Joining here now that the HostaLibrary forum has closed

MstrPBK(4)December 26, 2013

As some of you know the forum at the HostaLibrary has fallen. I have decided to adopt this group to be a part of. I have some left over questions from there that I am still seeking the answers too.

1. Does anyone know what has become to Hosta Archangel Micheal? Was it over come by slugs or does it still exist?

2. For how many years do you keep attempting to grow a hosta variety before moving on to the next? I have been trying to produce a heard of Blue Mammoths over the last three years which brought on failures springs of 2012 and 2013. I am now holding my breath for the spring of 2014. Anyone have thoughts on this?

3. Hosta Popcorn was also attempted during the growing seasons of 2012 and 2013. This year the hosta shed its summer colors after the FIRST 50� night back in August. What has been the experience of others trying to grow this variety?

This are the questions for now. My hosta gardening can also be followed on the blog: HostasByKelley at:

Peter Kelley
St. Paul, MN USA

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bkay2000(8a TX)

HI Peter.


(I do not know the answers to your questions.)


    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 10:25PM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

Welcome to the GW Hosta Forum, Peter.

Archangel Michael seems to be quite tiny. The pictures on the Library are from Jerry Willetts, who is also listed as the originator, although the plant isn't registered. If you are a member of the AHS you can look him up and contact him. I doubt if anyone else knows.

Blue Mammoth is not a difficult Hosta to grow. It's fairly common in gardens. Do you have any idea of why you are having problems with it? How many is a "heard"?

I don't grow Peanut, which is really Lakeside Dot Com. I do know that some forum members grow it. As with all white centered varieties I think it can be difficult to grow. The all green version of Peanut is called Goober, so I'm pretty sure that it is not unusual for it to revert to it's all green version.


    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 10:53PM
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Welcome to the forum, Peter.

Don B.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 11:20PM
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bernd ny zone5

Welcome to the forum!
I have hosta 'Blue Mammoth', is growing slowly but steadily. Mine grows in some shade, no direct sun, has plenty of water in a wet spot. You could move them into different locations, perhaps it is the soil.
I.e., I have problems with h.'Earth Angel' in various spots, others have no problems in this forum, so it must be how I treat them.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 8:04AM
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bragu_DSM 5

Re: B)

I too am attempting to rear a herd, but yea verily they be slow and glacially slower to grow ... they are a blue.

As long as they don't start going backwards on you.

Wooly mammoth, also a blue, another challenge.

welcome. As the newest member of the island ... you must hunt the firewood.



    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 10:25AM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

Here's a Blue Mammoth progression to show you how it grows. This one is in direct morning sun until about 11:00 a.m. and then in deep shade.

Year 1 in August, before it went into the ground in September.

Year 2 in May (much more blue color at this time of year)

Year 3 in June

It seems to grow all right in the conditions in which I have it planted. It's not the bluest of colors, more an aqua color than a silvery blue like Blue Hawaii. But it's a color I like.


    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 10:43AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5


your bio suggests you have a 3 by 6 foot garden .... why in the world would you want or need a heard of BM's ... oh my??? .... lol

one well grown specimen.. will take up a bigger spot than that ... look into land of the giants... i bet you could get a huge one for a very reasonable price ...

i met willets ... the late ... great ... jon souchek brought him over once .... but .... i dont recall what happened specifically to AM ..... he lived in greater cleveland .... are any of our members out that way???

popcorn is a large white centered plant ... not unlike GE ... its extremely hard to site perfectly.. let alone thrive .... for every 1 of us who shows a great pic.... you will probably have 50 who will curse it as a terminal plant.. that gratuitously disappears ... i am the latter .. twice over ...

back in the day ... two tries was good enough.. unless peeps gifted me more ...

i followed the link to your blog.. and found a long video ... and sure enough.. there is your 3 by 6 foot garden ... but i see a lot of cement ... time to start thinking about growing hosta in pots ... and we have quite a few experts in such ....


ps: there is a bix.. below where you type... for you to make a clickable link ...

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 10:44AM
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jan_on zone 5b

Welcome aboard Peter. Sorry to hear of the demise of the Hosta Library Forum, but that isn't likely to happen here, so prepare to settle in for the long haul. You'll get both good answers and smart-alec replies to all your questions!!! (Both the advice and the entertainment are free and freely given!) And since the famous Hosta alphabet, version winter 2013-14 has just started, send along pics of your Blue Mammoth's, under the "B's" tomorrow!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 11:28AM
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Thank you for your warm welcome. Since I have had a number of responses I will attempt to answer each I can.


