Some will cringe

JonAugust 10, 2014

I was in Lowe's the other day and saw some Sagae and Earth Angels for sale. I thought what the heck, I'll get a couple of Sagae. When I took them to the register they rang up at $1.99 @. I left them there and went back and got another and an Earth Angel, I went back the next day and got some more and then a third day. They were from Berry Family Farms, Sims NC; which I looked up and all I know is they are huge. Maybe someone has some information on them. All the plants there looked fine.

OK, so....

One Earth Angel on a hillside I'm not very proud of.


Two Sagae flanking the steps down to the shed...

...eventually down to the ravine where two Earth Angels were added to a virgin area up top. Kind of messy as of yet.

One EA added up top where this one was struggling desperately.....

....and another at the bottom. They say repetition is good garden design....we'll see.

Three more Sagae placed in another gully, expanding the plantings a bit further.

Three more Sagae adding a little interest to the entrance from the other side. Ringing a knoll where my weeping Japanese Maple and some Japanese Painted fern reside as well as some NOIDS on top.

...and it seems the raging waters of the ravine have split and formed a small island which seemed an ideal place to plant another Sagae.

...and near where we started, with 4 Sagae lined up in front of 3 (so far insignificant) Liberty as an eventual edging and focal point on Mt. Jon.

I count 5 Earth Angels and 13 Sagae. 18 hosta @ $2 ea is a $36 investment which should fill in a good sized chunk of real estate.

I just can't seem to pass up a bargain.

Jon

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sandysoil_2008(6 MA)

That is a bargain especially for ones that size. They've really expanded your dry creek plantings.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 11:58AM
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Jon

It used to look huge and barren, now it is starting to fill in with the size of the existing plants and the 9 new added to the existing 18 hosta in the Ravine proper is a 50% increase. What seemed to be a huge sparsely filled plot now is starting to look as if it will be borderline lush next Spring.

They are a good size. The leaves are fairly big and the roots were very large. The roots were folded over and tucked into the potting soil. Very few roots were visible when taking them out of the plastic pots, but the soil easily fell away and the roots plopped down twice the depth of the pots. They all looked real healthy. It looked as if they were not in the pots for very long. I flooded the hole easily spread the roots out over a 'volcano' of wet soil, buried the roots and flooded the area. Mulch. Rinse hands. Happy plant.

I have never seen long roots folded over and tucked into a pot like that. If they had grown in the pots they came in they would have been pot bound, for sure.

PS- Its only a 'dry' creek if you have no imagination. Someone suggested to me the other day that I scatter blue rocks to simulate water...AAAAAARRRRRRGH!!!

;~ ) Jon

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 12:23PM
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sherrygirl zone5

Looks like you have alot of ground to cover! I would have done that in a heartbeat! I cant pass up a bargain either. With that much to plant i dont see a problem with muliples. It looks so much better already!

Sherry

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 3:55PM
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hostas_for_barb

No cringing here. Looks like you got some sweet deals at Lowe's.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 4:08PM
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DelawareDonna(7A)

Gosh, good on you! You hit the mother load with those very vice looking plants.

DD

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 5:11PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Cringing here. No problem buying them, as they appear to be a wonderful bargain. I am cringing because you put them in the ground w/o testing them, or did you test them for HVX? I have a GE from Home Depot and it doing very well..in a pot.

-Babka

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 5:47PM
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Jon

Sherry,

In this area I do need to cover some turf. 4-5 hosta that grow to 5-6 feet across can cover a wide band and I think it will look very nice.

Thanks Barb,

I found a lot of problems with Home Depot that I would never buy. These looked very good and I didn't see any I suspected of being diseased in the whole lot they had, including many I just wasn't interested in.

Sweet deals indeed Barb.

DD, this time of the year these deals pop up. I have never seen this supplier at Lowes before. Evidently many nurseries want to unload their stock. Good that they can get rid of what they may have to throw away and good deals for those who don't mind a partial season with the promise of good things in the Spring.

