Guardian Angel more sun or shade?

BungalowMonkeys(6-VA)August 4, 2014

Just got it from Naylor Creek and it is in a temporary bed. Have two options, side of the house that is mostly shaded, or a more premium spot off the deck that gets a few hours of late afternoon sun. Would love to see your pics of this one and what type of light you are growing it in.

This post was edited by bungalowmonkeys on Mon, Aug 4, 14 at 14:59

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This pic is from earlier in the summer. My GA is probably the most neglected hosta in my garden. It sits in full shade along the back fence and never gets watered. If I took the time to clear out the weeds and brush behind the fence, it would get some nice morning light.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 3:17PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

the center greens up somewhat as the season progresses ..

and that will happen faster in more sun ...

and anything white.. but for an undulata... i would not put in afternoon sun .. there are just to many non white centered plants that will scoff at the sun.. so why try such there???


ps: your new babe should be taped ..

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 3:29PM
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dhaven(z5 IA)

Either spot will work, but the lovely coloration you see in the spring is more likely to remain for most or all of the summer if the plant has more sun. In heavy shade, GA tends to green up. But this varies from plant to plant with this variety--some always go green regardless of location and light level, and some stay variegated all summer. It appears that your plant has excellent coloration and is more likely to maintain it. If it were up to me, I'd plant it in the location where it would be more visible.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 3:33PM
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Coll - love your GA. Can't wait till mine is that big. What type of grass is that?

Ken - noob here. What does taping involve?

Dhaven - hoping it keeps somewhat of a color difference. A friend has one that seems almost all green, unless you look real close at the leaves. More visible is off the deck where a small path and garden bench will eventually be.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 4:05PM
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funnthsun z7A - Southern VA

Interesting. I tried to ask this same question a few months ago, but didn't get much response. Looks like Ken and Dhaven are coming down on opposite sides of this. Ken says it will green up faster with more sun and Dhaven says it will green up faster with more shade. Wonder which it is? Anyone else have experience with Guardian Angel that can tell us how it acts in your garden?

Bungalow, taping up means to tape the petioles with blue painting tape to keep them erect so none of them get damaged. Just gather and tape, then the tape will fall off at the proper time when the hosta is better established. It's a safeguard.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 4:24PM
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dhaven(z5 IA)

Frankly I think the greening up is probably more a function of genetics rather than light level. On a strictly logical level, it would make more sense that a plant in more light would retain it's white coloration longer rather than turning green, because it is getting more of what it needs. But hostas aren't always logical.

Golden Meadows is another variety that starts out with spectacular coloration in the spring, then usually turns solid green. But not always, and not necessarily tied to light level. It is also possible that temperature has an effect on coloration, or that overall conditions in the spring growing period will determine coloration for the rest of the season. I am not aware of any scientific research on these issues, all we have to rely on is anecdotal evidence. So it is entirely possible that my hostas retain coloration or lose it under certain conditions, and Ken's hostas might do the exact opposite.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 4:43PM
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Thank you Funnthsun. Going to go grab some tape now and take care of it.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 4:47PM
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I think this is an interesting conversation. I also don't know if any scientist has determined what factors influence color changes over a season but we all do have our hunches or personal experiences....kind of like spring desiccation...I've seen lots of people post opinions what they believe causes that but as far as I know, no one has scientifically proved anything. Personally, I think the color change is down to genetics, and possibly temp....but what do I know!! And think desiccation is genetic too.

I have three of the "changelings"...Guardian Angel, Golden MEadows, and Whirlwind. GA is in full shade, and I just ran out and took a current picture. The older leaves are a bit greener, but the younger leaves have retained their Spring color.

Whirlwind and GM are in the same bed with plenty of sun. Whirlwind looks pretty much just as it did in the Spring. GM is the only one of my changelings that radically changes color over the season

GA from today

Whirwind today

Golden Meadows in Spring

GM today

This post was edited by coll_123 on Mon, Aug 4, 14 at 17:06

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 5:03PM
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by the way, if we really wanted to figure this out, someone should take two divisions off the same plant and put one in shade, and one in sun.

Bungalow, that's Hakenechloa (sp?)grass...the all gold version which is pretty vigorous and looks more green in the shade

Guardian Angel is actually a favorite of mine, and doesn't deserve the neglect I give it. So put yours somewhere it can be appreciated!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 5:10PM
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bernd ny zone5

My 2 are in some kind of shade. One gets very early sun, but thereafter is shaded by a Korean Dogwood. That one is by far the largest and has not greened up yet. The other one is staying smaller, has late afternoon sun, grows in a spinout bag because it lives under a large sugar maple. h. 'Guardian Angel' are distinct and one of the most beautiful hosta cultivars around. There are no duplicates.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 5:16PM
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dhaven(z5 IA)


Nice photos, thanks for posting. The GM photos are especially interesting, mine are now a very solid, very dark green, no sign of variegation at all. Fortunately, I find the leaf shape interesting, so don't mind losing the coloration.

