Do you give your m. Aureomarginata cold protection?

don_in_coloradoDecember 24, 2013

Hi all,

A question was posed by Phil (Hostafreak) in another thread today...He mentioned that his montana Aureomarginata always wants to come up in February, and asked what the secret is in protecting your m. Aureomarginatas? He wrote that he's seen great-looking specimens in Minnesota (To paraphrase Phil)...

So it made me wonder as well...What do you all do to protect YOUR early-emerging m. Aureomarginata? (If anything)...

Don B.

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bernd ny zone5

My m.A. does not come up early because it grows in high shade. I do not protect it, though it grows in the shade of two large arbovitaes which shield it against direct morning and noon sunshine. It also grows behind the trunk of a locust tree, so it also does not get afternoon sun.
It looks like m.A. comes out early when the soil gets warmed up by direct sunshine. So keep it cool by planting it in shade or pile a bag of mulch on it in fall. Phil or others wrote in the past that he/they place a box on it in spring.

This post was edited by berndnyz5 on Tue, Dec 24, 13 at 19:53

    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 4:59PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

I do nothing. Although it gets a fair amount of sun when the sun is higher in summer, in winter and early spring it is shaded by a mature pine, so not a real early riser.


    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 6:29PM
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I should clarify that statement about seeing m. Aureomarginatas in Minnesota. It was a picture of a huge one here on the forum. A woman was standing behind one,and it was up to her waist! Mine does grow in morning sun,but I would hardly call it a lot of sun. It must be a 'northern' plant! If it goes away this year,I would not replace it. I do pile leaves on it every year,and eventually put a cardboard box on it,but it still gets frozen every year. Phil

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 8:52AM
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bragu_DSM 5

Don, think a moment about what you are asking... and then ... envision.

Yes, I do provide "protection" for my little hosta eyes.

I go to the pharmacy and buy a box of them. They come in individual packets. (get the non lubricated kind)

Only thing is, be prepared to hear your wife ask:

'Why did you put those on the plants?"

for protection, honey ...



    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 1:29PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

I'm thinking about "protection" myself these days. But, not Dave's kind.

Since I grow in pots, my hosta come up early. Usually, the only damage is some spots on the leaves. It looks like measles, but it's usually not noticible unless you look for it. Last year, I really got hammered. I used sheets and row cover, but it didn't solve the problem. The cold sent some hosta back to juvenile leaves on small plants. I even lost a couple of small plants.

If I were having similar problems with hosta in the ground, I would use those foam coolers with a rock on top when we have a cold night. I get them from the vet, so they are free and plentiful. They come in all sizes, but they are all rectangular in shape.

Any ideas on how I might use them on round pots?


    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 3:36PM
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BK, I guess I'll have to hang out at my vet's office a lot more to see what you are talking about. Or do you frequent a HORSTA DOC?

As January 2014 approaches, we're having pretty cool weather for the most part, and I don't give any one particular hosta extra consideration. I try to keep them all in the shade.

The sun is at its lowest trajectory these days, coming up in tiny increments as the days lengthen. Along about February I'll have to worry about more sun on the dormant pots and try to protect them until mid-March at least. It might be marginally warm enough to let them emerge then. But just think how long the growing season will be for them.....all the way to next November. Even now after multiple freezes and bouts of frost, Hosta 'Cerveza' is still green but not really GROWING.

I remember the winter 2011-2012 when I first wintered over some hosta in nursery pots, Stained Glass did NOT go dormant at all. It waited until late June 2012, went dormant for a few weeks, and then came back strong to bloom. Since then, it is performing normally.

I consider if it doesn't go cold dormant for the winter, it might go HEAT DORMANT in the summer. No scientific reasoning here....just sooner or later it must take a break. Heat dormancy may be the way hosta cope with a warming climate. Still in experimental stage I'd say.

Here is my Stained Glass #1 in May 2012, about to go dormant. I thought it was dying, so I ordered its replacement #2. When it came back to life, it out-performed #2 and produced a scape and bloomed for me that summer right on time.

and later in the summer, July 2012

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 10:46PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

I use a regular DVM (Texas A&M, of course). All their meds and vaccines are shipped cold, so they get foam ice chests all the time (MD's also, but they don't have as many meds). I have a use for the medium size ones, so he calls me when he gets 2 or 3, and I take all he has no matter the size. The really huge ones and the really small ones get trashed right away. Here's one I had in the garage. (Obviously, I have not yet cleaned up my hosta this fall.)

I love Stained Glass. It has such great color. You captured it well. GuacDon gave me one last spring and it has done very well.


    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 6:39PM
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Thanks, Dave. That was very informative. Perhaps TOO informative. : )

You are insane. Another reason you're OK by me!

Don B.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 10:48PM
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