I need to move about 98 or so hosta this spring. I have another 40-50 something at my mother-in-law's house I moved to her house last year. We had a tornado back in June that took out a huge tree that blocked all of my hot afternoon sun. Other trees were severely damaged too & main limbs were broke. Now it's pretty much full sun & hostas have to be moved or they will fry. I don't really have a place where I can plant all of these hostas, but thought maybe containers would work. I have a few giants, but they aren't 'giant' yet & won't be for probably several years. I have mostly medium/small plants with maybe 15 or so mini's.
This photo shows the size of some of them. Many are a bit smaller.
I have used Hosta's in pots for years and due to my zone, 3b, move them into the ground for the winter. Same with the Heuchara's. I would even bet that in a pinch the big 5 gallon pails would work for you too. Are you able to put the pots in the shade?
What about using umbrellas to help with shade or is it too big an area?
I know that my Mini's are grouped together in a raised planter which is very similar to pots and a few of the girls I garden with all have their Mini's in pots so they show better and don't get lost in their gardens. For us the question is more of making it through the winter with protection than the summer sun.
Good luck with your project!
I 've got Hostas and Hucherias both in pots. I've been putting all my flowers in large containers the last couple years and all have been doing great.You do have to water more. I get my potting soil from a local nursery. A good type that omes from Canada.
The thing i like best about containers is you can rearrainge your garden anyway and anytime you like.Last year i rearrainged my pots several times for a better color combos. I've got about 30 large pots and just bought 2 more. I also use some styrfoam ice chests for containers. With plants hanging over the sides. They make a statement.
Here the danger of freezing is great also. I have an abundance of oakleaves and mulch pots and all every winter.
Freezing doesn't hurt hostas at all, at least in terms of overwintering. Their leaves die but they come right back up in the spring. I've never grown hostas in anything BUT containers! You're in luck. But 145+ hostas??? Wow! That's a huge potting up job. Good luck!
That's a nice 'Francee' you have there Judith. Or looks like Francee from here ...
I've got them all potted now except 24 that remain in the ground - more sun tolerant varieties to see how they do. If they burn, I'll dig 'em & pot those too. I now have 41 at my mother-in-laws house down the street I can visit often & a few I gave to 2 close friends.
So far so good in the shady area. I used scott's potting mix with the water smart stuff mixed in. I used some of the crystal things too so maybe they won't dry out as quick & mixed in a handful of my special humus mix with peat. I am in the garden off & on all day anyway so if they need more drinks during the summer, no big deal.
This is the 1st giant to unfurl ... 'Sagae'. It will need to come out of a pot in another year or 2, but I will enjoy moving it around to show off his yellow tones that are fab!
thanks to everyone for your help in me figuring this out ... I was REALLY worried about potting them, but I think they may be fine.
I have only one of mine (noid--first hosta purchased 10+ yrs ago) in the ground. All other named hosta I have are in containers. They seem to like it. I presoak a few of those water retaining crystals and work into the bottom 1/2 of the container when potting up. The only ones I've had to replace tend to be the mini/small plugs I've received from a few co-ops. I think that is my fault for putting them in too large a container when they're so small from being plugs and small again from the natural size of the plant anyway.
I top off the soil each fall as I lose some from hard rains or pots being knocked over--stray cats hanging out in the jungle out back. Will also work in some slow release fertilizer granules in the early spring.
My heuchera are all in containers as well and do fine. I just use garden shears to clips out the dead leaves and gently remove any dead stumps over the years after they are a bit woody. I haven't repotted in years but again, top off the soil if necessary and add compost or slow release fertilizer. The heuchera seem to like to be a bit on the dry side.
After reading this thread I fell much more normal in growing my hostas in containers. as opposed to lazy or indecisive!
A reminder that container grown hosta can be divided and the roots can be trimmed to keep them in bounds.
Most of mine are in 3gal pots about half filled with soil. I leave this much space at top of pot so I can mulch the crowns well for over wintering.. I mulch with willow oak leaves which do not mat down much to prevent crown rot and begin removing mulch little by little as the weather warms up. They get a timed release fertilizer each spring.
hmmmm...this has me thinking...I have tried to grow my Hostas in pots, but have lost them each time. I'm wondering if it's because I pulled them in closer to the house and didn't water? How much water do they need in winter while they're leaf-less?
