Fertile or Sterile?

arickrockAugust 4, 2014

Hello again all!

This is my first year as a hostaholic and Ive started to get my feet wet in the pollinating/hybridizing arena!

Ive been successful so far with several plants and have some very nice seed pods growing. After researching here, the myhosta website and having been so lucky to be able to pick Bob Solbergs brain a little in person I am wanting to come up with a clear list of who the best/worst breeders are.

For Example - Krossa Regal I know for sure is all but sterile...

Bob told me Rain-forest Sunrise and Mango Salsa are great breeders.....also that Guacamole isnt but I already have several seed pods set on mine!!!

Does the myhosta database list this info somewhere that I am just missing? Or is there a good resource for this?

So far I am just taking pollen from whoever has the best looking stuff in the mornings and slapping it on any open stigma I can find. Not tracking or keeping records of anything this year really. Will just try and keep track of the pod parent whenever I decide to try and grow them......still agonizing over whether to try an indoor set up this winter.

Thanks in advance!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bkay2000(8a TX)

Here's a list.


Here is a link that might be useful: DonR's hosta lists

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 3:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

Krossa Regal I know for sure is all but sterile

==>>>> its from nigrescens .... or so they say ... so why not use mom ... and not worry about the sterile daughter ... eh??? ... its really that easy ...

i realize you are having fun ... and i lived such ... and i know you are just in the learning phase ...

but by next summer... you are going to realize.. that they all look alike ... lol ...

and the problem is.. you do NOT have a goal ... [if you do.. you didnt state such]

the next iteration in your discovery curve ... is IDing a GOAL ... so that you can whittle down your crosses.. to things that accomplish the GOAL ...

this is imperative.. when you are doing crosses on edged plants... because all you are going to get.. is mostly green babes.. with some blues and yellows thrown in for fun ...

but you can perfect a goal ... say leaf size.. clump size... leaf form... etc ... and then the final thing.. would be to throw it on a steaked mom... to put an edge on it ... in say.. 5 or 10 years.. lol ...

sooooo .... name me a goal ...that would turn your life upside down ... how about a blue tiara.. that is as vigorous as a tiara ..... but blue as the sky [i dont think there is one???... anyone want to correct me???] ... say something in the blue mouse ears size and color but with the classic tiara leaf shape ... and turn your back vigor ....

my point being.. once you have such a goal .. then you can focus down into making crosses.. that will move you towards your goal ... instead of just running around and putting pollen on anything that accepts it ...

the real key ... will be when you are cleaning seeds.. and you realize you have 50 million of them.. and every one is precious.. lol.. lived that ...

and then.. when you have to cull out say.. 25 million of the seedlings.. and you cant .. because every one is precious ... lived this also ... lol ..

and then you figure out.. well.. if i had a goal.. culling would be easy ... because.. in my e.g.... anything not blue.. can be youth-in-eyezed ..... so by say march.. you are down to only 2000 seedlings that you have to figure out what to do with ...

so a stated goal.. or two... is the next step ... in the process ...


    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 3:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

bk- thank you that is exactly what I was looking for.

Ken- I have read that from several different sources. This being my first year my pool to cross from is pretty small.....and I am still trying to decide what excites me the most in terms of characteristics.

Luckily I have lots of room and lots of friends I can give away all my "boring" greens and yellows too....and honestly im really not even that into the streakers....yet I guess.

So year one will be about learning the process, setting up where/how I plan to grow and making adjustments. I do have goals....they are just a little more broad at this point.

I very much appreciate the input!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 4:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My "lab"

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 5:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Best of luck with hybridizing, and have fun!

Who's Bob Solberg?

Don B.

This post was edited by Don_in_Colorado on Thu, Aug 7, 14 at 5:13

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 5:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bkay2000(8a TX)

Bob is a big hybridizer/hosta guy. He's the one behind Orange Marmalade, Guacamole, curly fries, pineapple upside down cake, grape fizz, lime smoothie (seeing a trend here?). He has 119 hosta in the online registry. He's in North Carolina.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 9:02AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hosta_freak(z6 NC)

LOL,Bkay!! I've met Bob Solberg in person,and even bought hostas directly from him. ZZ top,he isn't! Phil

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 9:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

Ken- I have read that from several different sources.

