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#51520 May 25th, 2007 at 09:10 AM
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Hi everyone! I'm new to this group. I have an entire yard that's shady and have lots of questions.
Over the last three years I've planted close to 20 hostas since I like tham so well, and they seem to live. The problem I have is that they don't seem to be growing much from year to year. All except a couple are alive and well, but they seem to be about the same size they were when I planted them. Could I possibly have too much shade for even a hosta? Do I need to feed them something, and if so, what??

ShadyLadyMN #51644 May 25th, 2007 at 02:56 PM
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Some hostas do require more shade than others. Do you know the names of the cultivators you planted?

Also I found this year when I planted in almost 100% compost that my hostas really took off. Where they were before I had a lot of Bermuda grass roots and they barely stayed the same size.


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tkhooper #51651 May 25th, 2007 at 03:14 PM
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Not sure of the names, but based on a quick Google search, I have Sagae, Heart's Content, Blue Angel, Hadspen Blue, Hosta undulata mediovariegata, Lancifolia, and a couple others that I couldn't easily find. I probably should fertilize. What do you suggest? I don't have a very active compost heap. (Too much shade....)

ShadyLadyMN #51837 May 25th, 2007 at 07:52 PM
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What is the source of the shade where the hostas are planted? If they are directly under trees they probably aren't getting enough moisture or any nutrients.

Under ideal conditions a hosta can take up to three years to reach a good size. If it has to compete with trees it's never going to win. You'll have to provide some water, mulch and fertilizer. Hostas grown in shade on the north side of a building are going to grow better than a hosta planted under a tree. Once your hostas do get established try to leave them undisturbed.

How did you aquire your hostas? Could some of them by chance be the dwarf varieties? If so they will never get much bigger than a 6-8 inches across.

herbalyn #51869 May 26th, 2007 at 03:35 AM
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Just buy a bag of compost and work it in around them. You have to be careful with fertilizer because it can take out the variagated colours on some and cause rot on others.

It's best to work in the compost before they are starting to leaf out.(early spring) Just don't mound your compost up around them, work it well into the ground. Also heavy shade will slow down the growth, I have some in heavy shade that will probably never reach full size.


~~Tam~~Those who think country life is simple....have never lived on a farm.
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herbalyn #52299 May 27th, 2007 at 07:39 AM
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Hi there -
The majority of my hostas are planted under the drip line of a very small apricot tree and some kind of flowering bush. A few others share the shade between a birch and a small plumb tree. They have been there three years now, and they are growing, but not much. The North side of my house is basically the property line, so I don't plant anything over there. My beds are on the South and East sides of the house, primarily.
I don't think any of them are dwarfs. All of them were acquired from either a nursery or splittings from my neighbors. Still, is 6-8" measured at the roots or the leaves? If it's the leaves, I'd say all of them are that big or bigger. The root bases are probably only about 3-4". I am so envious of my friends with a little sun. One of them planted last year and has one that's at least a foot across at the roots. Sheesh. Can a girl catch a break around here???

ShadyLadyMN #52320 May 27th, 2007 at 08:17 AM
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mine doubled in size when I transplanted them into a raised bed with 100% compost in it. Maybe you could do something like that? Makeing sure that you don't get the compost up against the trunk of the trees of course.


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tkhooper #52322 May 27th, 2007 at 08:18 AM
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Plus they really like to have a bunch of water. So maybe through some water retention polyemers in there?


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