Solid coloured sports...impact on variegated hosta

josephines123 z5 ON CanadaAugust 16, 2013

What impact does a solid coloured sport have on the variegated mother plant IF it's allowed to grow?

Will the sport take over eventually...Is there a general timeline, generally speaking when one should remove it?

Reason for question....last year H. 'June' sported a couple of solid blue leaves...two separate plants growing under varying sun exposure ... both shot out blue sports. I decided I'd wait till this year to make up my mind whether to cull...I will likely get around to it within the next week or so as I do not want to alter June's intended appearance.

What has been your experience?

I'm hoping for anecdotal responses svp. Thank you.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
idiothe(4 MN)

As a general rule, the solid sport of a variegated hosta will be a more vigorous grower than the parent. It makes sense - the new solid part has all the benefits of the root system and has more chlorophyll... thus it can grow faster... and often larger leaves... than the parent plant.

This wouldn't matter much except that the leaf structure is also building the crown for future growth... and a stronger sport will often slowly take over the plant by making more and more of the crown into a solid plant.

Streakers, being unstable, tend to go to solid much faster than a stable variegated plant... many of my streakers need to be divided every 3 years to retain streaky parts on a plant trying to go to solid - or in some cases to a stabilized variegated plant (Savannah Supreme will produce solid sports, but will also stablize to the margined plant Savannah... Blizzard will throw solid sports that look like Sum and Substance but more typically stabilizes to Winter Snow.)

The speed of a solid sport taking over a variegated plant is impossible to give with any accuracy as it depends not just on the cultivar, but also on the size of the plant. If you have a little tc of June and when it grows to 2 eyes, one of them is solid - I guess I'd remove it right away. On the other hand, I've got a 17 year-old June that has some solid blue every year and I just never get around to removing it... unless I want to give some one the equivalent of a Halcyon. Ditto for Bright Lights - always seems to have some solid blue on the 17 year-old plant... every once in a while I'll remove it - it grows into a really nice blue tokudama.

Most solid sports are disposable... a few are worth keeping. As I said, the blue one from June is either Halcyon or something that looks just like it... good plant. The solid sport of Jane Ward is called Lady Jane - green plant isn't much to look at, but its ok... and it has the most amazing Dusty Rose/mauve/whatever flower bud - worth growing just for that. Maybe the most surprising is the green sport you get on Embroidery. Embroidery has the oddly shaped and puckered medium-sized leaves... the solid sport is completely smooth - no puckering or corrugation - and the leaves are huge - very long and tapered... totally different from the parent and quite different from any hosta I grow.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 5:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think the amount of time to overcome the original plant will vary by variety - I have a Paradigm that has sported solid divisions since 2006 and still has not overtaken the entire plant vs a mini (Dixie Chick) that seems to only add solid divisions since I planted it - still has three variegated ones, which equals the division count when I planted it.

I have a couple of hosta that I twist and yank out the solid divisions rather than cut apart the clump. Quick and painless. Works OK, haven't tracked to see if eliminates the recurrence.


    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 5:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bernd ny zone5

I have a h.'Titanic' which showed one yellow sport (like S&S) the last two years. I twisted and ripped those out. This year it gave up on that, no yellow sport. Bernd

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 5:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I take any solid sports or reversions out of my hostas right away. For me, they tend to take over in no time.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 5:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Idiothe, thank you . . . I was eagerly anticipating your input and was amply rewarded! Love it! ! ! So informative and always interesting to read. :-).

I am intrigued by your description of the Embroidery sport. . .do you happen to have a photo of it by any chance?

Based on your experience with June, I'm leaning towards leaving the shady June alone, for now as the solid blue is not that noticeable. It has not produced additional blues this year. Based on the process you've explained, It would be to my advantage to allow the blue crown to grow a bit longer. It is definitely an eye, not errant leaf(leaves).

I used to have Halcyon years ago - my first blue - loved it! To successfully remove a strong blue eye and grow it would be a bonus for me to say the least!

I would imagine that if I had hundreds upon hundreds of hosta, as many of you do, I could "dispose" of SOME sports without a second thought. I struggle when it comes to dispatching plants. Just can't seem to do it...I just wimp out. . . doesn't sound like you dispose of many, if any, Jim?

Paul, I'm glad to hear that you've continued to observe and allow your Paradigm to grow with the sporting leaves...IMO that is one plant whose appearance is not detracted by the appearance of a sport here and there as it has some variable variegation ... Now your Dixie Chick...would you refer to it as "unstable" then? I'm considering adding it to my mini collection...should I hold off on that one?

Bernd...I understand your pulling the sport off on Titanic. It'll be interesting to see if it reappears in the future sometime...for now, it's behaving! . . .lol

Flower-frenzy...have you tossed your sports, or have any been interesting enough to keep, like Jim's Embroidery sport?

Thanks for your participation thus far, and your interest in my post. I appreciate your time. :-)


    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 7:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
idiothe(4 MN)

I've grown Dixie Chick and Dixie Chickadee for a lot of years.

