Forcing out of dormancy

josephines123 z5 ON CanadaApril 7, 2014

On March 12th Devon (Smithstudios) posted a thread "bringing spring in....." where I got very motivated to do the same. It has been fun to watch dormant buds awaken from their winter slumber. They are growing on the windowsill of the living room window where they receive afternoon sunshine for several hours. In the evenings they go to sleep when I do.

They have received nothing yet in terms of liquid fertilizer....whether it is wise or not, I won't feed them until they are planted outdoors and feeding will be done at the same time for all hosta. I am purposely withholding because I don't want a faster rate of growth right now. I could put them back in the garage for the interim where they would grow even slower where it's cooler, now that WOULD be wise, wouldn't it? but I'm really enjoying watching them grow indoors.

So far so good. Since last Thursday (I was away) Raspberry Sundae has unfurled her leaves and the centre is getting lighter. She has beautiful raspberry coloured petioles and the colour creeps right up and into the base of the leaves (1/2" - measured today).

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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

This is Baby Bunting. I babied this mini treasure from one single root...a string really, the poor little thing that most people I imagine would have tossed. But I'm a sucker for the underdog every time...so....I decided to encourage it to grow and grow it did! The first pic is from last year...it probably would have grown a tad more if I had fertilized it, but I have not fed my hosta in all the years I've grown them. But....this year they are all going to be rewarded for making me so happy!!!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 12:03AM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Here it is today...1/4" taller than on Thursday (the tallest pip). I can't wait to see its progress this year.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 12:06AM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Then there is Tiny Tears...new last year and the plant didn't look very good when I got it...it was sun-bleached and kind of sad looking but it had loads of leaves which means lots of eyes!. ...plus, I saw its momma and that was the deciding factor! Progress since Thursday: 24 pips and counting, some leaves unfurled, 1/4-1/2" taller. Adorable!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 12:18AM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

The last one I'm showcasing (there is a couple more, but I'm tired from all this adrenalin hosta rush, lol) is Holy Mouse Ears. The largest "ear" is very defined with its creamy white centre and it is barely 1/4" above the soil! It has three more pips so far...I uncovered a new one then quickly covered it back up..I will let it present itself when it's good and ready.

This has been a joyful experiment for me....one I will definitely repeat next winter....who knows, I may even get some grow lights and really do it up right! Seeing Devon's and Bernd's obvious success is truly an inspiration for anyone. Thanks, fellas! :-)

Jo

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 12:30AM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

You know, I just re-read my first intro into this thread...instead of editing I thought I'd just blunder through and say what occurred to me... that I SHOULD be introducing a weak fertilizer solution before they are ready for the outdoors. I have to recap Devon's thread....jump in with your first thoughts, folks...you know how much I appreciate good advice.

Anyway, I just got such a kick out of this that I just HAD to share with y'all.

Jo

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 12:45AM
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Babka NorCal 9b

They are living on last year's stored energy. Once that first flush of leaves is up, they will begin to grow new roots. Then weak fert after the leaves open should do the trick. Anything too strong when confined in a pot could burn the edges.

-Babka

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 2:42AM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

They are no longer dormant, but growing. In order to thrive they need light, water and nutrients. Provide it. Do not put them back in the garage.

Steve

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 8:15AM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Babka and Steve, thank you for your advice! :-). I will start feeding them then as you recommend....and continue enjoying them indoors in the interim.

Much obliged,
Jo

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 9:51AM
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newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada

Thanks for sharing your photos with us. I am thrilled that your hostas are doing so well. It's been a long winter! I agree that it is exciting to see them come alive.

Last season my husband built a mini greenhouse for me (from two of our old windows). So just yesterday I pulled out some pots that had been buried in the soil for overwintering and placed them in this greenhouse. I think that they will soon be awakening. I hesitate to put my "best" hostas there because that is the location where two of my hostas were stolen. But guess what I asked for as my birthday present this March? Move our backyard gate's location so that this greenhouse is behind locked doors!

Sounds like you got some good advice from Babka and Steve.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 11:08AM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Hi, NHL! Thanks for the enthusiasm and popping in here! Wow, handsome mini greenhouse! It looks like those glass panels pop out conveniently when you don't need them.? I'm reminded of my front door insofar as heat retention is concerned. The heat gets trapped in the six inches between glass storm door and steel interior door...you could fry up an omelette in there! It's a screen door where the screen disappears in closed position. I often forget to keep it lowered a fraction for air circulation! Ouch..the entry latch sure gets hot...

Anyway, very nice greenhouse and am happy for you that gate is going to be moved! :-) so you can rest easy and not have to worry about " light fingers".

BELATED HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! March 18th it was...I had plans to celebrate on here and...missed the boat! Sheepish...slinking away now :-(

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 1:10PM
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don_in_colorado

Really COOL greenhouse, NHL. Hope you can prevent the dirty thieves from taking more of your property.

Don B.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 6:17PM
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newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada

You're right about the panels being removable Jo. Also the front wooden frame will come off too. At present we leave the windows partially open to help with heat buildup. But as it is a warmer environment, I think the hostas located there will be waking up shortly. And only my least favorite hosta (what am I saying---I love all my hosta! LOL) will be put there until the gate is moved! If someone wants to get into the backyard, there will always be a way. I just don't want to make it easy for them. Right Don?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 7:48PM
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don_in_colorado

Right, NHL. : )

Don B.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 7:56PM
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hostasmith(5)

These are the ones I now have growing in the 'garden tub'. There are two not in the shot because they were getting too tall and growing up against the light and getting burnt, H. 'Stephen King' and H. 'Frozen Margarita'. I put them out in my mini greenhouse that I built a couple of weeks ago with the other 100 plus newly repotted hostas. I will get a pic tomorrow of the others.

I do agree you need to feed them and get some extra light. You can go to Wally World and pick up some socket adapters and short extension cords and use cfl bulbs and milk jugs to make grow lights fairly cheap.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 10:02PM
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hostasmith(5)

H. 'Stephen King' and behind it is H. 'Frozen Margarita'

and the others that have been repotted in the last week

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 2:51PM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Wow, Devon! Look how they've grown! They are beautiful.

It's great to see your finished project - that's a terrific cold frame/ shelter/ greenhouse.... are all those pots strictly hosta?

Thank you for your comments - I'm paying attention! :-)

Jo

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 9:07PM
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hostasmith(5)

They are not all hostas. There are 2 pots of canna, 6 small pots of ferns, 1 pot of coral bells and 2 pots with lilac cuttings. The ones on the right are going to go to some farmers markets this summer so that I can add others to the collection. I ended up having over a dozen pots of Lancifolia and 8 pots of Hyacinthina because they both grow like a weed. So far I have only lost 3 for sure and another 4 that are on the edge. So I would say my success rate is about 95% for the winter, which is rather surprising being that I didn't really know what I was doing last fall. I have learned a lot this winter and I am excited to see what I can accomplish this season.

As far as feeding them, I have been using 1/2 cup of Bio-Tone, 1 cup of Greensand and 1-1/2 cup of Alfalfa Meal per cubic foot of mix I am making. So far I am experiencing great success with the potted hostas and my seedlings using this mix. I can see the roots against the sides of the cups of the larger seedlings and they are getting full.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 10:44PM
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