Babka,

These are all separated and will be for many years. If any show any signs of HVX or any other virus I will simply treat them with glyphosate and look for a replacement in the following Spring. Even if they were planted in proximity to one another I still don't see a problem if you are not digging around in them or pruning without sanitizing your tools. HVX cannot live without live tissue and can only be transmitted by a cut or scrape in both the infected and potentially infected plant. Knowing this and how to identify HVX, I don't see the problem. I am more worried about other viruses that can be transmitted by insects and can travel from hosta to hosta and cause great damage. If I tested negative for HVX at quite an expense, there would be zero guarantee other viruses more dangerous weren't active. I think HVX testing and other tests has value for nurseries, but not for the home gardener. It is impractical for anyone to do a full battery of tests when buying hosta, yes buying from trusted suppliers will eliminate chances of HVX, but not being infected by much worse viruses.

Many don't want to agree, but to me, HVX is easily identified and controlled.

Jon

This post was edited by jonnyb023 on Sun, Aug 10, 14 at 19:47

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 6:56PM
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thistleandmaize(Zone 5a- Eastern IA)

Nice finds Jon!
I don't cringe at Lowes purchases. I think a few bad apples do not spoil the lot in this case as I have some plants from Lowes I bought years ago and they are beautiful and disease free. I agree with your stand on hvx. I've even found it on a striptease. I think it's good to be aware but not overreactive for personal gardening. If I tested every plant for hvx I'd be broker than broke.

No cringing...but definitely greening with envy! :)
I love earth angel. I think I have 6 now. Can't help myself. And the ones you found are nice sizes already.

End of season bargains are nice finds. Last year I ran across a nursery that had all their hosta marked to $1 each. So I took every last one they had. I think I came home with 13 or so. I lined a fence line with them.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 8:03PM
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coll_123(5)

Jon, I agree HVX is easily identified and controlled....nematodes are easily identified, yet not so nearly easily controlled. You can have a hosta for years befor it exhibits signs of HVX, as we know, and I have had hostas show signs of nematodes that have looked clean I'm previous years. So what I do is look for HVX in the spring and nems in the fall, with all my hostas, and just accept that is part of my hosta gardening experience. We don't live in a sterile world. My intention is to enjoy what I have and hope for the best....

Good luck with the new acquisitions!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 8:36PM
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bchosta 8b west coast canada

Sounds as if you're fully aware of the risks, have weighed up your options, and taken action!
Bargain prices for sure! Hopefully, they will grow well over the coming years, enhancing your landscape.
BC

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 9:15PM
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Jon

ThistleAndMaize; A buck apiece...great!! I thought I got a bargain. I figure next year we should be seeing some pictures of a nice fence edging????

Thanks coll, I 'Googled' the grower and found no complaints of HVX or anything else, I observed a large display of healthy plants and will be surprised if I have a problem. If there is a problem, I have no one to blame but myself and it is not a big loss, if it turns out well (as I expect) then life is good and everyone will never hear the end of it.

BC, they are already enhancing the landscape. Things should be really popping in the 'Ravine' next Spring.

Thanks everyone.

Jon

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 9:33PM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Can't say "you snooze, you lose" to you! I'd take advantage of such an opportunity in a snap...nice plants! Really looking lovely, Jon.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 9:40PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Jon- I am happy to hear that you feel that you have everything under control regarding HVX. I mess with my hostas every day moving them around, snipping off ugly leaves, and removing scapes...caressing them, poking the soil to see if they need water, etc. I DO NOT carry with me a bucket of bleach to dip my tools or fingers. I have 1 single hosta (my 4th GE) from Home Depot that I do last then clean my tools. Our Lowes has hostas displayed with HVX. So do local nurseries

I only purchase from retailers who know about HVX and are confident that their suppliers take the necessary measures to guarantee that the plants are disease free, so they get the best start possible in my collection.

-Babka

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 10:07PM
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sherrygirl zone5

John, how about some Sum and Substance? Love them.

Sherry

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 12:04AM
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Jon

Sherry,

I have three Sum and Substance and they are great. I am leery of putting any light hosta in the area because it is so shady. Maybe I might divide one up and give it a try in the Fall. Most of the large flat area is set up with large hosta, 4-5 in lines paralleling the 'flow' of the ravine. A Sum and Substance would have to: conform with multiples or be set up as a specimen and I don't have any idea how, right now. .

bk,

Dawn antibacterial dish washing soap is just as good as bleach and I prefer it to bleach for obvious reasons. My hosta don't require much clipping, I yank off scapes when they dry up and I guess you have almost certainly almost eliminated any chance of HVX leaving only Impatiens Necrotic Spot Virus, Tobacco Rattle Virus, Arabus Mosaic Virus and other diseases and pests such as blight, nematodes, various root and crown rot problems, Anthracnose and varmints which are all far more easily transmitted and bigger problems than HVX which is by far the easiest disease to control of all that affect hosta.

