Sunday, August 23, 2015

Plant Profile: Hosta plantaginea var. japonica

I have the pleasure to garden elsewhere, outside my own little garden. At this time of year, I truly enjoy working at this location:

Hosta plantaginea has to have the most fragrant flowers I've ever come across. At this location, there are about 34 hostas all blooming at once. The fragrance is intense.

The blooms fill the palm of my hand. They are so large. I believe this one is 'Grandiflora'.

Bending over from the rain dew drops, they are just lovely.

Once open, the flowers invite your nose to take a sample of their light citrus scent.

Too boot, I have taken a sample to taste. Really light, fresh taste. Would go great as a salad topper or even for a floral cake design.

On one Hosta, I counted over 23 blooms and buds. They flower for about a month, even longer - depending on the moisture levels.

Due note: because the Hosta plantanginea varieties are thin leaved hostas, please make sure you take measures to control slug and snail infestations. They can be slug bait in the wrong situation.  Planting in a group maximizes their flower fragrance as well as they will attract hummingbirds when there are more flowers to go around.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

What's wrong with my Hosta?

I have several hostas in which I acquired through purchasing my home. I decided to leave them, as they were all a lovely size and situated just right.

However, at this time of year, they do this:

Half of the leaves flop in the wind and become unsightly. Losing the great habit that Hostas are known for.

If you already haven't noticed, they are riddled with holes.

Not only are the leaves damaged but the stems.

The leaf stems are weakened from slugs feeding voraciously.

The stems become weak and with the wind, the leaves bend with no strength and make the Hosta look unsightly.

Nearly, at the base of each leave stem, you find a tiny slug. This one made it into my pail of salt water this morning.

I have used: slug bait, beer baits, hair, coffee name it. Now resorting to early morning hand picking.

Thankfully, my other slug resistant Hostas are thriving and show no signs of this damage.

If this had occurred before mid July, I would have cut the Hosta back to the ground and let it re-foliate. But given it's mid August, I will remove the worst of the leaves and continue the battle against slugs. :(

Moral of the story:  buy slug resistant Hostas!
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