I would love to try it again - and I have a few heurcharas, too! :) Great idea!
Mary, Go to the Bridgewood Gardens web site, or kink to them thru Garden Watch Dog where they are rated in the top five Hosta growers. I used to work for thembefore they relocated to Virginia. Under their "How to grow Hosta" you will find a great description of growing in pots and overwintering. It's the method I follow and have had success with year after year.
If one of you knows how to link or copy here, please feel free to do so as I am clueless...Thanks
Mary, Go to the Bridgewood Gardens web site, or link to them thru Garden Watch Dog where they are rated in the top five Hosta growers. I used to work for them before they relocated to Virginia. Under their "How to grow Hosta" you will find a great description of growing in pots and overwintering. It's the method I follow and have had success with year after year.
If one of you knows how to link or copy here, please feel free to do so as I am clueless...Thanks
Mary, I just leave mine out in the open and don't water them in the winter. They get just what falls naturally.
All of this said, there could be varieties that wouldn't take well to his kind of treatment. Could be.
Killdawabbit, when I brought my pots closer in to the house, they were completely under cover, so got no rain. And then, being winter, I completely forgot that they were out there, probably needing water.
I, too, use large plastic nursery containers for year round hosta growing. I am constantly on the lookout for large nursery pots being discarded or recycled at curbside.
Once the foliage disappears, hosta are safe from deer until it reappears in Spring.
Will you try to over winter them on the deck,too? Make sure to raise pots enough off of deck surface to allow proper drainage . See the Bridgewood Gardens site mentioned earlier in this thread for other info. Their info is for our zone! Good luck
Oh, move them to deck one or two at a time so deer won't get suspicious and look for their favorites new spot. Remember deer can clear a six foot fence and climb stairs!
Ge, Okyo (Jake) wants to know about hostas in pots because he wants to pot up his hostas and put them on his elevated deck to keep the deer from getting to them.
I suggested that putting hosta on a deck might not stop the deer from eating them as deer could jump and climb stairs . Imho, just changing the location of hoata in a yard that deer were already freguenting for their hosta fix would not deter them, nor would stairs or proximity to house. Killdarabbit may disagree with this but if you google "Can a deer climb stairs?" you will find some great stories of deer and stairs.
Sadly, it's not a joke. He came home with his lung hanging out and we got him to the hospital ASAP but he died after they operated. The vet told us it didn't look good from the start but there was no way we couldn't try and save him.
Our Joey and his Chicken Dance. If you can't see it, there's a roast chicken on the counter and he went through his chicken dance until I'd break down and give him a piece of chicken.
Yes, they can jump fences. My sister told me that in Susanville, CA. a bunch of deer jumped over a really high ornamental iron fence and there were many of them harpooned on the fence. Some alive and some dead. They are not bright and will get their food even at their own peril.
The old saying goes, "God gave us memories so we might have roses in December".
We'll never forget the fun times with Joey.
I do have hosta in pots but just two of them until they get established and I find the ideal spot for each of them. So one has a pot to itself while the other one shares the space with some leftover coleus. The deer haven't touched it...yet.
That is a horrible story and would have torn me up if one of my furrbies met that kind of terror.
I don't have deer, just rabbits and gophers and they sneak attack in the night. If I was not such an animal lover, I would kick my dogs out at night to ward them off of my plants. They are spoiled house dogs though.
We have bunnies but somehow the hawks must be dining well because I haven't seen an adult rabbit in quite awhile, not since some critter got a mother rabbit. We did bury the remains of the mother in our little plot where we have the ashes of all of our former pets.
What eats Hosta's, I have some insect eating all my leaves and a gopher is tunneling under one, but I have not seen it dieing yet, except the bugs. I have some systemic, maybe I will put that on tomorrow.
Got slugs. What the heck are slugs, they seem like shell-less snails. I never had them until this year. I will have to get some if the systemic does not work, since my dogs are not on that side of my house almost ever.