We should all be aware of HVX and take reasonable measures to avoid introducing it, however knowledge of how it is spread and avoiding panic can avoid any widespread 'epidemic'. HVX has caused a lot of plants to be infected largely because of tissue culturing. It is, however, the least communicable of all hosta diseases.

Jon

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 7:59AM
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hosta_freak(z6 NC)

You must have a weird Lowes! We never get anything that big,or any good named hostas there,at our Lowes. I've said it before,but it deserves repeating. I have never gotten an HVX infected plant that was in a pot when I bought it. Any that I ever had that had HVX came from bagged hostas,where you can't look at them first. Good find,and I probably would have gotten some(though not as many),as I already have two Sagaes,and one Earth Angel. Phil

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 10:25AM
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Jon

Phil, it is unusual here as well. I have never seen them either. I have never seen any from Berry Family Farms, Sims NC. They have 4-5 huge operations all over, but that can't be too far from you. I put in Greensboro with a radius of 20 miles and 36 locations popped up on their website (see link below) I found 7 listed within 20 miles of me, but a good 15 miles away for any of them. 5 of the 7 were Lowes which gets us closer to solving the mystery.

They found their way there somehow. Around here it is not unusual for a lot of stock to suddenly appear at big discounts this time of the year. I like to make the rounds bargain hunting.

I did see some hosta that had HVX at Home Depot this year and told them about it and they were pulled...but replaced with worse looking ones the next day. It was a Ct supplier, which is why I will never buy from HD with that supplier.

I don't regret jumping at the opportunity. I could, at worst, lose $36. I think I have gained 18 nice plants.

Jon

Here is a link that might be useful: NC Berry Farms 'Where to buy'

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 11:03AM
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dhaven(z5 IA)

Be aware that HVX apparently goes dormant when the plants do, and even positive plants will test negative. My local hosta club did some testing in August one year as part of a lecture, and everything, even plants with very clear symtoms, tested negative. Testing is best done very early in the season when the hostas are putting on new growth.

Regardless of what is put on the spot after a positive HVX hosta is removed, you should never plant another hosta in that location. The virus remains in the soil for an undetermined amount of time, and the recommendation is to never put another hosta in that spot.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 11:07AM
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Jon

Thank you Jo. I rushed to get to respond to bk and rudely forgot you. My apologies.

dhaven,

True, and in Fall when hosta start to go dormant the chance of transmitting HVX drop as pointed out by Steve Mass some time ago.

I disagree that you should never plant any hosta in the same spot. If there is no living tissue there is no HVX virus. It can live over 2 years in any small bit of root, crown, stem that may be left in the ground. I recommend killing the infected plant to the very tips of the roots with glyphosate (RoundUp). Doing this and waiting over the winter insures there is no living tissue. Hastily digging it out and leaving any tissue at all can spread the virus years after the plant is dug out; from the tissue only.

HVX does not live in soil alone or go dormant and re-emerge. It only survives in live hosta tissue, period. This has been proven by university studies sponsored by the Hosta Society. Anyone that tells you any different is provably wrong.

Jon

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 2:57PM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Sweet of you, but no need for apology :-) ...re your Sum and Substance comments...mine gets dappled light and the colour is really fresh (not an apt description, is it? Lol) and stays a bright green/chartreuse. If you were to consider siting it in the shade it would certainly command attention...if you are looking for a more subdued feeling to the area, it might be too bright? Personally I love Sherry's suggestion! (I also love the "serene" look you appear to have right now...which will be more emphasized as the plants fill out. I like the "flow" so far....kind of mimics your "River".)

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 9:18AM
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bkay2000

Jon, that wasn't me. I have not commented on this thread, although I've followed it.

Like Phil, I have bought from Lowe's in the past. They no longer have any decent hosta at the Lowe's in this area. You can buy Frances Williams, undulata or Wide Brim at the Lowe's here.

The Berry family of nurseries was selling to Lowe's here at one time. Then a customer threw a fit about HVX infected plant and they removed all the Berry family hosta. There has not been any in this area since then.

