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So what would you do?

Posted by jel48 Z4 Michigan (My Page) on
Fri, Sep 20, 13 at 8:44

We have become pretty friendly with a local nursery/garden center owner (small town, but nice little place). We should be friendly. We stop and buy often, but stop just to chat just as often. We learn stuff from him and he learns stuff from us. He's not a hosta expert, but would like to learn more and would certainly like to carry and sell more.

So he made us an offer... this applies both to hosta and to iris, both of which we have a lot of.

If we have excess named varieties, he would love to have them. He'll give us credit on other plants that we want to buy from his place.

I'm thinking it's a no brainer on the iris. We have lots of named iris, purchased from Schreiner's during the past few years. They are doing well, and they multiply quickly. They needed thinned pretty regularly. We're already digging and redistributing or giving away. So, the next couple of years where we get to the point where there are more then we can use or give away, then a couple of bucks credit a corm (or whatever he wants to give us) is a good thing and they won't be wasted.

Hosta, I don't feel that way about. Sure, we have beautiful named hostas big enough to share. And if a friend really wanted a particular one for personal use, I'd be glad to share. But, for what he could actually allow for credit (we didn't talk specifics, but keeping in mind that he'd actually need to make a profit too), I don't think it makes sense to set my 'just beginning to mature nicely' hostas back by digging clumps out of them.

I've already made my decision, but was curious what others might do in the same situation. It's actually a nice offer on his part, and if I had a big yard full of fully mature (10+ year) hostas, I think I might take him up on it :-)

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: So what would you do?

I'd "split the difference." With desireable cultivars, I'd take small divisions without damaging the main plant too much... maybe a couple of eyes and then divide that to single eyes ... and "line them out" for a year or two until they are the right size for gallon pots. As I got new plants, I'd take one eye off for lining out... or maybe buy two, put one in the garden and divide and line out the other...

Most folks really don't want to take a plant out of a pot from a nursery and see that it is a recent division of a bigger plant... so I'd say "no thank you" on the hostas for now - but prepare some for later...

RE: So what would you do?

As your hosta plants grow and you gain more than you can support you will be in the same dilemma as the iris you have.

Should be a fun exchange over time.

I recall years ago trading several unnamed nurserymen I met at AHS conventions hosta for Japanese maples; the most famous one was $200 wholesale hosta for "whatever Jap maples you can give me that are small and shippable".

Several weeks later a shipment of 144 maples (12 of 12 varieties, all one year grafts, very small but fully rooted) showed up in a box.

I now have in my yard too many Jap maples, had to start digging them out this year! So it never ends...... plants and trees grow!

Did the same with another nurseryman with very small umbrella pine cuttings - $200 wholesale value hosta for 48 cuttings.

25 years later have 5 large specimen umbrella pines that are glorious, boy are they slow growers in the shade!

Recently tried to give away 50+ banana plants (that keep growing from old stock I winter over), brugmansias, variegated weigelias, golden forsythias, you get the picture.

Then someone 4 weeks ago gave me 4 datura plants that I said I liked, so now going down that path....

The fun of gardening four seasons!

RE: So what would you do?

Yep, I'd be tempted to do what Idiothe and Bruce suggest. As they fall off the clump when you repot or have an extra eye or two, begin planning the stock available to trade in. I'd sure keep track of the PP# if there is one, and not include those in the swap.

It seems that you and the nursery owner will wind up with a good relationship.

Just a thought. Have you discussed testing for HVX with him/her? Should that be a consideration?

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