Get an old bath sheet or huge towel that's either white, pink or some light solid color so the slugs can't trick you. Thrift shops often have them for a dollar or two. Use that instead of a kneeling pad and you'll have a zone of safety all around you.
I occasionally see some slug damage and the occasional tiny slug. I think it must be critters that get mine. Toads, skinks, garter snakes and who knows what else. I do anything I can to encourage bug eaters like them. One is to provide plenty of hiding places which if you're a gardener isn't very hard to do. :-)
I hope gophers like them as they are running a muck in my yard this year and so far my plants are not victimized, between my gopher poison and my jalapeno castor oil, blended mix. I feel so bad for my worms though.
Regarding deer climbing up my 12 sets of stairs to the top of my deck to eat my hostas. If they get up to the top of my deck, they will make great steaks on my grill. I have had it with the deer around my house. Last week I counted 9 deer & 1 skunk with the flock. When I first built my home out in the country it was just a beautiful sight have them around & bringing all of their friends to get a drink out my pond, but it is now becoming very old with all of the destruction they are doing. As I am typing they are now eating the bird seed out of the feeders. I only wanted to know what kind of pot I should use when I first asked the question. I didn't wanted to know about the cow jumping over the moon.
Finally, these are freshly planted this summer in a huge (4ft diameter) pot.
They'll overwinter right where they are also.
I overwinter the smaller potted hostas in unheated garage w/ occasional water.
I don't think I've ever lost one.
The only tricky part is that they start to come up before it's suitable to put them out.
If it takes too long before it warms up sufficiently to put them outside,
the early growth can get lanky because of the dark conditions.
It's just an occasional issue.
I presume that would be a reason to overwinter heeled in outdoors.
I guess I'm just lazy - it's easier to just stick them in the garage.
Great ideas everyone. I may need to put hostas in pots, I am planting hostas under a birch and it is shallow rooted, so far the hostas have been living there about 6 or so years but if I see them going down hill, I now know I can pot them and leave them in the garden. My hostas don't get as big as they are suppose because of the tree. Course I am sure the birch roots would eventually get in the pot if I didn't move them around.
If you can find a newer Hosta variety named "SunHosta", that one should do well for you hellnzn11. I've had one of them for two years now in South Florida. It's in 2/3 - 3/4 a day sun and it does amazingly well. It bloomed for a good 2 months this summer after only blooming for two weeks last year. I know someone in Phoenix, AZ that has one and it does well there in part sun...even in the summer.
I need to check it out. I have very heavy shade in some areas but something was wrong, the soil too heavy or not wet enough, not sure, and those darn slugs were going nuts. I tried to kill them but still not very successful, no blooms at all this year on any of them.
Here's a picture of my Hosta "SunHosta" this morning. I've had it in a pot all along. Right now it's in a 12" pot. This is the first kind of Hosta that will grow in South Florida. It's completely opposite in terms of what we know about growing Hostas. It's an evergreen Hosta down here, and it needs full sun conditions to bring out the best colors in the foliage. Here's a link to some information on "SunHosta". http://search.vivagardens.com/search/PopMoreInfo.asp?w=hosta&PlantID=1020
I bought some "on sale" hostas three years ago and they are a very special part of my early morning sun, later shade 15-20 inch pots. They are very attractive all summer long and especially when they send up their blooming spikes. This year the pots in complete shade did not do well...
I also have hostas plated in my eastern garden 15 years ago and they were especially beautiful this year.
I live in Deer Country and they have not damaged my hostas...
What's wrong with your deer, Jean?
Maybe I grow tastier hosta.
Mine are universally mowed down by August.
And I really mean mowed down...
Alas, I could post dozens of pictures of my many clumps of 'celery stalks'.
I have really beautiful hostas that I got "on sale with no names attached" that have been growing in pots on my patio in Naperville, a Chicago western suburb, for three years. We live in deer country...across from a Forest preserve,,,but I spray around my patio with LIQUID FENCE and the deer haven't been a problem. They do love to eat my apples that fall from the trees...I have to go out early every morning to collect what falls!
Newbie here from Canada. I have been a lurker for years and decided to just sign up this year. I got into gardening 6yrs ago and so far am loving every moment of it. As it turns out, I have a green-thumb because everything I plant just goes nut.
