Empress Wu in comparison

franknjimMay 3, 2012

Are we ever going to have normal weather again?

My Empress Wu is sending up scapes six weeks earlier than it did last year.(one reason to take many many photos all through the years and have them named and dated, hint hint for the newbies) After having that stretch of warm weather then a week of frosty nights and cold days it has the hosta out of whack. The EW leaves that were emerging when it got cold are not as nice as the ones that emerged before then. I am half tempted to cut off the scapes to keep the leaves growing but I want to collect the pollen and also do some hand pollination with I don't know what yet.

The Wu is quickly catching up to my giant Samual Blue. Even the leaves are the same size (14" x 17") starting on the Wu's third full year here. The Sam has been there for 11 years to get 7 foot wide and 3 feet tall. I have a bunch of hosta in pots sitting around out there between things. It normally isn't that crowded. That is a Paradigm planted between Sam and Wu. The dead looking tree thingy is a perch for my Macaw that likes being out there.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
thisismelissa(z4a-S Twin Cities MN)

We had some warmer weather again in the last few days, plus lots of rain.
My Wu has taken a huge jump this year too. I don't know to what degree, as she's only just starting to unfurl some HUGE leaves. But I do think her neighbors are going to have to be moved this year.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 10:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jan_on zone 5b

Hey Frank -- great looking garden. Glad your Macaw enjoys hostas too. Does he know their names?
Jan

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 11:23AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
franknjim

I didn't teach her all of the names but I did show her how to pull weeds.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 11:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jon

I have a 7 foot by 7 foot mound prepared as a "Throne" for my, on order, Empress Wu. Do you think it will be big enough?

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 11:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
franknjim

Seven feet is what I had planned for mine with moving the five closest hosta when the time came. The time is coming sooner than later and I now don't think that the 7 feet will be enough down the road at the rate it is growing. It took a decade for my Samual Blue to get 7 feet wide. I think Wu will hit that within the first 5 years. It was 4' wide last year and is already 4" past that now.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 11:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jon

Wow, I thought 7 feet would more than enough. I can expand the area, though. The only limitation is the 3 small Emerald Gaiety arbs that I have planted to grow with the EW as a frame fit for an empress. It may even look nice if the her highness grew aroung the arbs (???)

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 12:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
franknjim

I am not the one to ask about leaving in non-hosta plants. I remove trees, shrubs, perennials, concrete and everything else if it gives me more room to grow hosta.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 12:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Babka NorCal 9b

Frank- If Wu keeps growing that fast it will be the only one there..... If we don't hear from you we'll know to find your remains under some very large leaves... but you will be smiling!

-Babka

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 1:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

Frank,

I'm curious if you cut off the scapes what will happen. Will it grow more scapes to try to reproduce or will it switch to a vegetative growth state? Let us know what happens.

Steve

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 6:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
franknjim

In the past when a hosta has sent up a scape before producing any leaves I have cut it off which forced it to produce leaves. I have done this with Thunderbolt and Wolverine. It doesn't take long before leaves start coming up. A plant won't send up a replacement scape from the same eye.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 6:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
paul_in_mn(4b)

Frank are you saying the king(SB) is dead, long live the queen(EW).

Paul

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 9:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chris-e(7 MD)

Frank,
I think we have to give you the prize as the most addicted
hosta grower on the forum!

Please tell us how many hosta you have and how many different ones you have.

chris

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 12:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
franknjim

I only have 260 varieties and 8 more on the way. I couldn't count the number of plants. I try not to propagate them anymore since I need the room for new ones. I end up potting up the smallest scraps of a hosta and end up with too many pots full that sit around for years until I give them away.

I have a small fraction of hosta compared to many people on here. Pam(Woodthrush) has over 1,300 varieties.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 12:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)

Frank, I think you should teach your macaw to answer when someone says, "What is that huge hosta over there?"

She should say, "WU WU"......Great bird. I'm a parrot lover.

I was thinking that I should have removed the scape from my NOID #1 produced so early in the season, except I wanted to see the color to ID if possible. Won't your WU make another scape when other plants have scapes up? So, .....

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 12:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
franknjim

My Wu is sending up three scapes now. Once those are done, that's all she wrote until next year. One and done. I have plenty of other things that are starting to bloom so something will line up. More important to me is when Ice Age Trail, Savannah Supreme and Hyuga Urajiro bloom since they are the streakers I have at the moment.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 10:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jan_on zone 5b

Good girl Misha. Can you say "Sam"? Misha want a weed? Can you say "Wu"? Perhaps a garden tour guide in the making.
Jan

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 11:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bkay2000(8a TX)

I still love the look of Samual Blue best. It's beautiful.

bkay

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 12:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)

Hmmm, do they ever use gibberellic acid to force hosta blooms?
They used to do that on camellias, if I recall. If you find a suitable donor for the Wu dynasty, ......just thinking....unless you can save Wu's pollen, or can she be a pod parent?

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 11:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
franknjim

I picked up a few hundred empty gelatin capsules and a divided storage box for storing hosta pollen in the freezer. I have a lot of other hosta that have scapes up now or are starting to send them up. I will be using Wu as both a pollen donor and a pod parent.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 11:21PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
DUD hosta of 2014
Following the 2014 Top Gun thread, I thought I'd post...
josephines123 z5 ON Canada
Pips in Sweden
I think the USA got our winter by mistake this year...
stoc zone 6 sweden
Seedling pics?
Decided to grow some seedlings this winter. Have to...
BungalowMonkeys
When To Re-pot?
When is the correct time to up-pot a hosta? Is it when...
santamiller
New pictures
For anyone interested in going over to Hallsons gardens...
almosthooked
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™