A couple of tidbits on these...

first, Tony Avent introduced these, Chick registered in 99... yet the descriptions on his webpage still refer to these as "our new introduction" and the picture for Chick is extremely poor at showing why it is such a nice plant.

Dixie Chick is a cross between Masquerade (white centered venusta) and Invincible. I'm not sure where it got the genes for the nice dark green - darker than the Plant Delights photo and darker than the typical form of both parents... It did get the shiny genes... so nice dark shiny leaves with a pretty heart shape with a white margin and then some dark green freckles in the white for added interest.

Second, the reverse of Dixie Chick was originally called Chickadee... but it turns out that conflicted with some other plant, so Tony had to change it to Dixie Chickadee... and it remains unregistered. People sometimes point out my incorrect plant label... I tell them that just shows how long its been there.

I have removed dozens of green sports from Chick... seems like every third or fourth year I pull up the whole plant, separate the green stuff, and pop the rest back in the hole. I save the green ones - they make nice pot plants and gifts.

Dixie Chickadee is more of a problem. When it is good, it is very good. The freckles are more prominent on the white center than they are in the margins of Chick. It is a much less vigorous plant (due to the white center, I guess) and the leaves always stay considerably smaller for me than Chicks.

The trouble is, Chickadee also sports to all green - and those sports look just like the green sports on Chick - meaning the leaves are larger and more vigorous than Chickadee and can overwhelm it.

The green sport from Chickadee is registered as Emerald City Chick. As far as I know, nobody has registered the green sport from Chick. Most folks will just call those Emerald City Chick as well.

(Interesting political note. Usually politics don't play much of a role in the hosta garden... but the Dixie Chicks were riding high in 1999 when Tony named the plant. I got some early plants and they were good sellers. Then in 2003, one of the band members publicly stated in a concert in London that they opposed the imminent invasion of Iraq - and the resulting controversy had them taken off lots of radio stations and boycotted by many country music fans. The comment at the time was "Freedom of Speech is fine - as long as you don't do it in public." There was even a documentary film made about how the band dealt with this over a period of years. I had a number of people respond quite emotionally to the plant - that they'd never have one like that in their garden. Sure made me scratch my plans to introduce H. 'Jane Fonda' ...)

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 7:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
idiothe(4 MN)

re Titanic. I'd grown Lady Isobel Barnett for years before I added Titanic - which was supposed to be "better" - wider margins and maybe more vigorous and less likely to have sun damage to the margins.

I still have two plants from that first year of tc in wholesale. Both are extremely unstable, tossing yellow sports and half and half leaves... almost as dramatic as Jewel of the Nile without being as attractive or interesting. And it hasn't been any more vigorous than LIB.

I have one clump of all green sports from Titanic that I tucked under the trees in an out of the way place... some of the eyes now have margins, some are all yellow... I don't know if this is endemic to the plant or a function of the tissue culture batch. I still prefer LIB for its consistency...

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 7:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
josephines123 z5 ON Canada

It's great being a student of hosta lore!
This learning curve just never ends, does it? Amazing how Hosta draw us in. . . then draw us in even further with these sporting intrigues....I can't for the life of me think of any other plant that gets one so involved, can you?

You've got many minis, Jim. Which is the MOST stable of the lot?

Interesting you should point out Jewel Of The Nile as I specifically bought JOTN BECAUSE of its unpredictability. It is a fascinating hosta from what I read...I consider it a hosta with dual should have been named Gemini!! Lol. I am impatiently waiting for it to act up and I only got it not quite two weeks ago..laughing at myself..feel free to join in..

I'm gonna git me a Dixie Chick too! She's got spunk!

(Political note reference)
I applauded the "Chick" for being brave enough to face the onslaught ... to voice her opinion as she had the right to. I respect that. I watched the documentary with interest. This thought also ran through my mind..."Caveat emptor" must have been inscribed in invisible ink when Freedom of Speech was enacted. . . . . Damn shame how society twists and turns until the good intended no longer resembles ......aargh, I need another cup of coffee and to chill out in my garden! Breathe in my newly acquired FRAGRANT HOSTA which are blooming!!!!! YAY!

Here's food for thought......"Why does the overbearing modern notion of tolerance seem to involve so much...intolerance?"

It's Saturday, beautiful day to be outdoors, breathing in garden air, enjoying life! see y'all later! :-)


    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 10:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
idiothe(4 MN)

Regarding the stability of minis... I think they are about as stable as the non-minis.

Just like regular hostas - if they have fortuneii in their heritage... or venusta... or Halcyon... maybe Tokudama... they will be more prone to sport than the average hosta.

It's easier to list the ones I have to remove sports than to identify more stable ones. Little Jay and X-rated needed solid sport removal surgery last year. Little Jim needs division to keep the streaks. The Baby Bunting sports... Pandora's Box, Hope, Cherish, Cameo... don't sport a lot for me, but when they do I get the solid off the same season as it is much more vigorous than the variegated ones.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 11:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Jim, thank you for the recent tutorial that is so 'near and dear to your heart' regarding sports. It was enlightening, especially the introduction. . . worked in edu. sector as well..recognized type and support required for it.