I am looking to get into container gardening more next year 2011. Here is my one big Hosta am going to be dividing
Welcome syndicate, what a beautiful pic and very nice hostas. I love container gardening. Easy to care for and I can move them around. I do lots of tropicals and they are all in containers cause I don't like digging in the fall. I just overwinter in the container either letting them go dormant or keeping them growing.
Thank you everyone. I do Have a request if anyone can help please?
Just a little bit about me to tell you: I was deployed on military duties and only got back this summer. On my return, I got posted to Ottawa Ontario Canada, and I had to sell my house in Toronto, find a house to buy in Ottawa in 5 days and then do a move.
All went well but I had to leave most of my plants behind, which means am starting afresh with the little I salvaged. I am in need of some seeds ( Yvonne Salvia and other Salvias, morning glories, four o clocks, castor bean seeds, giant sunflower seeds, etc ) I can send a SASE if needed
I have a butt load of Castor Bean seeds from the attached pix. I can collect Salvia Greggii seeds and maybe another variety. I have Sunflowers but not the giant ones. I have Celosia seeds too. Waves petunias maybe too when the rain stops, I may find some. Don't need SASE, people have sent me plenty free, pay it forward.
Everyone's pot growing experience helps me. However, in my situation I must grow in pots due to a BAD maple root problem and even worse vole problem. My quandary is what size pot? I will be growing approx. 75- 85 varieties this year. Many are new acquisitions and the remainder are from previous years. I will be using inexpensive nursery plastic pots and I have from 1 gal to 15 gallon sizes available. I am in zone 7b My question is what size pot for new bare root acquisitions ...does the initial pot size be based on the current root size or the intended plant size, e.g. Blue Angel as compared to Blue Cadet; both would fit in a 1 or 2 gallon pot upon acquisition. Then do you keep the plant in its pot size til it is root bound or overtakes the pot or just comfortable then transplant to a larger pot? Since hostas like acid soils does anyone use side dressings of garden sulpher every couple of years? What are your experiences with polymer crystals to cut down on watering? How often do you repot? Any observations or comments would be appreciated. Should anyone wish my direct email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have large maples in the yard here so I get that. I plant my hostas in any size container I want to use. I go by intended plant size and have never had a problem with that. Hostas are remarkably adaptable and hardy. You can transplant to a larger pot once the plant fills its current pot or pull it out and divide. I don't side dress but I do use worm castings and worm tea. I also use compost from time to time. The compost contains fruit waste so is on the acidic side. I give them a little protection during the winter under the eaves of the house or under the deck, but they do require a period of winter dormancy. Hostas prefer climates with cold winters and warm summers so you should do well with them in your climate.
Hi Cville_Gardner, thanks for your post and the terrific images of some of your plants. As I mentioned my plants will not be in decorative pots like yours; if exposed that makes for a more pleasing appearance. I am looking for eventual leaf size and volumes to obscure the plain nursery containers so as to have hopefully the look of a pleasing variegated carpet ...hopefully.
I am zone 5 or 4 sometimes 6...rofl. Sorry our weather has been so strange any more. But I have been overwintering in pots for a couple of years with great success and like you and Cville, due to maple roots! I did last year overwinter two in just the plain garden black pots. 2 that were under pine trees and 2 sitting in a bucket (didn't realize those were in there). I didn't lose any hosta's in pots but lost a few planted in the ground competeing with the tree for moisture due to our drought last year. ;( In the past I have taken bags of mulch and made a square fort (for a better word) and sit the pots inside of it for some protection in the shade. I think (I am guessing) that in the sun the thawing and refreezing in my area would be hard on them. Problem I had with the fort a few years back were mice got in and ate my lily bulbs! I don't remember them bothering the hostas tho.
