I'm a newbie

sherrygirl zone5July 18, 2014

I everyone! Ive been checking out pictures and such and finally decided to join Garden Web. I have been gardening in my yard for over 20 years, learning through trial and error. My favorites are hostas, of course , and daylilies. Thought i would ask a question about something i have never tried. I am about 50 miles west of chicago, zone 5, and have seen posts about growing hostas in pots. Havent tried that and dont know anyone that has. Whats the skinny on that? What do you do with them in the winter?

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bkay2000(8a TX)

Welcome, Sherry.

Let the colder zone folks speak to your hosta in pots question. My hosta in pots are a totally different animal that yours will be.

bk

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 5:49PM
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hostatakeover swMO(6a)

Welcome, Sherry.

I can't help on this one but I'm waiting to hear some of the answers, especially what is done with them in the winter. Never had much luck overwintering Hostas in pots.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 5:53PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

welcome...

in witner in snow load places.. you tiip them on their sides... to avoid water accumulations...

if you freeze a hosta into an ice cube.. it will die ... roots need air.. as much as moisture ...

the danger period is near thaw in late winter.. when temps fluctuate between warm and cold ..

beyond that.. it wouldnt hurt to have a black pot.. not laying in sunshine.. even in winter ... as in warm spells.. the roots might come out of dormancy.. while the part above is dormant ...

i like to say.. about plants in general ... going in and out of dormancy is a problem ... get them dormant.. and keep them dormant.. as long as you can ...

if you saw all the posts.. then you know where to find more in depth info.. try the GW search.. of google.. they will pop up.. and there is nothing specific to hosta in pots.. so any info.. on any plant.. left outside in winter.. should all be along the same lines ....

and the single most important thing in the pot is not the hosta.. its the media ... its not dirt.. and you can do a lot better than bigboxstore name brand stuff ...

the same theories go for warmer zones.. your pots just dont freeze solid ...

ken

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 6:25PM
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sherrygirl zone5

Thanks Ken, for the help. Seems to me like in the ground is the way to go. The only things I have in pots that survive the winter are small sedums. I have corydalis(spelling). That comes back but I think that is from seed from previous season. Sounded like a good idea but just didnt understand how that would work, warmer climates?

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 10:06PM
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coll_123(5)

I am in your zone and would agree with ken that the key is to keep them from freeezing and thawing, freezing and thawing. I have several hostas that are planted in pots- in well draining media- and then those pots are buried in the ground, I do this because of vole issues, as well as space issues- I'm not exactly sure where the permanent homes will be so keeping them in pots lets me move them around easily.

But anything left above ground- tipped on its side or not- is a crapshoot in our zone. I lost quite a few this past year because I was lazy and didn't bury the pots. Not a good winter, as I think most of us remember. Everything in a pot, buried in the ground up to the level of soil in the pot, came through just fine,

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 10:20PM
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Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)

Hi Sherry. I am a potted hosta fan, but wrong zone to give you advice. I'm zone 9a, where the problem is getting them cold and keeping them dormant for 40 days below 40 degrees.

Here is what part of my hosta garden looked like December 2013. Most all the hosta had gone dormant, but not the birdnest fern and such as that. It looked like a fairgrounds after the party was over! I think I took this the day I moved everything to a cooler spot. Now I have 500 pots (a little more than that) and must protect them from too much sun and heat best way I can.


Here is a picture taken of the same area recently. Morning light.

I don't find many pictures of gardens when the pots are dormant. That is the most crucial factor in keeping potted hosta. Dormancy and moisture/drainage control.

July 12 2014

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 2:38AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

a lot of pot peeps.. have to do it.. because they are trying to grow hosta under trees that kill hosta.. like maple ...

what your trees are ... depends on whether you want to mess with pots ...

ken

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 8:51AM
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oldfixer

Hmmm, neighbor has a good hosta crop at the base of his maple tree.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 8:56AM
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unbiddenn

I am north of Green Bay on the Door peninsula. I have one hosta in a pot, for mabye 5 years now. In late fall, when its leaves have died I water it for the last time and move it into the garage (not heated) where it sits undisturbed until, well, i start to see life in the garden.
I have killed several hosta in pots by leaving them outside, untipped, tipped, on a covered porch and under a picnic table. This year I bought four inexpensive hosta for porch pots and replanted them into larger black pots, then planted them into the display. In fall I will lift the hosta from the display and put them into the ground, pot and all. Hopefully i will be able to put them back into the large porch pot in spring. Its an overwintering technique i havnt tried.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 10:13AM
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sherrygirl zone5

Thanks for all of the new input! Love your garden moccasin! Its looking like my only option is What Unbidden tried. I have a shed but not enough room to bury pots in my yard. Have to give this some more thought, i hate to make a hosta sacrifice if you know what i mean.

Sherry

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 9:05PM
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