cant hear/read this enough: he is RIGHT ... lol ...

i tried this house thing.. in the way back machine ... for all the immediate thrill ... it didnt end well .. as piet notes... it probably wont look good the rest of the year .. but it wont die.. for this anyway ...

or.. you will figure out how to do it better than i did ... i was pre WWW .. so i was winging it ...

actaully.. now that i think of it.. i would buy forced hosta at hosta college ... in march.. they couldnt go outside til near june.. and seemed to go to sleep early in fall ... i dont know if i was a novice.. the furnace.. the forcing.. i dont know.. but i just quit buying forced hosta early ... or in the alternative.. lowered my expectations .. of what it would do the rest of the year ...


    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 8:38AM
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The four I brought in were Blueberry Muffin (gone with bacterial rot), Fire Island, June and Choo Choo Train.
Here is a quick picture I snapped of the three before I left... Choo Choo Train is definitely lacking in appearance!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 8:43AM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

You asked for an opinion. My opinion is that they don't have enough light. That is based on my growing houseplants years ago. That's what the problem would be if it were an indoor plant. Given it's a hosta, I'm not absolutley sure.

June is usually a compact plant, yet she sprawls in your photo. (the petioles are particularly long.) If the one in front is Choo Choo Train, it has the same problem.

I've attached a photo of my neighbor's Night before Christmas. She had it on her back porch, where it got little light. (Normal, covered porch on the south side of the house with no trees blocking the sun.) Notice how elongated the leaves are. It was also planted too deep, as she added soil to the top of the pot when there was space. I raised it in the pot and we put it out under a tree. It was back to normal the next year, but she hasn't put it back on the porch, either.


    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 10:01AM
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Indeed, there are some hosta which do not like pots. I learned that when I potted some of my DH's ancient undulata albomarginata to move south with us. In short order, all the white marginata disappeared.

When I created my in-ground bed, his hosta was the first selected for planting along the front driveway. It is now leafing out and some white margins are on the leaves. It is doing fine in this bed, which is raised and interplanted with palms and ligustrum and bamboo for shade.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 11:41AM
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Yep! I was definitely looking for opinions!
After all of this, I will not be trying this method again...
I am a huge lurker on this website and I really do appreciate everything I read and every picture I see...
moc, bkay, ken - I do tend to take your opinions a little more serious than others...
Ken - your sarcasm and your "....'s" are great!
The garden bed these are going in will be worked on this summer to be ready for next spring, so they all only have (1) more summer to be in the pots - that is as long as everything goes right... i have a truck now, so that helps getting rid of the pesky rocks that i have to deal with...

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 12:29PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

lights should be no more than 2 inches from the plant ... and 4 bulbs would be better than two ... plain florescent ... and that is the indoor equivalent of shade ...

its already stressed.. i would not re-pot it ... that is not the issue.. nor the solution ...


    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 12:39PM
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"Pesky rocks" is so funny.
In our property, there is not so much as a pea gravel natural or native to the site. We have instead roots roots roots.

When we moved from Massachusetts, I loaded as many big ROCKS....which DH called "glacial junk" ... into the PODS as I could lift. I have rock envy where you have too many rocks to deal with. I bet if you packed up some big rocks and drove south for a vacation, you could sell those rocks and make enough to pay for your trip.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 12:51PM
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I was going to post this in the other topic about forcing plants. Here is my solution to a cheap spot light that has been working for me.

I turn this

into this

using CFLs you get 59.5 lumens per watt and 4' fluorescents you get 54.5 lumens per watt. This is very cheap, water jug is free, extension cord $1.37, 3 pack of 75W equivalent are $8.00 and socket adapter is $0.97. So for roughly $5.00 you can make a spot light.

If you want to get fancier you can buy a sheet of 1/2" foil faced insulation and cut it down to make 5 hoods and put as many lights in it as you want. The only down side is the heat that is produced out of the glass of the bulb, being that the ballast is attached to the end of the glass. Also, I found that the hostas started doing better when I matched the timing of the lights to what the sun is actually doing this time of year.

that's my 2 cents, plus a little more

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 1:38PM
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Trust me! The rocks I'm dealing with are NOT the rocks you want in your garden...
They have been there forever and have mixed into several inches of the dirt below it and now it is like a cement patio...
I am a little OCD and can not allow myself to go over all of that nastyness. It must be fresh!
This will be the third plot of area that i'm re-doing...
Constant raking with a steel rake then shovel it up - rake - shovel - rake - shovel...
I just typed myself into laziness writing about it!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 2:52PM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

I see what you referred to in my thread, Devon. That's a great DIY grow light and I thank you for the suggestion! :-)

Rock - your thread interested me as I have forced some minis out of dormancy. They are doing well so far...but my bagged hosta I started indoors are not as "turgid" as they would be under normal conditions. after reading the comments above I am prepared not to expect these to look their best this year and I've learned that Lighting is key.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 10:01PM
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