I have a Whirlwind from the second tc batch that was done, and it holds it's color beautifully. I've seen many Whirlwinds from later batches that routinely darken, losing almost all variegation.

Just as a side note, for those of you who think hostas are a little on the pricey side, the first batch of Whirlwind out of tissue culture sold for $150 a plant (and it was a tiny little plant) and there was a waiting list, the second batch, done the next year, sold for $75 for a plant that actually had 2 small leaves. Mine was a gift from a Jerry Hadrava of Rosedale fame, who was a friend and mentor. Golden Tiara was also tissue cultured, and the first batch sold for $150 a plant, there was a long waiting list, and it dropped rather quickly to $40 for double start when people realized that it grows like a weed. But imagine being on a waiting list for 2-3 years for Golden Tiara!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 5:28PM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

My GA is only a year old, received as a division last year. Before I moved it to a more dappled exposure it received morning sun and showed a sharper colour pronounciation.

Whirlwind reacts the same...the more sunlight, the sharper the distinction, i.e., a whiter centre.

Mary Marie Ann goes through similar colour changes, but if sited in more sun, retains white centre.

I don't think we can alter what has been predetermined genetically but we can prolong or arrest the transition by siting it in more sun....that has been my experience.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 5:28PM
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I also want to add that I don't think a hosta turning green as the season progresses is necessarily a bad thing...I mean, what are we holding against the color green?!;) Yes, GM is still interesting in its form, even if it greens up. And really, many change color over the summer in one way or another.

I remember a discussion last year about Whirlwind and a comment made that whirlwinds that didn't green up were not true to the original plant and should be renamed...or something like that. I think mine may get sort of green, but it's late, like late September, if that happens. I'll watch for it this year.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 5:43PM
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bernd ny zone5

My 'Whirlwind' became all green in some afternoon sun. I moved that into a corner behind the house where it gets much less direct hot sun, and it keeps it spring colors much longer.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 5:44PM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

I forgot to include GA pics - and to answer the question...this is a hosta to be admired up close...I'd choose the premium spot off the deck. :-)

Coll, your Whirlwind is perfection! GM looks fantastic in spring and the greening up makes you notice the darker " necklace" on the border. I have to get me one.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 5:53PM
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I have a question - why do you have all your hostas in pots then buried into the ground instead of directly planted?? Josephines67, your GA is beautiful!! Here is one of mine

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 9:43PM
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In my garden, I have some planted directly in the ground, and some are planted in sunken pots, and some are in spinout bags- MOST are surrounded in 3" copper rings, for slug protection, which in pics looks like a sunken pot. The reason the hostas are in pots or spinout bags is root issues, or, worst of all, voles. If I could plant everything in the soil, I would.,,but with my, not worth the risk.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 10:00PM
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Gotcha, thanks coll - I may need to try that as slugs have been feasting on a few varieties in my garden.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 10:13PM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

The reason for some of mine being in pots....I dug up and potted my hostas for an expected move that did not occur last fall. It's been a slow process deciding where to put them but I am replanting them. Lots to go yet. (and I keep buying more, lol)

I must say that the ones I have in pots look great! No slug or snail bites! They have never looked better. It seems to me that the slug population in my garden is very diminished...could be due to my setting out bait on a regular basis (lazy last year) and/or due to the frigid winter we had.

Moving pots around to find ideal siting is certainly an advantage...but after losing 15% of my potted plants over the winter they will go back into the ground. A few that are not so prized will overwinter in their pots, inside the garage.

I have found that growing hostas in pots is more work (watering constantly) and isn't as cost-efficient as planting the time you buy your soilless mix, bark fines, perlite and pots, you've just increased your investment in your hostas. Can't complain about the lack of chew holes though. Lol

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 12:19AM
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Beautiful photos! I'm glad the topic of whirlwind came up. I just assumed I had a dud. Purchased it for $1.00 and it was mostly green with only two leaves that look like the one in your photos.

This post has been very interesting. Next year when this GA comes up I'm going to divide it, if possible and plant one on the side where it will be shaded. Would love to see if it is more genetic or sun based. I'm leaning more towards genetics, with a little influence from the sun. Clipping this post and will repost next year towards fall.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 8:46AM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Bungalow, if mine wasn't so small a division I too would have gone for Coll's suggestion. Glad you volunteered!:-).

Hostanovice, thanks! but look at yours - it is a HUGE beauty! Amazing GA.
Can't wait to see what thread you will post next as you are wading through your hosta acreage!


    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 12:16PM
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squirejohn zone4 VT

Could it have something to do with age?
This GA was bought in 2010. The first photo was taken in July 2012 and the second in July 2014. The GA was never moved since planted.

July 2014

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 9:04AM
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