Shape up or ship out

jan_on zone 5bNovember 11, 2013

Lots of us seem to have long want lists for 2014 - my problem is space, so I'm watching for hostas in my garden that are slacking off, and may lose their real estate to some new up-and-comers if they don't watch out. Some that are on notice, based on 2013 performance......

Hadspen Samphire - really pretty in spring, but ratty and very plain all summer and fall.

Night Before Christmas - another whose white centre can't seem to thrive in hot summers, and who looks really crappy by September.

Blue Boy - another that is absolutely gorgeous in spring, but just doesn't deliver later on. I like plain green, but this one is just boring.

Honeysong - I seem to have several creamy edged greens, and this one flattened out in summer and spent the season looking as though it needed a drink.

I don't hate any of these - I just think I could replace them with others that would give me more pleasure.

Do you have any that you might carry to the curb, give to your annoying neighbour, donate to the plant sale????

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Babka NorCal 9b

When push comes to shove, I gave away Hadspen Samphire and Night Before Christmas, for the same reasons. One only looked really good in spring, the just turned pain green. The other was replaced by Christmas Candy.

Sometimes you gotta just do it.


    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 12:40AM
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This year I got rid of (gave away to a hosta newbie):

Fujibotan (after 3 seasons, never put on growth and Im not into the hosta flowers),

Green Thunderbolt (a sport I removed from my Thunderbolt),

Fortunei Albo Picta (it just doesnt impress me and one of my first hostas),

Lancifolia (just plain green & boring)

The ones Im considering getting rid of next year:
Sharmon (just doesnt impress me),
Fringe Benefit (put on good growth but mine just doesnt look like the pictures I've seen and is boring),
Diamond Tiara (isnt growing for me the past 2 seasons - will give it another season),

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 7:50AM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

Three that are on my list are Ann Kulpa, Aphrodite and Blue Angel. Ann Kulpa melts out in the center and doesn't grow. Aphrodite blooms won't open and Blue Angel has anthracnose. I'm going to do the bleach treatment on Blue Angel and if it still has that nasty spotty look, it goes in mid summer next year.

Frances Williams shold also be on that list. It never looks good.


    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 9:20AM
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newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada

For me, Twilight and Brim Cup are being given their last chance. Twilight has always had ratty edges (starting in year 2). I have divided it this year and will see what happens next year.

Brim Cup, looked great in 2011 and 2012. Then I found out it was on Don Rawson's "Difficult to Grow" Hosta List. Well, wasn't I proud of myself---I could grow a difficult hosta! Then 2013 came along and now I have to say I understand perfectly why it is on the Difficult to Grow Hosta List! It had ratty edges big time. So I've repotted it (it's been in a pot all along), and plan to put it in more shade in early spring before my trees leaf out.

I have two undulata erromena and two lancifolia. I don't have a lot of garden space, so I figure one mature one of these is enough for me. The undulata erromena will be moved in spring to cottage country at a relative's home. One lancifolia I will find a new home for.

I've got to say though that undulata erromena and lancifolia are great hostas for those difficult to grow areas in a garden. And who doesn't have some of those areas?

If anyone is not familar with Don Rawson's Hosta Lists, I have provided a link that will get you there.

Here is a link that might be useful: 2013 Hosta Lists

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 11:03AM
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Zounds is on its way out. Its no bigger now than when I bought it, six years ago. I moved it this past summer replacing it with Liberty. But Hosta that crap-out, are consigned to a life of bulking up pots where gaudy annuals reign supreme.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 9:29PM
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MadPlanter1 zone 5

A Twilight with super ratty edges and Barbra Ann, which got ugly in year two and just keeps getting worse. Maybe it's just a bad TC. Also the four year old Liberty that still has only three leaves. It's just a dud.

Jan, before you give up on Night Before Christmas, try drowning it. I've got one that gets mid-day sun and it's grown like a weed with no burned out centers. It and the Dancing Queen next to it get drenched every day. Both did have a little scorching on the sunny side by late summer, but considering the location I'm very pleased with their performance. Of course, I'm 5a, and you're 6a - that could be the difference.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 4:00AM
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bernd ny zone5

Yes, a better location, amending the soil, a little sun and more water might help. You can also pot them up in Spring, it helped me in some cases. I have several which I also drench with fungicide and insecticide often. I dug some out and removed tree roots, put plants into spinout bags. Next is thinking about voles, I still have to dig in around some plants and more under the fence 8 inches sharp gravel, have 6 bags waiting, to be done next days. It is a constant battle.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 6:41PM
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bragu_DSM 5

you are cruel, cruel people.

The only one that belongs on the list is GE.

Hey, my aphrodite has never bloomed either ... but I got an app for that ...

dave *the ultimate forgiver*

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 9:10PM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b


Zounds is slow, but it does grow. If you bought a small liner to begin with, then I could see that it might stay the same size for some time. But if yours hasn't increased in size, then move it to a better spot with better soil.

Here's mine in it's third year. It was a liner when I bought it. It's not fully mature, but in another 2 years it will be.