Container gardening ...well I, by necessity in my shade gardens have been required to use pots. I have invasive maple and hickory roots plus VOLES [damn little rodents that I can't get rid of ... even use warfarin laced baits, unfortunately raccoons eat it all!] ... so I use pots, have so many [more than 100 plants in pots ranging from 1 gal to 15 gal.] Having so many I cannot afford decorative pots; I use those inexpensive black commercial nursery pots. Over the years, I have used pots on a very limited basis as decorative feature containers, using whiskey barrels and a few clay or foam decorative pots. My heavy use of the nursery type of pots has been limited to the past 2 years, 30 to 40 last year and about 70 more this year. I use a potting mix [a Fafard premixed product that I alter with more ingredients [using a formula that I created] ... pine bark mulch, peat moss, perlite, and this year a polymer crystal/fertilizer mix to reduce watering requirements [I hope it works]. I also use a nursery fabric in the bottom of the pots so that soil is not lost through watering.
Now that I have set the scenario my questions follow ... Has anyone used the black nursery pots long term with any good, or bad, results? Has anyone used the polymer crystals with success? Does anyone use slow release fertilizers in pots? Do you use slow release in addition to say a 13-13-13 that releases upon application [so as to get fertilizer to the plants immediately]? If you use pots how often do you repot? If you plant small 1st or 2nd year TC plants do you pot based on the plant size when purchased or the mature plant size? [I have read that overpotting does not get good results]
Any responses with your thoughts or questions would be helpful. If you wish you could send comments to DMail or directly to my personal email account, email@example.com
I also use many of the commercial black nursery pots, also with the Fafard mix (and I add Perlite and other ingredients to it) and have done it for the last three years to save the hosta from the deer. I rely on the reconstituted water crystals in each pot, along with Osmocote slow release food (green cap) - I think it's 14-14-14, for each hosta. I haven't lost any and they all look good.
I did manage to make some room for planting some of them this spring, in the soil, and put up deer mesh to keep them out. So far, so good. All the roots looked wonderful - no problems at all.
Hi Arlene, hey thanks for your post. From what you say, so far we are soul mates in our approach. I am wondering how long you have left your plants in pots without repotting. The whole 3 years you have done it that way? Have you found it necessary to move any plants into larger pots due to growth or crowding? I have an alternative to the Osmocote product. I use a product of the same strength by Helena Chemical and a 90 day release activated by soil temps and not by water; their product is less expensive. What size pot do you use for newly purchased plants?
Re the polymer crystals, I have found a source at a reasonable cost ... crystals plus a slow release 7-7-7 enough for many pots. [10 [pounds] @ $59, no tax, no shipping cost from Amazon. I just used this product. In about 10 days after planting, I will also treat those pots with foliar feeding or a regular fertilizer those typically break down or is used by the plant within 30 days.
Speaking of roots, I just received an order from Green Mountain Hosta that were competitively priced, had terrific size and a fantastic root system. I am sure that these plants will do great! I will post plaudits about them on the Garden Watchdog.
Three years has been the maximum so far and I didn't repot any of them. I'm surprised they didn't split the pots! They stay in the pots as I purchased them and those I was faced with digging went into any available nursery pots as long as they fit but most were around 8 or 9 inches.
Do you reconstitute the water crystals before using them? Once I got used to doing it that way I never went back to using them dry.
Sounds like you got some great buys! I have what may end up being a lifetime supply of the crystals!
Hi, no I don't reconstitute the crystals, since the product I use has the fertilizer added, I don't know how that would work out. I don't have any problem mixing the elements, since I use all in a basically dry form. any dampness in the Fafard product doesn't affect the mixing. [I am able to obtain it in bulk in 1 cu yd scoops thereby saving some money].
I am also going to use the crystals on other plants and shrubs when planting new items. The instructions with the product suggest that you use it around the perimeter of the planting hole.
Hi all, I have had 3 hostas in pots for a couple of years I think now. Everything is going good but mine are in cheap decorative pots from dollar general bought at the end of season sale, they are like foam or fiberglass so a tad more insulating that the normal pot. I will be putting more in pots because of maple and birch roots.
I just read an articule on the crystals and someone did trials on them and could not see any significant difference with or without. I bought a small package one time to use in a hanging basket that was lined with moss. Didn't see much difference either. Did read about someone using sponges in the bottom of the pots, but they said the sponge only lasted a year. With my luck it would last and the roots would grow in it. Just a couple of thoughts.