Archangel Micheal is so small ... that it is reputed to be the smallest of the hosta. While It is not likely that I would ever attempt to grow it; it is one of those plants that I like to try to keep tabs on. Of course if someone were to hand it to me I certainly would not complain and then be quietly overjoyed.

I have received inferences from others who in turn have suggested that Blue Mammoth shouldn't be a difficult hosta to grow. Those of you who visit my blog will find in the September (Second Edition) the 'Saga of the Blue Mammoth' which recounts my trials and tribulations with Blue Mammoth. I mention there my full awareness of just how big this plant can get! (stage whisper: doesn't Sum and Substance get larger in diameter; and doesn't Xanadu Empress Wu get taller?? [ see my garden diagram on my blog under August]) A heard of Blue Mammoth (as far as I am concerned) starts with ONE spike of it coming up - if I can get that then the rest of them will naturally follow!

Steve the hosta I typed was POPCORN not Peanut! Why would I want a peanut in my collection when the theme is Chaos and Destruction?

Your three year progression of Blue Mammoth is wonderful - the type of thing I love seeing. The blue is one reason why it was placed in my garden!


Thank you for confirming that Blue Mammoth is a slow grower. I have heard this too, but am not disturbed by slow growing hosta. Somewhere in my garden there is a 'Itsy Bitsy Spider' and was told that also is a slow grower but immediately after the second heat wave here in MN last summer it fought its way back to say, "I want to grow, I want to grow".


Blue Hosta have never been a problem for me. I had a Blue Cadet some years back when I first started to grow hosta and it grew to be 4 feet in diameter. In hindsight I should have kept it as I didn't realized what I had grown at that time!

And NO you don't get tp use my crutches as firewood! (not into reality TV [sorry]).


Thank you for your thoughts about Popcorn. I will take note of those observations. I added Popcorn because it had a stunning white center that had irregular (cruppled) leaves. I may try Popcorn one last season next year if it fails to come up. Can any one think of a concave (bowl like) white hosta to substitute out for Popcorn?

Hosta growing in pots. Hummm. Hosta are still popular plants and with this neighborhood we have had plants been DUG up by invisible strangers, planters disappearing from around the building. We are 100% sure it not the Garden Gnomes punishing us - we're a great group of gardeners here.

Ken seems to think that two tries and the plant is out! Any other thoughts on Hosta attempts?


Ken is correct if you follow the link below you can be guided to a 14 minute slide presentation about my minute (size) garden. YouTube seems to cause a burp as it's playing - just be patient and let it pass. Next year it will be longer due to the development plans I am working on this winter!

Thank you all for the warm welcome! It looks like an informative place where people WANT to share information.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hosta By Kelley

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 2:35PM
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Hi, Peter. You are sure welcome to join the conversations. Lots will be going on beginning TODAY, with the Hosta Alphabet. You can post your pictures by the hosta name, alphabetically. Get ready to show your Blue Mammoth or Wooly Mammoth--but don't hold your breath because the WWWs take a LONG time for a turn at showing off.

I'm a far southern outpost of hostadom, which are mostly in containers. However, following my regimen won't be as appropriate for you in a much colder climate. Only, this last week, we had nights down in the high 20s (our hard freeze is 28F) and days in the high 50s and sometimes 60s. I still have Cerveza green and holding on beneath a big camellia sasanqua shrub.

You'll probably recognize some folks as they come back closer to springtime. We don't stay strangers long on this forum. Glad to have you on board.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 3:08PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

its been a long day ... but if your garden.. is in a lot of sunlight ... in the heat of the day .... popcorn.. along with many white centered plants ... will burn out the center ...

too bad about pots and vandals ...


ps: there are some.. that i have given up at 8 to 10 .... mostly gifts beyond two.. lol ... some people have a cruel sense of humor.. gifting you with things you talk up a blue streak over ... lol ...

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 6:17PM
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Yeah, Steve...Popcorn = Chaos and Destruction! Not Peanut! Peanut is for...uh...well...Something else! Didn't you get the memo??

(Just playin' around, guys)... : P

Don B.

P.S. Peter, I've never seen it available for sale, but H. 'Devastator' would be a grand addition to a bed with a 'Chaos And Destruction' theme to it. It's a pretty nice-looking hosta. Plus, I think it may be fragrant. Would also be a great addition to my 'My World Smells Like Pez Candy' themed fragrant bed. : )

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 7:41PM
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To moccasinlanding:

I assure you it is Blue Mammoth I have tried in the past.

