How many eyes would you expect to get if you bought a CLUMP?

Ella_2012May 16, 2012

Hello all!

I am new to a wonderful world of Hosta, and probably my question is silly...

What is a giant hosta clump to you? What is the definition of the size/number of eyes?

I am asking because I bought two Sagae (and few others) that were listed as 'clumps'.

I received them in a mail today. To be honest, I am disappointed but may be I am wrong and it suppose to be that way.

One Sagae has three eyes, and another one has four. Roots are very good as far as I understand, 'bushy' and long. Plants were about 22" tall before shipment...a little shorter now, some leave were broken off during their trip. Plants were not cheap at all...I should mention that two other clumps of Guacamole and Fried Green Tomatoes are HUGE (I did not even expect to see them that large!) and I that confuses me even more...why the are so different in size?

So, what do you all think? Am I upset over nothing? And clumps of a giants are really 3-4 eyes?

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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

I think it depends on the size of the eyes. If you got four eyes that were each thicker than your thumb with a few vestigal shoot that will develop into eyes next year, then I would be satisfied.

In any case wasn't there a description of what you were getting for your $$?


    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 9:50PM
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Thank you for your answer, Steve!
I feel better now. Yes, eyes are about as thick as my thumb.
I placed an order over the phone and I asked about the size of clumps, and was told - ''multiple eyes''. That is so true for Guacamole and Fried GT! They hardly fit in a medium size buckets! :))

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 11:22PM
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Ella-I don't have this years photos yet because of a health issue. This is my Sagae from last year, with only 2 thumb size eyes and two teeny ones, like Steve explained. This spring it has 5 thumbies.

My photo doesn't show size well, but the hosta dwarfs a fully mature Golden Tiara, and is about half the size of my mature Paul's Glory and Old Glory. It is very impressive. This year it will be almost the size of my mature Guacamole with 18 eyes or more.

Hmmm! What looks like a hosta seedling at 1:30 in the picture is an emerging leaf from a canna that will grow to over 4 feet tall. The leaves that look like daylily are declining leaves from Surprise Lily (Naked Ladies). That gives you a bit of an idea of size.


    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 1:07AM
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This show part of one of my daughters gardens with a Sagae one season newer than mine, but with 4 thumb-sized eyes. Behind and to the left is a fully mature Wide Brim, to the rear-right a mature Sum & Substance, and immediately to the right a Loyalist. That gives you a good example of Sagae size comparison of a youthful clump. My daughter and I had a discussion about spacing, and Sagae and Loyalist have been moved this spring.


    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 1:23AM
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Les, I hope you will get well very soon!
Thank you very much for pics of gorgeous hostas! I am reading this forum for a while now, and I have noticed how friendly, knowledgeable, and ready to help people here are! I am so grateful, I picked tons of useful info here, and photos help a lot to visualize size/shape/color a newbie like me:))
Now I know exactly what to expect with my new arrivals, I better give them a decent space to spread:))

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 1:59AM
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You bet!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 2:03AM
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It must be late at night, so I need to go to bed. In my picture of my Sagae,did you see the 6 inch ruler at the foot of the plant? I didn't-I missed it.LAMS (I haven't used that acronym before -laughing at myself!)

Welcome to Hosta Forum. Don't be bashful about posting. We would enjoy seeing pictures of your Guacamole and Fried Green Tomatoes. Remember that they are both fragrant progeny of plantaginea, but you have to sniff in the darkness. Beautiful large near white flowers.


    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 2:14AM
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Thank you, Les!
I will charge my camera and post pictures.
They all will be sitting in the buckets for some time....I have not prepared their bed just yet, spring is a very busy time for a student, my last final is today...

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 5:58AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

no matter what they call it.. nor what you get.. they are selling POTENTIAL ...

if you buy a giant hosta as a small TC plant ... and it is 4 inches big.. with three 4 inch roots ... you will wait 5 to 7 to 10 years.. for your potential to develop ...

if you buy the same plant ... with multiple eyes.. but more importantly ... a Medusa tangle of roots twice as big as the plant.. you will cut your wait.. from 10 years.. to 3 to 5 ...

w/o pix.. its hard to tell you what you got.. but is SOUNDS ... like you cut quite a number of years off your potential wait .. and in my world.. it was worth the additional cost ...

make any sense???


