Why Does My Satisfaction Go Limp in the Afternoons?

santamiller(8b TX)May 8, 2014

OK ladies, now that I have your attention. :)

One of my hostas from my Hallson Gardens order which I received a month ago is Satisfaction. It has really done well, already nice sized with surprisingly distinct coloration for such a new plant. It is potted, as are almost all of my hostas and in mostly shade with some very short periods of dappled sunlight. By the afternoon it is pretty limp looking, not at all like it's on the way out or anything nearly that bad, more like a heat factor. We have been in the upper 80s to low 90s for a couple of weeks. By morning it's back to looking perfect again.

None of the rest of my 15 hostas do this and most are under almost identical conditions. My question is if this is normal for Satisfaction and some other hostas, if it is because it is still a young plant, if it is stress from heat and/or what little sun it gets, or maybe something else? One thing it for sure isn't due to is lack of water. I keep a close eye on that. I'm not overly concerned because it looks so perfect for most of the day and is growing like crazy, but as we will be headed for upper 90s before long I need to figure out if it needs to be moved to 100% shade.


This post was edited by santamiller on Thu, May 8, 14 at 8:23

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I think it probably is lack of water. I've seen hostas go limp on a hot, dry afternoon, and then perk up again within an hour of being seriously watered. I'm talking about letting a hose run on them for a while. I can't imagine a pot holding much water.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 8:28AM
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I agree>>in the ground, more water, and more shade.
btw...it did get my attention

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 9:23AM
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Transplant shock. Probably hasn't established enough roots yet. Keep it moist and out of any sunlight.

Next season, it should be much better.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 9:29AM
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Hope you don't mind if a non-lady responds here ;)

I also think it is a lack of water, though maybe not that you aren't giving it enough but maybe it can't take it up. There are a couple reasons why that might happen. First, Hostas take up water mostly from the root tips and more from new roots that have formed this season. Those new roots tend to develop on the crown just above the old roots, so if your hosta is too high up and too much of the crown is showing then new roots can't develop. Can you see any of the roots above the soil? If so, it is way too high up. It wants to form new roots just above that and it won't unless they have soil to work into.

Also, is your pot big enough for the root system? If the root tips are coiled up in the bottom or coiled in on themselves then water still might not be able to get to them. And if there is a large air pocket down under the crown then again it might be drying out too quickly.

Feel free to oversize your pot a little this time of year as a hosta like Satisfaction should fill up the pot pretty quickly through the summer. In your climate you probably don't need to worry about winter freeze/thaw issues as much as we do up here in the North so you can probably oversize a pot a little more than we normally would anyway.

If you have a picture showing the top of the crown on this one I could tell you if it needs to go deeper and if you think the roots are coiled up in the pot then shift it up to a pot so the roots go out more instead of around and under.

If these things don't apply then maybe this hosta simply hasn't had time to form new roots yet. A little extra water still might help but also if you have a shadier spot to put it while it grows new roots it could help to reduce the stress.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 9:30AM
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santamiller(8b TX)

Thanks for all of the great responses. It was planted bare root no more than 30 days ago and I was very careful to go by the directions sent by Hallson as far as depth. Not that I couldn't have messed this one up of course, but there are no roots showing. I do think it's possible that I should have used a larger pot as this thing is growing really fast. It's only in an 10 inch pot. Is it safe to up-pot it now or maybe just get it in total shade and wait until next season to do so? Also can certainly give it extra water. Other than the afternoon limpness it looks amazing, but like I said, we are headed for daily upper 90s to low 100s by the middle of June so the soil will dry much faster. That said, I would hate to shock it with a move this quickly. I don't remember if the roots touched the bottom of the pot when I planted it but they certainly aren't cramped.

This post was edited by santamiller on Thu, May 8, 14 at 10:21

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 10:17AM
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santamiller(8b TX)

This morning

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 10:19AM
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santamiller(8b TX)

This is the 3rd spring I have had my Guacamole in a 10 inch pot and it has done well. I know that could be apples and oranges, not sure as I am still pretty new to hosta keeping, but just an FYI. I am figuring it needs to be up-potted next year.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 10:25AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

why does the media look so dry ???

and why do you keep talking to chris in the 3rd person???? .. ctopher??? ... lol

you need to find a cooler place .. in the heat of the day ... ... until it settles in ...

hosta sweat .. if they give off more water than they can process .. then they droop .. yours is probably not settled in enough .... to be processing the water it needs.. but the cooler nights allow a recovery period...

if its not all perfected before the nights get too hot.. and you start lacking a recovery period.. then problems might really start ....