==>>> yes you said that earlier ...

and my point was ... nothing new was ever discovered by peeps who do not question said sources ... and keep trying ...

i was just offering me as an alternative source.. and saying.. try.. retry.. and then try again.. regardless of what you have been told.. etc ...

and then of course.. i offered other options.. as in ... looking to mom.. or grandma.. for the traits that relate to your goal ...

all that said.. what solberg says is usually gospel ... he is encyclopedic in his knowledge ... [and i presume don is not serious in asking who he is ] .. and if he said its relatively impossible.. i wouldnt doubt him ... but i would keep trying.. lol... because if anyone is going to prove him wrong.. it was going to be me... lol.. that was the logic back in the day ...


    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 9:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b


Welcome to the world of hybridizing. It's a lot of fun and a great way to get really cool plants for your garden. Will you be growing your seeds over the winter or will you plant them out next Spring?

Here's a few of my seedlings from last year.

I've been culling plants all summer from this group, so if there is any way I can be of help to you let me know. Just shoot me an email by clicking on my user name.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 1:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bkay2000(8a TX)

Yes, Ken you are right. Surely Guacamole Don knows who Bob Solberg is. But, you never know.

If he looks like that photo (taken from his website), add dark glasses and a hat and he could front with ZZ Top immediately.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 3:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Why did you have to live in Massachusets, why?.....why?....WOW! Steve, those are beautiful!!

(Holy mackerel, I've got to get Doug Beilstein's seedlings into the ground like Devon said to ages ago! They are growing nicely but it's time to take them out from under my protective ICU.)

Just Look at the size of them! Look at all those gorgeous streaks!
I am duly impressed, Steve! ...and kind of going crazy right now...wanting all those seedlings..lol


    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 3:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Steve - With that one picture you have changed my mind on streakers. Beautiful. Thank you for the encouragement and I will surely have some questions for you soon as I decide on indoor/winter vs outdoor/next spring.

Bob was very nice and full of information....honestly I didnt realize who he was until after I left and put two and two together.

To show my age a little......Two weeks ago I was on my way to Virginia to meet a friend for two nights of Dave Matthews Band concerts and his nursery(greenhill) was on my direct route almost.

Stopped in and picked up Grape Fizz, Mango Salsa, BME, Appletini, Dragons Eye and Blueberry Muffins.

Kept them in the hotel the first two nights but left them in the car the last day......big mistake....completely fried the leaves on Grape Fizz and some of Dragons Eye. I think they will all make it but im sure it will set them back a little.

I highly recommend you stop by and see him if you are ever in the area!


    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 4:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bkay2000(8a TX)

Bob Solberg is one of the reasons I want to go to the Hosta Convention next year. I would love to see a real hosta nursery. Someone said Kevin Vaughn would be speaking. That would be two reasons. Wake County, North Carolina has the North Carolina archives (I'm a genealogy nut.) would be reason #3. The only bummer would be having to fly. (How many hosta can you pack in your suitcase?) It's probably a 24 hour drive from Dallas.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 5:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
donrawson(Z 5)

IMO, you could learn a lot of practical how-to information by getting a copy of the Hosta Hybridizer's Manual. This is probably the best and most helpful printed resource for beginning hybridizers. I have copies available for my actual cost to have the material printed and bound ($25 per manual). Shoot me an email if interested.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 5:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b


As Bkay mentioned the AHS National Convention will be in North Carolina next year and Bob and Nancy will be hosting. I plan to be there. I met him at the 2011 convention and he was friendly and helpful to me, as I was a novice Hosta grower/collector at the time.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 6:15PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
mulch around hostas. leaves, etc.
I have always read that you need to clean up the hostas...
Early emerging hostas?
What hostas which emerge early each spring before the...
22 degrees Fahrenheit Saturday night predicted!
I spent three hours covering hostas when I got home...
When could I remove the covers from the 2 ceramic pots of mini hostas?
The in-ground hostas are still very much in dormancy....
Esther-B, Zone 7b
good to see spring in the uk
my grass still lots of work!fed it 3 times already..bloody...
Sponsored Products
Green Shield CA Disinfectant and Algicide - 1 gal. - WMGSCA1GAL
$85.99 | Hayneedle
Humboldt Nutrients Ginormous - HNHG404
$23.99 | Hayneedle
Humboldt Nutrients Micro - HNM404
$17.94 | Hayneedle
Humboldt Nutrients Sea Cal - HNK400
$19.82 | Hayneedle
Soul Synthetics Big Swell - ROSSBS5G
$77.94 | Hayneedle
'Carefee' & 'Fruit and Vegetable' Fertilizer Set
$24.99 | zulily
Humboldt Nutrients Bloom - HNB404
$15.75 | Hayneedle
Humboldt Nutrients MycoMaximum - HNMMX405
$31.99 | Hayneedle
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™