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Thread: Hosta

  1. #1
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    Hosta

    A few weeks ago I tossed, sprinkled some hosta seed onto an empty pot of soil - something had been there, but it croaked 0 anywho, I have hosta seedlings, lots of them! So far they are just tiny green leaves, well, one tiny green leaf per seedling and way too small to handle right now. Fortunately they are in a 5-inch pot, so they should be fine until Spring.

    Hum. . . . might just have to try my hand at making a couple of actual crosses this summer. These seeds are from bee pods and I don't even remember which plant they came from. Perhaps when the seedlings get bigger I'll be able to tell for sure, but I think these may be from ELGANS, one of the lager blue-green leaved ones.

    I've seen these tiny seedlings under the plants in the beds, but never have seen them past the first spring, not even in the summer. Might have to try pricking out any that show up this spring and see if I can grow them on in pots or flats.

    This is almost as exciting as growing the Daylilies from seed.

    This is what ELGANS looks like:






    Rebecca
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    Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.
    - R. Buckminster Fuller

  2. #2
    Rebecca,

    I have some hosta pods (or what I think are hosta seed pods on some of my hosta scapes (whoops, maybe that is just a daylily term...)

    Anyway, I am wondering what the hosta seeds look like, and how you know when to harvest them. I cut a green one open (just too curious) and it had black flat elongated type seeds, but they were very soft, and thin. I'm sure they weren't ready yet. They are quite different than the hard shiny black daylily seeds..yes?


    By the way, how are those hosta seedlings doing?

    The picture of elgans is wonderful.
    Andrea

  3. #3
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    The HOsta seedlings that were started indoors last winter are doing great, still a few runts, but even they continue to grow and get bigger. I also plucked several out from under the mother plants this Spring and they are growing, albeit very slowly (which is typical for Hosta seedlings).

    Hosta seed pods will turn brown to black and begin to split open when they are fully ripe. The seeds are very tiny but surrounded by a thin, flat membrane that helps to hold the seeds to the soil. Seed pods should be allowed to air dry for another 24 to 48 hours before removing the seeds and transferring them to an air tight container and stored in the fridge for at least a month before planting. Plant by scattering over pre-moistened potting mix. Seeds do not need to be covered with soil, but if you do choose to they should only barely be covered. Cover with plastic and leave them be in a warm spot (with or with light) until sprouts appear, then place to within an inch or two from your light source. Water from the bottom until seedlings are well up. I grew mine under shop lights just like I do my daylilies seeds.

    Hosta, like Daylilies do not come true from seed since most are Hybrids. My first batch of seedlings are from bee pods on Elgans, the only one blooming at the time, and so far none are showing the blue-green color of the parent. They are getting that wonderful deeply pleated texture though. Not having grown Hosta from seed and not being that familiar with Hosta genetics I don't know if they will "color up" later or not. Something I need to research. I do know that in order to get the green and white variegated foliage, both parents must be variegated. The seedlings would have various patterns of variegation from poor to good.

    Hosta pods can and do take a long time to ripen, some not even until mid-winter! Seeds harvested this late can be planted immediately as they have already been exposed to a cold period.

    I had thought of trying to make a few crosses with my various cultivars this year but just didn't get around to it; plus I do has that space limitation problem!

    Hope that gets you fired up to try growing a few from seed. They are quite interesting and fun to watch grow and develop. I can't wait to see my babies bloom for the first time!


    Rebecca

  4. #4
    Thanks Rebecca!

    I also have some hosta seed pod from the church yard (cut down all together prematurely by the same gardener guy who cut down the daylily scapes). These are all bee pods but I thought what is it going to hurt to see if they will mature. They too were all cut down last Thursday, the day I noticed the daylilies were cut down.

    When the gardener cut off all the hosta scapes, there were a lot of small growing leaves at the lower end of the scape. I have them soaking in water just to see if they may sprout at the "eyes", (I read that somewhere on this forum). Anyway, since it was all in a garbage/compost pile in the bushes, I figured it was not going to hurt to try to revive them. We'll see...

  5. #5
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    my Hosta 'Elgans' will again have a bumper crop of seeds and it looks like H. 'Honeybells' will have a good crop as well. Saw a few pods on H. 'Royal Standard' and one lone pod on H. 'Hyacinthia'. All of these are solid color from blue green to light green. H. RS is another of the monster-sized growers (along with H.E and H. Honeybells), Hyacinthia is a small grower, Not a single pod on any of the variegated ones I have.

    Since Hosta seeds seem to take a very long time to mature, the ones you collected from the Church yard probably won't do anything. BUT, as long as they are green you might get lucky.

    Rebecca
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  6. #6
    Wow, neat picture. They are doing grrrREAT!

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