    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 8:33AM
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bragu_DSM 5

yuppers, my zounds is very much like Steve's. I actually thot I was going to lose it over the winter last year, because it was so dry here. But this year it looked better and I have rather greater expectations for it next spring, unlike the plant of a similar name [GE] ...


    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 7:02PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

Barbara Ann was a dud for me, too. It didn't come back after it's first year. NIght Before Christmas does well here, though. My neighbor has one that she kind of waters occasionally that survives. It was really nice when she was younger and was able to water it regularly.

About Aphrodite - if it didn't bloom, it wouldn't bother me. However, it buds out and tries to bloom. The blooms just won't open. They just sit there and get bigger and bigger until they start to melt and turn brown. In all fairness, I didn't mean to get an Aphrodite. I ordered a plantaginea. When the blooms didn't open, we on the forum determined it was Aphrodite not plantaginea. When I complained, the grower told me it was a more expensive plant and I should be happy with it. But this is the second year the blooms didn't open. Unlike Bruce, I'm not into waiting 10 years for something to bloom. I wanted fragrance, which I don't get.

Yes, I am cruel. I just have a 50 X 100 ft. city lot and my shade is limited. I have to get more picky or keep a bunch of ugly hosta.


    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 7:28PM
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BKay, do you have a 'Guacamole'? If not, let me know, and I'll send you one in March/April. Or even if you do have one, and 'need' another, I'll still send you one if you'd like. Just let me know.

Don B.

EDIT: No tiny liners; I'm talking about 3-4 eye plant that might be ready to leap. : ) Donny Guac-seed...

This post was edited by Don_in_Colorado on Mon, Nov 18, 13 at 3:25

    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 3:02AM
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I removed Barbara Ann, or Babs as she should be known. She has barely grown and looked ugly during the entire process.
Night Before Christmas stays. It looked really ratty this year, but that's my fault for not seeing to the slugs. But it sure does grow.
I also got rid of Sugar Daddy and Spilt Milk. Sugar Daddy is a lousy hosta, with mouthwatering colours when it is immature and very ugly, uneven, burned edges. Spilt Milk had grown well - it was a huge clump- but I have never liked it. I should have been more careful when the plant was in its early stages to cut off the all-blue leaves, but I never got around to it.
I think all the hostas left will now fear and respect me and will perform to the utmost.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 11:02AM
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Ludi _PA_7a

To those that are unimpressed with Night before Christmas, I would like to add, FWIW, that this was one of mine I was most impressed with this year.

First, it put on the most new growth of any that overwintered with me last year (even the solids).

Second, I am a major sucker for the white middles (as some may know) and NBC is by far the most vigorous of all my white middles. The only other one I had this year with a bleach white center that kept up with NBC was Ann Kulpa, which I also saw some comment on being disappointed with. :(

Third, NBC has the potential to be one of the largest white middle hostas in your garden if left undivided for long enough. Hostas generally with a lot of white in their leaves will not reach the mature sizes their solid brethren do. Not the case with NBC, or so I have seen in photos posted on these forums. Judging by the growth from one year to the next I am inclined to think in less than 5 years I could well have a giant on my hands.

I only offer my experience to try and help others that may not be sharing the same success.

For my white middles, I give them high dappled shade. This way they get short 10-15 minute bursts of direct sun through the canopy, and then it passes, allowing the leaf to cool down a bit before the next pass of sun comes through.

I also picked up on another trend ⦠white middles flush green in excessive heat. Not necessarily direct sunlight ... but just HOT air that doesn't cool down at night.

Hudson Bay was my guinea pig to test this theory. I thought at first when I saw the white flushing green that it needed more light and was compensating for the shade by pushing more chlorophyll into the leaves. So when I put it into afternoon direct sun it only proceeded to push more green into the white middle. Only when it started to cool down did the green recede back into the plant and the white was brighter. It was still in direct afternoon sunlight.

Call me crazy as I don't have as many years as others out there, but this is what I observed in my garden.

One of my best pics this year was Night before Christmas - 5/11/2013

Here it is again on 8/31/2013. The only reason the leaves are starting to yellow up and shrivel is because I let it sit dry for a bit too long ⦠but like MadPlanter said, give it enough water and it will take off.

Good Luck in 2014,

White Middle Ludi

    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 10:18PM
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jan_on zone 5b

Thanks Ludi - I'll show my NBC the picture of yours so it knows what is expected of it. Perhaps it just lacks a good role model.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 10:15AM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

Thanks, Don, I have a really nice Guacamole. It's one of the stars that holds up well to the heat. I'm hoping the Stained Glass you sent me does as well.


My guac in 2013

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 12:05PM
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My Zounds wasn't a liner, but maybe.. Four eyed plant. It got a bit bigger, but not much, and always got the comment, " oh, you got a new one!" In a long strip of mature Hosta, a few younger than it was, it looked pathetic! I transplanted it the fall into my Heuchera bed, threatening it all the way. I don't want a large Hosta there, so it will probably flourish...

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 12:07AM
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