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Solid coloured sports...impact on variegated hosta

Posted by josephines67 5 ON (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 16, 13 at 14:58

What impact does a solid coloured sport have on the variegated mother plant IF it's allowed to grow?

Will the sport take over eventually...Is there a general timeline, generally speaking when one should remove it?

Reason for question....last year H. 'June' sported a couple of solid blue leaves...two separate plants growing under varying sun exposure ... both shot out blue sports. I decided I'd wait till this year to make up my mind whether to cull...I will likely get around to it within the next week or so as I do not want to alter June's intended appearance.

What has been your experience?

I'm hoping for anecdotal responses svp. Thank you.
Jo


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Solid coloured sports...impact on variegated hosta

As a general rule, the solid sport of a variegated hosta will be a more vigorous grower than the parent. It makes sense - the new solid part has all the benefits of the root system and has more chlorophyll... thus it can grow faster... and often larger leaves... than the parent plant.

This wouldn't matter much except that the leaf structure is also building the crown for future growth... and a stronger sport will often slowly take over the plant by making more and more of the crown into a solid plant.

Streakers, being unstable, tend to go to solid much faster than a stable variegated plant... many of my streakers need to be divided every 3 years to retain streaky parts on a plant trying to go to solid - or in some cases to a stabilized variegated plant (Savannah Supreme will produce solid sports, but will also stablize to the margined plant Savannah... Blizzard will throw solid sports that look like Sum and Substance but more typically stabilizes to Winter Snow.)

The speed of a solid sport taking over a variegated plant is impossible to give with any accuracy as it depends not just on the cultivar, but also on the size of the plant. If you have a little tc of June and when it grows to 2 eyes, one of them is solid - I guess I'd remove it right away. On the other hand, I've got a 17 year-old June that has some solid blue every year and I just never get around to removing it... unless I want to give some one the equivalent of a Halcyon. Ditto for Bright Lights - always seems to have some solid blue on the 17 year-old plant... every once in a while I'll remove it - it grows into a really nice blue tokudama.

Most solid sports are disposable... a few are worth keeping. As I said, the blue one from June is either Halcyon or something that looks just like it... good plant. The solid sport of Jane Ward is called Lady Jane - green plant isn't much to look at, but its ok... and it has the most amazing Dusty Rose/mauve/whatever flower bud - worth growing just for that. Maybe the most surprising is the green sport you get on Embroidery. Embroidery has the oddly shaped and puckered medium-sized leaves... the solid sport is completely smooth - no puckering or corrugation - and the leaves are huge - very long and tapered... totally different from the parent and quite different from any hosta I grow.


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RE: Solid coloured sports...impact on variegated hosta

I think the amount of time to overcome the original plant will vary by variety - I have a Paradigm that has sported solid divisions since 2006 and still has not overtaken the entire plant vs a mini (Dixie Chick) that seems to only add solid divisions since I planted it - still has three variegated ones, which equals the division count when I planted it.

I have a couple of hosta that I twist and yank out the solid divisions rather than cut apart the clump. Quick and painless. Works OK, haven't tracked to see if eliminates the recurrence.

Paul


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RE: Solid coloured sports...impact on variegated hosta

I have a h.'Titanic' which showed one yellow sport (like S&S) the last two years. I twisted and ripped those out. This year it gave up on that, no yellow sport. Bernd


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RE: Solid coloured sports...impact on variegated hosta

I take any solid sports or reversions out of my hostas right away. For me, they tend to take over in no time.


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RE: Solid coloured sports...impact on variegated hosta

Idiothe, thank you . . . I was eagerly anticipating your input and was amply rewarded! Love it! ! ! So informative and always interesting to read. :-).

I am intrigued by your description of the Embroidery sport. . .do you happen to have a photo of it by any chance?

Based on your experience with June, I'm leaning towards leaving the shady June alone, for now as the solid blue is not that noticeable. It has not produced additional blues this year. Based on the process you've explained, It would be to my advantage to allow the blue crown to grow a bit longer. It is definitely an eye, not errant leaf(leaves).

I used to have Halcyon years ago - my first blue - loved it! To successfully remove a strong blue eye and grow it would be a bonus for me to say the least!

I would imagine that if I had hundreds upon hundreds of hosta, as many of you do, I could "dispose" of SOME sports without a second thought. I struggle when it comes to dispatching plants. Just can't seem to do it...I just wimp out. . . And...it doesn't sound like you dispose of many, if any, Jim?

Paul, I'm glad to hear that you've continued to observe and allow your Paradigm to grow with the sporting leaves...IMO that is one plant whose appearance is not detracted by the appearance of a sport here and there as it has some variable variegation ... Now your Dixie Chick...would you refer to it as "unstable" then? I'm considering adding it to my mini collection...should I hold off on that one?

Bernd...I understand your pulling the sport off on Titanic. It'll be interesting to see if it reappears in the future sometime...for now, it's behaving! . . .lol
"Dankeschoen"

Flower-frenzy...have you tossed your sports, or have any been interesting enough to keep, like Jim's Embroidery sport?

Thanks for your participation thus far, and your interest in my post. I appreciate your time. :-)

Jo.


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RE: Solid coloured sports...impact on variegated hosta

I've grown Dixie Chick and Dixie Chickadee for a lot of years.

