Wait or Eliminate?

HostamedicMay 6, 2012

I have a handful of hosta that have no vigor over the past few years since planting them. In your opionions, is this an individual plant problem (for example, I had a sum and substance wither away, and this year will try a new sum and substance in its place) or should I just move on to a different variety for the failures?

I water plenty, and am mindful of planting depth. Other types of hostas in the area of the said failures are doing well.

A few of the ones I am thinking of banning from the list this year are: Spilt Milk, Great Expectations, Remember Me, Sharmon, and Warwick Comet.

Thanks for the opinions.


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Spilt Milk has to have work done on it as needed until there is no milk left. Great Expectations is one that has to sit for a decade to increase very very slowly. S&S usually isn't too bad for anyone. I think that last years extreme high temps for such a long time was hard on quite a few hosta even with constant watering. Some things just came back smaller while others were just fine.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 9:04PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Sometimes there are just "duds". The TC process produces mostly good ones, but when you consider that it also produces some sports, it probably produces some duds. One more reason to purchase from someplace that grows them for more than a year after they get those tiny plugs. Or you can just get more plugs and decide for yourself.

Sometimes it is just the amount of light that makes a difference.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 9:08PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

if SS withered away.. its you or your trees.. not the plant ...

what trees are you gardening under???

as to the rest of your list..

sharmon is a driveway hosta.. see above re you or trees ...

as to the others. ... complete pieces of carp .. and NOT you or the trees ... and not really worth the expense nor effort to try again .. be glad you simplified your hosta life ...

WAG?? ... lack of deep watering ALL season long.. either due to or complicated by maples ... or willow .. or .. well the list goes on ...


    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 7:56AM
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bernd ny zone5

I have no problems with Spilt Milk and Great Expectations, though one of the GEs is behaving strangely. My S&Ss are doing fine, though initially one location seemed to have a problem.

It might be a fungus in the soil which is some hostas doing in, or voles, or tree roots. I just removed an Amazing Grace which had only a small crown and a few roots left and potted it. There was no vole hole in sight, so who knows.
Good luck! Bernd

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 10:23AM
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All of my S&S (I have 15) do really well. I have 3 GE, 2 are small and one was purchased big. So far so good but yes, it will be awhile to have a mature one. My understanding is GE is picky about where you plant it. I just bought 2 Spilt Milk this year. I know it can have reverting issues but I want to try. They are cute little plants right now and some have luck with it so I'm crossing my fingers.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 10:57AM
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ConnieMay(6a - Canada)

Hi Ryan,

With respect to GE - have you read the following thread? I found it inspiring & enabling (purchased a second larger GE last fall). I found Dhaven's comments particularly helpful.


    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 12:42PM
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Do you mind me asking why you have 15 copies of Sum and Substance in your garden?

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 3:08PM
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Hostasrgreat, it's kinda funny. We have almost a 1 acre yard, 85% of which is shade. We had a landscaper come in for part of it and he put in 6 S&S, among other things. I really liked the big statement they made, they grew well, even when I moved 1 three times in the hottest summer we've had. They stay a lime green, are tall and are great for the back of a foundation planting. I put 6 more in a big cut out corner and dotted a couple of Blue Angel in with it. Most are from 3 years ago when I really started to get into hosta. I seriously think S&S made a such a positive impression on hostas in general that I started branching out into everything from Cherish to Empress Wu. But yes, I MAY have a couple too many of S&S. I now know there are other big hostas!! :)

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 6:57PM
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