    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 7:45AM
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The total number of eyes doesn't really mean all that much. Sometimes a plant that is growing poorly or stressed out will produce a ton of small eyes but won't really be getting any more "mature". The really large hostas produce smaller numbers of eyes but the eyes get bigger and bigger with age, and that's what it sounds like with your new arrivals.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 8:04AM
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Ella, when ken and Ctopher speak it pays to listen. The more you follow this forum the more you will realize the wisdom of this piece of advice. You will frequently see ken "defer to chris", which is ctopher. ken's posts are badly fragmented to the point of being quite confusing at times, but his content isn't. LOL, which is said SHOUTING (SOL?)!


    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 8:32AM
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Les, I do not miss any piece of info - whatever this forum does not know about hosta, there is no need to know :LOL! I absorb like a sponge!
I am not very responsive now, because I have a final in 4 hours, but I will be back. I will charge my camera tonight and will try to post photos tomorrow(never used Photobucket before, though). But I really, really appreciate all the advices!
Hosta clump quality to me was the number of eyes - and not much else....I am so glad I posted a question - there is always more to learn!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 8:25PM
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ken, yes, the idea was to get larger hostas sooner, than with starters or 2-3 years old ones...The future hosta bed is an empty space now, and I thought it will be nice to have some larger plants almost right away, and if I need to add one, or two, or three, I can afford to buy smaller plants, but hosta bed will look pretty decent...
I also bought 15 ferns from Hallson and 3 Blue Mammoth divisions from Venero, they are on their way...
I bought 50 lbs of Vermicompost (spl?) to mix with the soil in hosta holes only (and handful of bone meal for each hole), and the topsoil that is currently there will be mixed with 10" of compost. And I will remove as much subsoil as I can for total of about 16" bed depth...I cannot build lasagna, the area where I plan to plant hosta is right by the chain link fence, that I share with my neighbors, so I can't go up too much, besides there is my own sidewalk and a shrub, that I do not want to remove or replant (it has attitude and grows very slowly). So, I decided to go with sort of double dig method and removing subsoil...
I also bought 20 Kg of Coconut coir to hold lacking moister and to fluff the soil, and if I get lucky I plan to get 1 or 2 contractor bags of alfalfa pellets to mix with soil.
Someone also told me to bury one or two large fish heads 7"-10" below the roots for better growth, but person grows roses, will it work for hosta, too?

So, how does it sound? Am I all set, or I need to buy something else?

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 9:46PM
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Wow-zah.....I want to see you blasting off after the finals! It should be a whirling dervish....Ahhh, for the days when I had such energy.

Ella, it is so good to have you join the forum. If I had known about hosta when I was a lot younger, as you apparently are, it would have been a wild and crazy ride. No other plant has fascinated me as hosta--and you seem to have your ticket ready to ride too. It will be a lovely trip.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 10:32PM
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Me too moccasin. Ella-I saw my precious gardens today and it hurt. I can barely see my Pineapple Upsidedown Cake for a massive weed growing next to it, for example. After finals would you have time to come help me while my surgically repair Quadracep Tendon heals, and help me pull weeds?

Actually, I was pleased to see that all of my charges are back from last year and have pretty well survived the two freezes that hit after they had unfurled.

Got to go - I have a picture of my Sagae shown above for you to see when I get in downloaded to my computer and Photobucket.


    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 10:54PM
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Hey Ella;here it is one year after the my first picture above. It includes a self portrait the "Dark Raider" and a couple of maple seeds Frank sent me from Peoria.

I hope yours do well. They should in the bed you are planning to prepare.


    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 11:14PM
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''Ella, it is so good to have you join the forum.''
Mocassinlanding, thank you for your warm welcome!
To be honest I almost accidentally found GardenWeb, I was looking for shade tolerant plants... and when I saw photos of hostas here it knocked my socks off! I knew...yes, there is hosta, I have few of them myself, I am grateful they grow well and look neat, but all these beautiful creatures??? I had no idea, shame on me. And of course I have to have as many as I can accommodate, and to afford to take good care of!
I passed exam with the flying colors, I am in excellent mood, and I will start tomorrow.:))

"...After finals would you have time to come help me while my surgically repair Quadracep Tendon heals, and help me pull weeds?"
Les, finals are officially over as of today (what a happy day!), sure I would love to help! How long is the drive? I am in Baltimore, MD suburbs. But I have to warn you: good comes in a package with better... I am bringing my two boys, my older one, coonhound, has an excellent manners, but he is famous for his snoring, and my younger miniature poodles' middle name is "here it goes your furniture''!
Thank you for posting the photo of Dark Raider :lol, I have much better idea of what to expect in the nearest future. What a beauty!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 11:52PM
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