A couple of tidbits on these...

first, Tony Avent introduced these, Chick registered in 99... yet the descriptions on his webpage still refer to these as "our new introduction" and the picture for Chick is extremely poor at showing why it is such a nice plant.

Dixie Chick is a cross between Masquerade (white centered venusta) and Invincible. I'm not sure where it got the genes for the nice dark green - darker than the Plant Delights photo and darker than the typical form of both parents... It did get the shiny genes... so nice dark shiny leaves with a pretty heart shape with a white margin and then some dark green freckles in the white for added interest.

Second, the reverse of Dixie Chick was originally called Chickadee... but it turns out that conflicted with some other plant, so Tony had to change it to Dixie Chickadee... and it remains unregistered. People sometimes point out my incorrect plant label... I tell them that just shows how long its been there.

I have removed dozens of green sports from Chick... seems like every third or fourth year I pull up the whole plant, separate the green stuff, and pop the rest back in the hole. I save the green ones - they make nice pot plants and gifts.

Dixie Chickadee is more of a problem. When it is good, it is very good. The freckles are more prominent on the white center than they are in the margins of Chick. It is a much less vigorous plant (due to the white center, I guess) and the leaves always stay considerably smaller for me than Chicks.

The trouble is, Chickadee also sports to all green - and those sports look just like the green sports on Chick - meaning the leaves are larger and more vigorous than Chickadee and can overwhelm it.

The green sport from Chickadee is registered as Emerald City Chick. As far as I know, nobody has registered the green sport from Chick. Most folks will just call those Emerald City Chick as well.

(Interesting political note. Usually politics don't play much of a role in the hosta garden... but the Dixie Chicks were riding high in 1999 when Tony named the plant. I got some early plants and they were good sellers. Then in 2003, one of the band members publicly stated in a concert in London that they opposed the imminent invasion of Iraq - and the resulting controversy had them taken off lots of radio stations and boycotted by many country music fans. The comment at the time was "Freedom of Speech is fine - as long as you don't do it in public." There was even a documentary film made about how the band dealt with this over a period of years. I had a number of people respond quite emotionally to the plant - that they'd never have one like that in their garden. Sure made me scratch my plans to introduce H. 'Jane Fonda' ...)


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RE: Solid coloured sports...impact on variegated hosta

re Titanic. I'd grown Lady Isobel Barnett for years before I added Titanic - which was supposed to be "better" - wider margins and maybe more vigorous and less likely to have sun damage to the margins.

I still have two plants from that first year of tc in wholesale. Both are extremely unstable, tossing yellow sports and half and half leaves... almost as dramatic as Jewel of the Nile without being as attractive or interesting. And it hasn't been any more vigorous than LIB.

I have one clump of all green sports from Titanic that I tucked under the trees in an out of the way place... some of the eyes now have margins, some are all yellow... I don't know if this is endemic to the plant or a function of the tissue culture batch. I still prefer LIB for its consistency...


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RE: Solid coloured sports...impact on variegated hosta

It's great being a student of hosta lore!
This learning curve just never ends, does it? Amazing how Hosta draw us in. . . then draw us in even further with these sporting intrigues....I can't for the life of me think of any other plant that gets one so involved, can you?

You've got many minis, Jim. Which is the MOST stable of the lot?

Interesting you should point out Jewel Of The Nile as I specifically bought JOTN BECAUSE of its unpredictability. It is a fascinating hosta from what I read...I consider it a hosta with dual personality....it should have been named Gemini!! Lol. I am impatiently waiting for it to act up and I only got it not quite two weeks ago..laughing at myself..feel free to join in..

I'm gonna git me a Dixie Chick too! She's got spunk!


(Political note reference)
I applauded the "Chick" for being brave enough to face the onslaught ... to voice her opinion as she had the right to. I respect that. I watched the documentary with interest. This thought also ran through my mind..."Caveat emptor" must have been inscribed in invisible ink when Freedom of Speech was enacted. . . . . Damn shame how society twists and turns until the good intended no longer resembles ......aargh, I need another cup of coffee and to chill out in my garden! Breathe in my newly acquired FRAGRANT HOSTA which are blooming!!!!! YAY!

Here's food for thought......"Why does the overbearing modern notion of tolerance seem to involve so much...intolerance?"

It's Saturday, beautiful day to be outdoors, breathing in garden air, enjoying life! see y'all later! :-)

Jo


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RE: Solid coloured sports...impact on variegated hosta

Regarding the stability of minis... I think they are about as stable as the non-minis.

Just like regular hostas - if they have fortuneii in their heritage... or venusta... or Halcyon... maybe Tokudama... they will be more prone to sport than the average hosta.

It's easier to list the ones I have to remove sports than to identify more stable ones. Little Jay and X-rated needed solid sport removal surgery last year. Little Jim needs division to keep the streaks. The Baby Bunting sports... Pandora's Box, Hope, Cherish, Cameo... don't sport a lot for me, but when they do I get the solid off the same season as it is much more vigorous than the variegated ones.


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RE: Solid coloured sports...impact on variegated hosta

Jim, thank you for the recent tutorial that is so 'near and dear to your heart' regarding sports. It was enlightening, especially the introduction. . . worked in edu. sector as well..recognized type and support required for it.

Sounds like you are feeling much better, I hope?

Thanks again,
Jo.


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