What do you do with seed pods?

bkay2000(8a TX)July 5, 2013

This seems to be my year for seed pods. Either that, or mine are just now getting mature enough to make seed. I have pods on Gold Standard, Fortunei Aureomarginata, Elegans, OBL, Blue Cadet and Key West. Since I have a small collection, that seems like a lot. Of course, they are all OP.

I don't have a basement or a place indoors to grow them over the winter. I'm also curious. Are they worth messing with? If you planted them outside in a pot, how would you do that?


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I love my hostas, but I hate the re-seeding. I have a thing about killing a perfectly decent plant.

So, I prefer to remove the pods before they pop.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 2:08AM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

I think I want to see what comes up. Maybe I'll make a pot for each type of seed and if they make it, they make it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Someone will always take hosta, even green ones.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 9:52AM
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Sounds like a plan to me, BKay. Worth a try. Let's hope some of your seeds are fragrant mixes.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 11:04AM
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I gave away a lot of seedlings this spring. There were a few gold seedlings in the mix too.

For me, it's more that I don't want to be bothered with the work of digging/killing the seedlings.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 11:52AM
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irawon(5a Ottawa)

Ever since I've been leaving the scapes on my hostas over winter, I've been getting loads of little seedlings in the ground. They seem to do well there even with tree root competition. I can't believe how tough they are. Once they get 4 leaves, I plan on moving them to my many bare spots where I can't dig deep holes because of tree roots. I plan on letting them grow between my other hostas to see what happens. I'll give them away if they get either too numerous or too big.

Good luck, bkay, growing yours in pots.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 1:02PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

That's an idea, Jim. My oak tree has shaded out the grass. I never wanted to spend the money to try to grow hosta in the ground because of the temperatures here. If they sprout, I can plant them under the oak. It's a big area to try to cover with dwarf monkey grass.

Again, nothing ventured, nothing gained.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 1:38PM
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How and when do you get the seeds from the pods?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 11:56PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

Well, they have to ripen on the plant or in sugar water. Someone said 60 days, but I'm not sure. At some point, they are ripe and then they kind of explode, as I understand it. I want to know more than I do now. Last year, I had a couple of pods, but I have many more this year.

As my dear old grandpa used to say, "Some people live and learn, some just live".

I've always wanted to be in the first group, so I'll figure it out.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 12:13AM
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bernd ny zone5

bk, congratulation to the decision to try growing seedlings. I did some more effort by growing seedlings in the basement in 2 trays from November to May and had a lot of fun, what else to do here in the white North over winter. You will get a lot of 'greenies' which I culled. There is a hosta seed growers forum at hostaseedlings.com. Bernd

Here is a link that might be useful: Hosta Seedgrowers Forum

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 7:44AM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

Thanks, Bernd,


    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 8:00AM
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BK, I had not thought about a pot for each kind of seedling. I had a lot of seeds, from my own hosta. I do not know if all seed pods contain fertile seeds or not. My seed starting set up would take up a lot of space, require a lot of effort to keep going. Your idea seems less intense to me. I'll have plenty of new pods this year to try your way. I hope that Royal Standard sets some pods. Or any of the fragrant ones set pods. OP of course.

I was overjoyed the other day to catch a big fat bee pigging out inside Old Faithful's nice white blossoms. It must have been loaded with pollen, because the bee stayed for a full minute, and I got several pictures. Here is one of them.

If that blossom does not set a pod, I'll be most disappointed.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 4:08PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

The problem with setting seed now is the high temperature. Since the fragrants are just putting up scapes, it doesn't seem likely we'll get "fragrant" seeds.

I think Steve told me that hybridizers moved the plants into the air conditioning so that they would set seed.

That's one more thing I don't know enough about.


    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 9:58PM
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BKay, I have made an observation about the fragrant flowered hosta. This is too soon to tell, of course, "scientifically" anyway. But there are a lot of the fragrant family not just scaping, but blooming or already REblooming (Ginsu Knife doing 2 more scapes almost 60 days after the first 2. Doubled Up is going strong, Avocado is almost showing white flowers on 5 nice scapes. I would be able to say the same I'm sure if the Fried Bananas, Fried Green Tomatos, and Guacamole had not croaked on me. BK, it is amazing to see things growing so much each day.....this is my first real "spring of the fragrants" with these wonderful plants.

I got side tracked. Sorry.
But the hosta are smart cookies. If they can start growing earlier in the year here, as opposed to the more northerly regions, then they would be ready a lot earlier to flower and set seed. Benefit being, it will be cooler on this time schedule. I'm not talking crazy, really. I read a couple of books by Michael Pollan, the first being Botany OF Desire.....about plants ways of getting what they desire......(.those little devils!)

And the ones which can adapt to a changing environment will be the survivors. We all on this forum believe that hosta are all basically survivors. So they are going through an ajustment period, to living in the reality of a warmer world. The survivor plants will know early and adapt. Those which cannot make adjustments or move by some sweet method or tricky one, will not make many more generations before they are extinct. I do not think that will happen to hosta.

For one thing, they've already learned to go dormant in the worst heat that taxes them. They can then re-emerge and continue on with the life cycle.....or so I think. I only had one go heat dormant on me last year, none this year. And I had one which did not go dormant all winter, not until June....I thought it was dead, poor thing.....so I got another. By the time it was leafing out, up pops #1 again, and outgrows #2, has blooms before #2, .....and that was my introduction to Stained Glass, always willing to do something outrageous.

BKay, I think the hosta are adapting to a hotter world already. They will be helped along by us gardeners pushing them into the sun more, or into hot shade, higher humidity. They'll adjust, fragrant ones included, to an earlier emergence in a hotter growing zone, and get the life cycle thing out of the way...or else they'll stay fertile during the high temp times. Maybe the plant will seek to replace itself with more heat tolerant offspring, and they'll show up and grow quickly, so the older plant will be waning as the seedlings flourish.

Which is one reason I think it can be interesting to grow the seedlings of my fragrant hosta seedpods. They do not set too many seed....even Old Faithful came from a single fertile seed...these plantaginea play hard to get. But, perhaps there will be more pods with more fertile seeds, if we try to grow what we have. Green or not, the hosta Next Generation is ready to take over. :)

With your seeds that become seedlings, I'd be looking for outright stamina in your climate.Healthy. Looks can be improved later, just keep the stamina in heat and humidity.

EDIT: Gee, I cannot believe that I forgot what I started out to say......

Take em into the air conditioning, eh?
Well, I can just see me and BKay walking past the desk clerk, each with a pot of hosta in our hands...... then coming out again two hours later....hosta all tousled.......????

BKAy is not the only one who doesn't know how to deal with this. hehehehe

This post was edited by moccasinlanding on Mon, Jul 8, 13 at 23:36

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 11:24PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

Mocc, my fragrants are just now blooming. Guacamole is in full bloom and all the other ones are putting up scapes except Fragrant Dream (and of course, the young ones).

Someone (again, I think it was Steve) said that they set seed better at less than 85 degrees. It's in the high 90's here during the day. That was my thinking about them not setting seed well. It's around 80 at night, though. That's when they are most fragrant, so maybe it will happen.

Key West set a pod when I thought it was past the time I would get anymore. So, who knows? Hopefully, you are right.


    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 12:55PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

dont forget the SEED GROWING link on the library home page ..

inside.. outside.. upside down.. he covers it all ...


    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 1:47PM
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I have 2 good ones on the Wheee. I can take them off now and put them in sugar water until ready? I might plant them to see if anything happens.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 6:14PM
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