Raising tissue cultures

bkay2000(8a TX)October 10, 2013

I inadvertently ended up with some tissue culture sized plants. How do you get them from this tiny little plant to a "real" hosta? I have them in small pots. I put them in the "nursery" area where I previously had those damaged by Cleo. I also gave them a shot of MG liquid root stimulator.

I generally just leave my hosta where they sit over the winter. We have repeated short freezes, an very occasional snow and some rain in the winter. Do I just leave them there like I do my mature plants?


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jadie88(7 MD)

I'm also looking for help in this department. A friend of mine gave me some starter plugs. They put on impressive root growth, so most have filled out their 4.5" pots nicely. Ditto that for a few liners from GHWild.

I'm thinking of snugging them, pots and all, into the mulch pile by the shed. It is a pretty dry location, so I don't *think* rot will be a problem, and it is usually undisturbed by the critters.

I imagine in Texas (my own native soil!) a main concern will be keeping them dormant. The small pots might warm through too easily if they aren't buried somehow, right?

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 8:09PM
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What worked good for me up here in Zone 4...I popped them out of their pots & 'planted' them in a pile of composted wood chips. this was a pile of chips from the tree trimmers that all the leafy stuff had decomposed so the pile wasn't heating up anymore. The chips drained freely so no worry about rot and the varmits didn't bother them. In the spring, I dug them out of the pile and plopped them back into their pots.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 9:43PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

No, they stay dormant until spring like anywhere else.

I guess I don't know the definition of TC vs. liner. I'm sure someone has told me before, but it escapes me at this time.

I wonder if I should treat them the same as the larger plants...These are 3" pots, can they withstand repeated freezes and thaws? I never had any this small before.


    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 10:15PM
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I have no advice with TC. While I've had mini hosta which I suppose would be similar to keeping TCs. I was not too successful last winter because of the squirrels dumping out the mix. They dried up and never returned. Of course, we do not have snow and are lacking a true freezing climate, and I must keep rain away from my pots. Which is why I tipped them last year. This year, before I do any tipping, I'll be covering them with some hardware cloth.

This weekend I begin rebuilding my Hosta Sanctuary as bleachers.

Good luck with your TCs, BKay and Jadie. I'm interested in any new ideas too.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 10:21PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

Well, the regular ones stay dormant until spring. I'm not sure about these little ones.


    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 11:07PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

TC is the process ... almost all are such these days ...

liner is the size .. tiny ...

something like: liner.. cell pack.. quart pot.. gal pot.. etc ....

they are hosta... wait for it.. throw them on the driveway ... what does size matter.. in this situation ...

up here.. in the great white north.. i would worry about HEAVE ... them popping right out of the ground ...

i dont see that being a warm zone issue ...

my biggest fear with small pots.. would be moisture maintenance... they will dry out faster.. or wet faster ...

so i would just put them somewhere where they wont .. and check them more often for proper moisture ...

finally.. and its moot to your winter issue... it is said.. that hosta like to be pot bound to some extent.. so small liners.. for optimum growth.. should be put in the smallest pot.. and when the roots fill to the bottom.. up potted.. until he roots hit the bottom up potted... etc ... never put a tiny hosta in a huge pot because someday its supposed to be huge ... most often .. for unknown reasons they die.. even on the driveway ...

dont over think it.. just do it ... perfect moisture ...

one trick that i have done.. with any plants... get a big pot ... fill with media or wood chips.. work all the small pots into it.. cover with wood chips... thereby making a bunch of small pots.. one large pot...

the issue here is that in any given warm spell .. a large pot will stay cold.. whereas small ones might thaw completely.. and the plant come out of dormancy.. no plants.. of any kind ...like going in and out of dormancy .... after a while.. they lose their sense of humor about it.. and rot/die ...

so in this case.. by filling a larger pot.. you are making a cold sink.. and insulate them from the vagaries of mother nature ... large temp swings ....

so the key.. AS ALWAYS: GET THEM DORMANT AND KEEP THEM DORMANT... until the proper time... and if you accomplish that.. again.. no matter the plant... you will win.. 99% of the time ..


    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 7:29AM
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bragu_DSM 5

if you grow tomatoes, the 'liners' come in the cells like the tomatoes. they were likely propagated in a 'lab' somewhere by TC.

treat 'em normal ... do as ken says ...let them go to sleep ... a few will die in their sleep, but most will survive ... be sure to label them with TAPE or we will tie you up and throw you on ken's driveway ...

ÃÂ. ÃÂ --~


    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 11:05AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

but we arent talking about tomato

the actual cull off the TC plant IN PROCESS .... is no more than a fully developed QUARTER INCH PLANTLET ...

and they are put in these trays of quarter inch cells ... maybe something like 528 of them to a sheet ... which are then grown on.. and moved to cell packs.. to 2.25 inch pots... etc ... and age defines the move ...

the root issue here.. is the use of words.. that dont mean the same thing to each of use .... in this case.. a LINER >>>> PROBABLY MEANS ... less than a year old .... which defines its root mass.. most likely ....

if i have any luck on google images i will link it below ...

so all we can do.. is default to words we know ...such as...>>>>

they are hosta.. throw them on the driveway ... lol

subject to the variables i mentioned above


Here is a link that might be useful: these are what i understand to be liner trays ....

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 12:20PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Put them in a large baggie and stick them in your freezer! ;-)


    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 1:03PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

For the freezer, should they be wet, dry or in between? (I'm assuming they go in, pot, medium and all.)

Would a refrigerator do as well as a freezer? (stays abt. 40 degrees)


    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 4:23PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Don't know, Bkay. Never had the space to do that. I have read that 40 degree fridge works. I do know that wet is not good. Think of storing carrots.

Years ago, some folks here put a few in baggies in the fridge, then took them out in January and put them on a sunny window sill to get an early hosta "fix". I don't remember who or how they stored them.

Perhaps someone else remembers? What is the name of the seller who has "refrigerator" sales?


    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 1:08AM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

Isn't that White Oak?


    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 8:48AM
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ilovetogrow z9 Jax Florida

I have grown liners since I got hooked. I liked the price value. The first year I left them in the 4" pots I had put them in and just watched that they did not dry out. I do not do anything extra to them different from the large hostas I have in pots. Just cover with a little mulch and they will be back. Liners are tough little guys. I would move them up to one gallon pots in real early spring. Paula

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 8:51AM
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bragu_DSM 5

yes, nurseries which grow by TC put the little plants in trays like that (as in ken's google liner reference) When you order them, they pluck them out and put them in a tray with cells about the same size and mail them to you. The individual plants will have LOTS of roots and very little soil and should immediately potted up to a 4 inch pot. If you have several of the same variety it is okay to plop them all in one pot... you can place the pots on the ground ... be sure to cover them with some sort of ground cloth if you do this ... turn pots sideways so they won't drown ... OR

plant the pots in the ground ... dig a hole so that the soil in the pot is level with the soil in the ground ... i rake leaves on top and let them overwinter ... i do dozens of varieties (100s of plants each year) in pots and have minimal losses ... then i dig them up in the spring and deal with them ... or forget and find them a year (or more) later saying .... 'hey, these were still in pots.'

I like to plant pots of liners between two plants that are in the ground. As the in-ground plants grow to maturity and need more room (because I almost always misjudge distances ... and I am inherently lazy) ... I can take out the pots ... and move them ... giving the in-grounds more room ... it's my carpy system and it seems to work ...

otherwise, do as ken sez ...



    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 6:30PM
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