Twilight

newhostalady Z6 ON, CanadaSeptember 20, 2013

Acquired Twilight in 2011. I kept it in a pot and did not repot it since 2011. It did pretty well the first year. Then in 2012 and in 2013 it had dessicated leaf edges most of the season. I must say it grew well (other than the dessicated leaves). I don't know how many eyes it had in 2011 when purchased, but in 2012 it had four and in 2013 it had twelve eyes. I decided that I needed to do something. I did a bit of research on GardenWeb to find that in fact, it was supposed to be an improved version of Fortunei Aureomarginata (which I have also). The overall consensus was that many of you actually preferred FA over Twilight. I attach a link.

I had a heck of a time dividing this hosta. What a mass of dense roots! No way I could separate any eyes. So I decided that I had to take a knife to it. I divided into four equal pieces. I think I will keep one and find new homes for the others next year. I think that I wasn't a good 'momma' because I didn't repot it earlier, and I think it was too crowded in that pot. Maybe I should have just potted up into a larger pot (not much room in the garden) instead of dividing. I took some pictures to show you how it all went. I also think this hosta doesn't like to be grown in a pot.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/hosta/msg0704443018439.html

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newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada

Here is a leaf shot in June.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 9:19PM
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newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada

Here is a leaf shot now in September.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 9:20PM
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newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada

But most of the leaves look like this now.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 9:21PM
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newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada

So I removed the pot to have a better look at what was going on.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 9:22PM
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newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada

Oh my goodness---so many roots!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 9:23PM
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newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada

Just had to take a knife and cut. Here are two pieces.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 9:24PM
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newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada

And then there were four.

Any comments for me?

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 9:27PM
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Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)

Yep, looks like four good sized divisions to me. Which one will you be keeping? I'd keep 1, 2, or 4 from left to right, unless #3 has more root than I'm seeing.

However, what do I know about dividing mature hosta. I should be so lucky! You done good, NHL. Try one in the ground, one in the pot, and get rid of two.

I don't have Twilight, but I like the tricolor leaf. The leaf shot has a pearly white margin, and the light pale green/gold brush strokes appear exotic.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 12:27AM
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brucebanyaihsta

I would take those root masses and beat them severely, within an inch of their lives!

Actually spread those feathering roots out so they can grow independent of one another, not tightly intertwined.

I will frequently cut with bleached very sharp knife a percentage of those roots off the crowns JUST to stimulate bigger and newer root growth.

What may be happening is the small root hairs are doing well but not allowing more mature ones to come through - need to provide the space now for sustainable root and crown growth or the crowns will eventually suffer from stress from dryness( young roots have small mass/water-holding) and dieback

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 8:04AM
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ci_lantro

This is my first year growing Twilight--acquired last summer. Love it and it has grown gangbusters. Love how it looks like it's lighted from within and just glows.

That said, I suspect Twilight is a hosta best suited for us northern gardeners. I noticed that mine got some dessication, slight, as the summer wore on. And that the yellow edges were turning white. But, just as it was looking a tad ratty, here came a wonderful second flush of leaves that completely covered the worn looking first flush. (We experienced a much cooler than normal spring & summer.)

Mine grows in a prominent location next to an asphalt driveway--a spot that a hosta has to 'earn'-- and gets a fair amount of direct morning sun. I plan to keep it in that location for now and see how it performs in the future. At least for this year, the slight dessication was more than offset by the wonderful second flush.

In your zone, Newhostalady, I'd do exactly as Moccasin suggests...one in a pot and one in the ground....and give it a couple of years. I suspect that the dessication is an issue that you'll have to decide whether or not you can live with, though. That may mean that it's worth keeping the potted one only...enjoy while it's at its best...and hide it when it goes ugly...IF you have the luxury of enough space. I think it deserves a second chance, being that it was soo seriouly potbound....and, at its best, Twilight is just a stellar hosta, IMO.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 8:10AM
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newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada

Each of you have great comments and suggestions!

Moccasinlanding: I thought I would keep one only. Keeping one in a pot and one in the soil is a great suggestion. I will do that! (I did pick out one of the biggest and best of the bunch for myself, but the other one I keep will be the one that comes up the strongest next year---I hope!

Brucebanyaihsta: What you have said is all new to me. Sounds like very good and interesting information. I have limited experience in separating hosta eyes before, but those Twilight roots were soooo tightly packed. Spreading out the roots as much as possible seems a good idea.

Now when you say "I will frequently cut with bleached very sharp knife a percentage of those roots off the crowns JUST to stimulate bigger and newer root growth"---you mean cut some of the thinner roots completely? What percentage are we talking about approximately?

You also say that "crowns will eventually suffer from the stress from dryness." This is because more mature roots are not able to get through the mass of thinner roots, and that this causes dryness of the crown and dieback. That sure sounds likely with this hosta. Since I have four pieces now, I can do a little experimentation like cut roots of two and leave two and see what happens. Please see my additional picture. I see some very thick roots and a lot of thin ones.

Ci lantro: Glad to hear of your experience with Twilight so far. I see that you experienced some dessication in year two, but that it was offset by the second flush of leaves. I do hope that year three will not be a disappointment for you and that you will not experience more dessication as I have.

As you say, " I suspect that the dessication is an issue that you'll have to decide whether or not you can live with, though." Hiding an unslightly pot could be an option. I could do that, as long as I actually love it for some period of time, before it goes ratty. Obviously I liked it when I bought it. So now we will see what is in store for this hosta in the near future.

I just acquired The Hostapedia book. Here is a comment that Zilis made about Twilight:

"First, it has a slower growth rate than 'Fortunei Aureomarginata', and I have yet to see a specimen reach the dimensions of 'Fortunei Aureomarginata'."

Considering that Twilight was registered in 1997 and Zilis published his book in 2009, I think that says a lot.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 12:49PM
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brucebanyaihsta

Those thicker roots are what you would expect as the plant crowns mature and develop, so yes, cut away a small % of the hairy small feathery roots.

Keep the replanted crowns moist while they grow newer roots. No direct sun anymore until they releaf or bud out next Spring. Lower stress on the divisions. I would cut the existing leaves off the plants now also.

Bruce

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 8:34AM
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newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada

Thank you Bruce! I will do that with two of the divisions. It will be interesting to see how they develop compared to the other two. I can report back next year. Hopefully, this information will help others too.

As for cutting off the leaves to reduce stress, I guess the hostas will know that it is fall and not put on any new growth? I met a man a year ago who has a very large hosta garden. I commented that he must have beautiful fall colors from his hosta. He said that he did not because he always cuts his leaves off in the fall before they change color. I am not sure how that works exactly, but always meant to ask him. Perhaps I should start another thread . . .

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 12:51PM
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Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)

Newhostalady, I'd appreciate it if you would ask the leafcutter man how it works. If they reflush.

Because mine wind up going down for the winter in late November and early December. It sort of drags the season on too long. I'd like to wind it up about Thandsgiving at the latest and have my pots tucked away in an organized fashion instead of waiting for the stragglers to give up and go to sleep.

I'll be watching for your new thread about that.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 3:57PM
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steve_wny(5)

Twilight is one of my favorites. I just wish that it had the sun tolerance of FA :)

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 6:45PM
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bragu_DSM 5

I try to rinse all the old soil off before I cut. Makes it easier to deal with feathery roots, and shows where to cut, sometimes without damaging the crown. Also makes it easier on the transplant, as you can spread out the roots more. Clean your knife between hosta. You can sprinkle cinnamon on the cuts to help them heal ... old orchid/AV trick (no sugar and cinnamon mixture, plain cinnamon)

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dave

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 12:04AM
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