    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 10:27AM
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Perhaps santamiller doesn't realize that ctopher is Chris from Hallson's?

Another thought.... have you considered putting a mulch or moss on top of the planting medium, so it doesn't dry out as fast?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 10:37AM
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santamiller(8b TX)

I had no clue that this was Chris from Hallson's. Chris was a HUGE help to me before I placed my first online order, answering all of my questions and helping me to make choices on what might do well in my anti-hosta friendly climate. Hello, Chris. :) I'm looking forward to my next order from you.

Melissaâ¦.great idea on the layer of mulch. I should have thought of that before as all of the many beds in my yard are mulched.

Kenâ¦..the surface does look dry but the media below was still damp. The limp look didn't start until a few days ago, even with the same or higher temps, but now has been happening even the day of a good watering. I will move it to an area when it will get total shading. This is the first hosta I have ever had that exhibited this, but lesson learned on that situation.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 11:04AM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

Steve, some of my hosta do that too. The leaves are huge, so they transpire a lot of water. I have a beautiful Paul's Glory that sits very upright in the morning, and is more "relaxed" in the afternoon. I've taken photos of it, it's so distinct. I'll have to look for them, as I haven't sorted all the photos I've taken this year (or last year, for that matter).

One of the other things you might try is one of those "mister" things you put on the end of the hose (like they have on restaurant patios in the summer). It would increase the humidity around the plant until it develops more roots. (That is in addition to what Chris told you.) The one I bought was leaky (too cheap?) or I didn't use it correctly, but you may have better luck.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 11:25AM
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Hostas definitely look perkier in the morning and tend to relax during the day. The hotter and drier, the more they relax. Sometimes they look droopy. The next morning they look great again, ready for another day.

But they can be undrooped fairly quickly with a lot of water. You can almost watch it happen.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 11:42AM
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hosta_freak(z6 NC)

It's the difference between night,and day temps. We have been having temps in the high eighties in the day,and lower 50's at night. My hosta,most of which have been in the ground for years,do this every day. Going down lower in the hot afternoon,and in the morning,up,and perky-looking! It's a fact of life with hostas. They pump up the leaves when the cool evening sets,and begin to droop in the heat of the day. Phil

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 3:42PM
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santamiller(8b TX)

bkâ¦..I would like to see those pictures if you come across them. A couple of others of the 15 or so that I have droop to a very small extent but nothing like this, which is why I was concerned. Today we have been mid 80s and overcast all day and it again looks limpy, so I guess it's not the very occasional periods of sun causing it. Here's a picture of what it looks like when it droops.

Thanks to everyone for all of the great responses.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 4:34PM
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MadPlanter1 zone 5

Hearing all this was a great relief to me, so thanks for posting the question. Yesterday was 98 degrees with a hot howling wind and not a cloud in the sky. It has been a very chilly spring, so the trees are just leafing out. I did water everything in the morning, but came home to limp hostas that looked like carp out of water. They look better today, so glad to hear it's not going to be a big problem. Frosted Jade looks more like Fried Jade.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 5:39PM
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Hmmm, lack of sleep? ; )

Don B.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 6:08PM
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bernd ny zone5

or Niagra

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 6:35PM
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bragu_DSM 5

I have had trouble with it too. IMHO, it is a water hog.

I have it on the east side of my house but it doesn't do well even in the little morning sun (of course last year it was very hot). I will xplant to shadier realms, and expect good results from that.

Mine was a huge plant I got off an estate sale about 4 years ago (I split it with a friend who died last year, so it is kinda special). I expected some first year (AFTER PLANTING) issues, but not to the extent that I am seeing. Nice plant, just wants to go backwards on me.

Water and more shade, I think is the key.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 8:00PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

Santa, I've lost the best photo of a limp Paul's Glory. I found it yesterday and lost it in my sorting. I'll take another one this afternoon if it droops. We had torrential thunderstorms yesterday, so the humidity will be high today. It may not droop. I'll get one and post it for you. (I's also possible that I will find the one I lost.)


    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 11:36AM
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