Sounds like you are feeling much better, I hope?

Thanks again,

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 1:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a Time Tunnel that is sporting two solid light yellow eyes. I plant to remove them and pot them up as a new plant. How can I find out if this sport is named yet? A quick Internet search is bringing no luck, but perhaps there is a place with an exhaustive list of parents and sports? Thanks in advance.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 9:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think Paul in Minn posted this in a recent thread, Amy, although I don't recall which one. In any's a nice site to know of. Not sure how current the lists are.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hosta Sports for Hostaholics

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 6:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

raven... your own post next time...

go to the hosta library.. find the named hosta.. and hit the link for info ...

it should tell you from what it came ... in case it a reversion to a yellow momma..

and in the right col. ... various named sports .. look for YY .... yellow edge.. yellow center .. aka all yellow ...

if i do it for you ... you wont learn .. lol ...

google would NEVER find such .. ever...


    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 7:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Ravens fan, this is for you! :-). A relation of Frances Williams!

All this lovely info - I asked for "history on time tunnel hosta" because you got me curious. It does not cover sports of TT. I will look some more in googleland.

P.S. While it may be frowned upon by some when a thread gets 'high jacked' I don't get my knickers in a knot when someone inadvertently does it on some of my threads. It is easily put back on track. :-). The advantage for starting your own thread is that it will get the attention it deserves rather than get lost under a different subject.

I was surprised to see this thread resurrected. It is a terrific discussion on sports - to twist off (kill) or cull (save)... these two words are in my head and "save" is always #1 choice. :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Time tunnel info I GOOGLED, first try

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 8:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks Don, Ken, Josephines67,
I checked your links and didn't see a gold sport of TT listed, so maybe it's new. I separated it from TT today and potted it up to see how it does this yr. My apologies for using the old thread. I used the search in the Hosta forum to look for info on how to properly remove and ID sports, and it led me to this thread. I thought it would be relevant to the OP since it is also a solid sport to a variegated hosta.
I appreciate your guidance. Have a great weekend!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 9:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Jo, do you still have that gold sport from your FW? If so, any signs of life?

Don B.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 9:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
josephines123 z5 ON Canada

No need to apologize! I am glad you found it actually because it might also help a member who posted about his June (coincidentally this thread is about my June also) recently. I was unable to do anything about it as I was out of town and read it later. I hope he finds it...if not I will find his post and provide a link.

I culled a golden sport from FW (love that hosta) last year. Apparently it is a registered sport called 'Golden Sunburst'. Someone on this forum provided this information for me.

Today, as I went around the yard, checking all my pots (I am documenting pip growth (#s) for my records, I found that all three sports are pipping! Number of pips are 3, 5, and so far 1 on the third one. I am very excited to see the pips unfurl.

As to your question re sport of Time may be among the first to have such a sport! :-). I sincerely hope you keep us in the loop as to its progress! It is always an exciting event, filled with anticipation when something like a sport shows up in our garden. I am also glad you separated it to allow it to grow on.

I think you have a perfect opportunity to showcase your very rare sport and deservedly so, on its own thread. I will be one of the first to read it with eagerness! and to see a photo of it. :-).


P.S. Thank you - I hope you have a wonderful weekend too!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 10:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Hi, Don! Yes, I do! And lots of life! I was posting and did not see your entry till just a second ago. :-)

Here is a pic of one of them...I walk around like a mama hen, looking every day at the pots for additional pips, saying "grow babies, grow!" (retirement rules! Still can't get over the fact that I'm now a SC!) lol

Don, remember last year when I culled them and had them sitting in water for awhile? All those dormant buds appeared, some leafed out...then I was worried that the energy taken to produce those leaves might have drained this year's growth...depleted some of last year' stored energy...well, that is obviously not the case here! Yippee!

Thanks for asking - and remembering! :-)


    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 10:18PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Is this normal for Guacamole?
This is a closeup photo of my Guacamole last year....
newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada
got pots ...
after a week in the 40s and 50s.. i can finally see...
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5
Princess Wu?
Does anyone know of a hosta Princess Wu? Someone has...
Designer Genes
We still have 2 feet of snow cover here, although it...
Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b
Hosta Ruffled 2014
The kiss of the sun for pardon, The song of the birds...
ilovetogrow z9 Jax Florida
Sponsored Products
Butler Artists' Originals Wentworth Console Table In Winter Forest Painted
Beyond Stores
Ivory Pearl Flower Silk Bell Shade 2.75x5x4.75 (Clip-On)
$49.91 | Lamps Plus
Area Rug: Pinaleno Steel Blue 8' Round
Home Depot
Honey Can Do Lightweight Tubular Hangers - Set of 60 - HNGT01195
$32.99 | Hayneedle
Ashland Flushmount by Hudson Valley Lighting
$320.00 | Lumens
Hand Painted Glass Ensemble Chrome/Hardware
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™