Since I was the misinformed customer who declared a stressed Paul's Glory (labeled Forbidden Fruit) to have HVX, I keep my mouth shut about Lowe's (other than griping about mislabeled plants).

bk

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 9:52AM
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Jon

Sorry bk, I sometimes rush to type out an answer and don't pay enough attention.

They do have a lot of mislabeled plants at the Lowe's nearer me, but not at the location where I made the purchases (Dartmouth, MA).

Jo, Maybe I will put SSs on either side of the bench to highlight it, give some focus to the somewhat isolated bench, lighten the spot a little, if they do well it may encourage me to create a meadow around the bench of lighter plants and relieve the growing pressure I have from the building consensus to lighten up a little.

Placing lighter hosta in the area of the ravine itself will draw the eye toward the light. Right now the rocks are light colored (for the most part) and that is where the attention should (must) be. I'm sure you might understand that after hauling tons of boulders and rocks to form the Ravine, I want it to command attention.

Turning into quite a temperamental artist, Jon

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 2:21PM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Dear Mr. Temperamental Artist,
Your idea of creating more of a "destination" at the bench sounds like a lovely addition - the lighter coloured plants will lift your spirits and the calmer ones will soothe when you need it...and I sure do understand the rationale regarding the Ravine. It definitely is the prominent feature.

The Sky is the limit - or rather, the woods...let that creativity flow! I'm really enjoying being able to follow your new creation...even though it's just looking at pictures. Thank you.

Jo

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 4:24PM
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bernd ny zone5(5)

Not to plant again a hosta at the same spot where an HVX infested hosta grew means that no other hosta should be planted into the same soil. I do not keep the infected soil, that one gets bagged and picked up by the garbage people. I then line the hole with landscape fabric, put fresh soil in it anf plant another hosta.there. I had no reinfections. My hostas also can not find the bad soil in the dump. I do the same with hostas having obvious signs of other viruses.

My experience is that you will never know which hosta is infected with HVX until you see it. They might not show any infection for years being at the same location.
Bernd

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 7:33PM
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coll_123(5)

I also wouldn't have a problem replanting a hosta in the same spot, with some precautions taken.

The ebola virus has been in the news recently and that is another virus that is easy actually fairly easy to avoid catching- IF you can avoid direct contact with bodily fluids from infected people. Meanwhile, the common flu kills many thousands every year and no one freaks out too much about that, right?. I agree that containing and dealing with HVX, if you have it, is not something I lose a lot of sleep over. I treat every hosta as if it potentially carries the virus, no matter where it was purchased. I don't go cutting off bits of one plant and then on to the next. It's not going to wipe out my garden, even if shows up again (I've had two cases since 2006).

Oh, and my big box stores never, ever, ever have anything other than the most common varieties either.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 7:48PM
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Jon

Jo,

A collection is a large group of portraits. A landscape is when you use plants to paint a large picture.

Bernd,

If you get all the roots, stems and any other living tissue you are fine. The fabric will not stop infection. I had a hosta planted in a hole in fabric and it grew right through the fabric which was compressed into solid plastic. If you dig out one that is in close proximity to another your method won't work and over time the fabric will restrict root growth.

My advice is: if it's not broke, don't fix it. If it works for you, fine.

coll,

I compare HVX in hosta to AIDS in people. There has to be exchange of fluids for infection.

Jon

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 9:55PM
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bkay2000

I think it's too early to say for sure how ebola is transmitted. If it takes direct contact with body fluids, how did those medical personnel get it inside those moon suits?

bk

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 10:30PM
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Jon

I doubt they wear the moon suits all the time. I see pics with masks and gloves only. You have to admire those that volunteer to put themselves at such risk to save others.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 9:47AM
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coll_123(5)

Bk, when the story broke about the American doctors contracting ebola I asked the same thing- how did they get it. I saw one article that said they contracted it in the scrub down area of the hospital, but I would love to know more details about that. Sanjay Gupta on CNN is swearing up and down that no one taking care of them in the Atlanta hospital is at risk.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 10:30AM
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Jon

The new vaccine developed from primates purposely infected with Ebola is having great success with both the doctors and patients in Africa with supply being the limiting problem.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 10:54AM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Have at it, Jon...keep "painting".... I'll be enjoying! :-)

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 11:56AM
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