Loved & Lost

leaflover76(5b)September 16, 2013

What's that old saying? Better to have to loved and lost than to have never loved at all.

These hostas I have loved and lost and will not be replacing any of them.

Allegan Fog - dwindled away until I chucked it.

Hanky Panky - never came back

Color Glory - dwindled away until I chucked it

Lakeside Elfin Fire - yup that's all I got this year. So I chucked it

Was sold to me as Pizzazz but I figured out it was Thunderbolt. It was bought as a large hosta already but just kept dieing back until it never came back

The only hosta I have loved and lost and will keep on trying until I get a successful one is Great Expectations. Im on my third.

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idiothe(4 MN)

I'm surprised by the Allegan Fog... usually pretty vigorous. The others make sense from my experience.

Also... is it possible there was a mis-identification? That AF doesn't look like AF. It actually looks like a lot of failure-to-thrive Royal Tiara I've seen... putzed with one for years... finally found a spot it seems to like... pure white center, twisty... I don't see misty there...

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 12:27PM
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hostafreak

I can understand the white-centered ones dwindling away,but Hanky Panky in my garden is very vigorous,like all the Striptease sports I have. Thunderbolt disappeared on me too,after only one year. Phil

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 12:36PM
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leaflover76(5b)

I know that my Allegan Fog is correct because I have watched it dwindle away from the beautiful misty plant it once was.

2011 - the year I bought it

2012 - very smaller than the previous year. I zoomed way up on it.

2013 July - I dug it up to see if there was anything going on with the roots, if there was voles, etc. I planted it back without the mulch to watch it closer.

then the last picture is the one above before I chucked it. Im not nurturing it along anymore.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 4:03PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

this last pic.. looks virused....

AFog is an undulata ... it should have thrived on the driveway ...

any chance.. they were planted too deep.. you have a couple total losers.. but a couple others surprise me.. that you lost them i mean ...

ken

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 4:53PM
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bernd ny zone5(5)

Allegan Fog and Undulatas are slug magnets, slug pellets have not much effect. Otherwise some of mine right now look similar poor, because of several nights in the 30s. Bernd

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 8:32AM
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hostahillbilly(4)

by any chance is yor dirt heavy clay and alkalyn (sp)?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 7:34PM
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leaflover76(5b)

hostahillbilly: we have clay mix. I wouldn't say its heavy clay though. Why do you ask? What do you know?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 7:48PM
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bkay2000

HH knows a lot more about hosta than me, but hosta like acid or neutral soil. Our clay in this part of Texas is alkaline, therefore many plants do not do well here. Also, hosta also like air to their roots, so do better in less dense soil.

But, Phil says his hosta do fine in clay soil. His hosta garden is on the side of a mountain, so it has good drainage just by the fact his are planted in giant raised bed. Ours do much better here if planted in well amended, raised beds. (But I grow in pots.)

bk

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 1:57PM
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hostahillbilly(4)

there are many others here far more knowledgeable and experienced about hostas than me.

the pictures posted just look like this was heavy clay which is usually alkaline

we lost over 100 new hostas when we were beginners, and I attribute that to planting 1-eye tissue cultures directly into the dirt

growing them to decent size plants in a pot before sticking in the dirt has made all the difference here

taking a break from canning and watching the seasons last hummingbirds work the flowers,

always remember that I am just the hillbilly of the hosta world !

hh

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 2:23PM
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brucebanyaihsta

I agree with: too deep planting of young tc plants in clay, no root development and they are rotting away, while trying to perform as requested.

Could you dig them up, check for water-logged soggy small roots? Do they pull off the crowns easily?

If so, they are in too heavy clay with no air for the roots to breathe and grow. Leads to this type of growth habits with small/tc plants.

Bruce

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 8:11AM
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bkay2000

The hosta I hoped to love and lost was Lakeside Paisley Print. I lost it soon after acquiring it. That's one I lost to my puppy's rampage last summer.

It's a beautiful hosta. You know it took Mary Chastain over 20 years to develop Paisley Print? That's really interesting. I wish I had that kind of patience and perseverance.

bk

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 11:07PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I am the least knowledgeable person when it comes to Hosta. I only own seven. Looking at your photos where there is no mulch, your soil looks heavy, but it also looks dense, like there is little air in it. I have clay soil, but it has texture and water drains quickly and it doesn't look like that. I'm not an expert on soil either, but if I were having trouble with plants, I would consider the condition of the soil first. Maybe head over to the soil forum and post that last photo and ask if anyone there has any thoughts. Amending your soil, might solve your problem, or as others have mentioned, raising it to improve drainage might also. The soil forum, I'm sure, would have more specific details.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 4:14AM
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Eleven(Metro Detroit 6A)

My only thought was that the soil looks awful. Prairiemoon and hostahillbilly went into a lot more detail.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 10:02AM
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beverlymnz4

I lost Maui Buttercups to bad drainage. It was planted where the water came off the roof during rain. I realized it too late. My heavy soil didn't help. I now have gutters and I have hosta growing there again.

I have clay loam (or loamy clay). It looks dark brown like loam but when you roll it between your fingers it holds together some. My sister has the really heavy stuff. I garden in both. When amending clay soils its best to dig into a large area with compost. This way you avoid making a bowl where water settles. Changes in porosity have been shown to impede drainage, not help. That being said, its darn near impossible to do, unless I'm starting a new bed or completely renovating an old one. So I dig small amounts of compost in my garden when I work small areas. Avoid sand, Clay + Sand = Brick. I also take extra care to plant at the right level. TC starts haven't done well in the clay so I put them in the vegetable patch (shady end) for a year. Its a raised bed, 4", with rich, loose soil for them to get more roots before I plant in my regular beds. My sister has me rescue plants not doing well in her heavy clay and keep them a year or so until bigger with more roots. If you have a raised bed somewhere you can do your own rescue this way. I have also put young TC in a pot for a couple of years which is more work because I plant them in my vegetable patch in fall and take them out in the spring, but they are cute in the pots.

Someone mentioned mulch which is important. Leaf mulch or fine wood mulch which decomposes rapidly is another good way to amend. It also keeps the soil from drying out. Soil with large amount of clay is hard to wet if it drys out. The water just runs across the surface and doesn't go down to the the root. I try to keep new plantings moist and don't let the ground dry out. An inch is all I use, sometimes more because I have more, but never over two inches.

Other than TC starts my hosta have done well in my soil.

Happy planting,
Beverly

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 10:17AM
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hostahillbilly(4)

if you have the room here's the cheap way to do it - the townies rake up their leaves, bag and put them on the curb for us every year - here's the hillbilly mulch manufacturing site:

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 11:33AM
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hostahillbilly(4)

if you have the room here's the cheap way to do it - the townies rake up their leaves, bag and put them on the curb for us every year - here's the hillbilly mulch manufacturing site:

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 12:35PM
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