To Ken:

I have yet to find anything left at the door; although I had to adapt quickly back in 2011 when my mother brought to me BOTH T-Rex and Blue Mammoth. And yes I smiled and did say thank you very nicely. Having both WAS NOT my plan at that moment. She is threatening to "share" some of her Mouse Ears next summer (not sure what variety she is talking about as of yet.

Honesty I do get nearly 100% sun for about 2 to 3 hours from about noon in my garden (working on eliminating that next year).

'Popcorn' simply dropped its green in August; it did have an intense gold yellow as it faded. I thought that moment was exciting.

'Vulcan' took off, and exploded into growth making every other hosta look bad last year. 'Gorgon' was a close second in that department.

'Frosted Mouse Ears' and 'Holy Mouse Ears' each seem to have settled in with polite growth.

'Xanadu Empress Wu' was planted in August, and that even tried to take off by growing leaves that were twice the size of what it came with.

In short I am expecting a 86% (18 out of 21 plants) survival rate next spring with only three plants not coming up (as mentioned at my blog). Those being ... Blue Mammoth, Itsy Bity Spider, and Popcorn. Naturally they have the option of surprising me, and appearing on cue. Everything else looked in good shape when I cut everything back Mid-October for their long winter nap!

Finally Ken, to be honest, I do have a few theories as to why my 2013 survival rate was 56% (from 18 hosta to 10 hosta). I can't discuss those until I see what happens next spring (2014; trying to be objective here folks). Hint keep watching my blog for a lengthy narrative on that topic there.

Peter Kelley
St. Paul, MN USA

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 8:14PM
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A few posts above something made me think about this old addage: IGNORANCE IS BLISS......if you don't know it is wrong, it won't mess you up. But, once you know, it will get you.

Oh yeah. It was about white centered leaves growing nicely until you knew they were hard to grow. After that....pffffftttt... none of them ever grew for me. I loved them. Now I avoid them. Pathfinder plus Half And Half are two that I love which haven't died yet. Even Ann Kulpa hates me. Aarrgghh.....

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 8:27PM
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Don -

I have a list of 131 hosta that might be used in the theme of Chaos and Destruction. It would seem that I missed the hosta ‘Devastator’. That has now been added to my list and it now stands at 132 ways to suggest Chaos and Destruction!

Peter Kelley
St. Paul, MN USA

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 8:31PM
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bragu_DSM 5


you put "invincible" on that list?


    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 10:30PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

Hint keep watching my blog for a lengthy narrative on that topic there.

===>>> this is my blog.. discuss it here.. if you want me to see it ...

thats a heck of a death count... i moved 1650 pots of hosta 65 miles SW ... i only lost about 9% .... i was told that is common for the growers ... if not on the low side ...

your losses are too high ... we can help with that ...

i would suggest a new post.. a pic or two of your raised bed.. and probably a discussion of what soil or media you used.. as well as how you plant them in the ground ...

we are an open book.. IF you ask the right question ... you will get answers that help ... [if you ask the wrong questions.. you will simply get overwhelmed with data and confused]

right now.. in this post.. we are flitting about many subjects.. which is fine .... its just a welcome to the club post ..

but when you are ready.. start some new posts.. on specific issues ...

good luck


    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 10:22AM
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Welcome Peter.

About Blue Mamoth. This spring (after the summers of 2012 and 2013) was the first that I had hosta decrease in size. I think all the rain in spring followed by hot dry weather wore them out. Since I am just North of you by a few miles, I would guess you had similar issues. I tried watering more regularly this year to help them recover. Blue hosta do well with that amount of morning sun, a little fertilzer wouldn't hurt - but you probably already tried that.

How Long? If they aren't dead, leave them alone. I would leave a slow grower for a minimum of 3 years in one spot, up to 5 before I give up. If you move it you are starting over. Just my opinion.

The only white centered one I currently have is Hudson Bay. It was very small when I bought it and then I moved it so, starting over. Its doing fine so far after year two. I can't recommend until after year 3 or 5.


    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 11:27AM
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Eleven(Metro Detroit 6A)

Your death count sounds awful. Maybe there's something overall in your setup/environment/care/source that is killing some and stunting the growth of others.

Anyway, just wanted to say that you can't compare the slow growth rate of most blue hostas to Blue Cadet. It's a strong, fast grower. I've been growing (trying to grow) Blue Angel for 5 years now. Most people can grow it fine, whereas I almost yanked it last spring. It finally put on some size, enough for me to leave it be. It can take time, the right placement, or better watering for some hostas to be happy.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 10:00AM
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