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Hostas: Do Hostas prolifically seed?

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Forum: HostasReplies: 7, Views: 131
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Northern, NJ
(Zone 6b)

September 10, 2011
4:40 AM

Post #8801860

This may seem like a really elementary question but I am not knowledgeable about hostas and could really use expert help.
I've had a few hostas in my garden for years, a generic green with white in the centers and a named blue whose name escapes me at the moment.
If I wanted more plants I'd divide what I had.
I was gifted a smaller green hosta with white edges a few years ago and suddenly I'm getting lots of small hostas at the edges of the gardens.
They are solid green with pointed ends unlike the original 2 hostas which have more rounded leaf shapes.
Do you think it is this newer hosta that is reproducing?
Are some hostas prolific seeders?
This is a photo of the suspected seeder.

Thumbnail by sempervirens
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Northern, NJ
(Zone 6b)

September 10, 2011
4:44 AM

Post #8801864

Here is a photo of one of the new plants.
I seem to have at least 10 new ones scattered around the garden.
Although they look like minis at the early stage they do become medium sized quite quickly.

Thumbnail by sempervirens
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Wyoming, MN

September 10, 2011
9:24 AM

Post #8802177

It's certainly not unusual to find seedlings among the hostas.I think it is kind of fun to spot the new comers each spring. Most will be plain green but you may find variegated seedlings sometimes too.
Wentworth, NH

September 10, 2011
1:10 PM

Post #8802421

It's not unusual but they won't produce so many that you go nuts keeping up with it. That looks to be a pleasant little plant. Good for a spot on an edge of something.


Ottawa, ON
(Zone 5a)

September 10, 2011
1:43 PM

Post #8802466

Hostas vary widely in how prolifically they seed - some set seed all the time in massive numbers, others set seed but it's not viable or the seedlings are all white and die, some set seed occasionally and some never do.

As you've noted, the vast majority of hosta seedlings will be green and it can take them 4 or 5 years to develop their mature characteristics. Usually variegation or streaking will be apparent early, but not always - I've had seedlings develop margins in their second year.

The suspected parent plant looks to me like it MIGHT be a 'Ginko Craig' (but pictures can be deceiving). If it is, it sets seed pretty reliably. ONLY you can decide whether the seedlings are worthy of a place in your garden.

Northern, NJ
(Zone 6b)

September 11, 2011
2:32 AM

Post #8803142

Thanks for the information ViolaAnn, Sue FNH, and hostages.
It was helpful and interesting.
So it does seem the newer hosta ( maybe Ginko Craig) is the source.
It was such a surprise to see all the seedlings this year after having hostas in the garden for 20 yrs. with out a single one.
I thought maybe having 3 different types instead of only 2 might have made the difference.


Oviedo, FL
(Zone 9b)

October 3, 2011
12:37 PM

Post #8834478

Only hosta I ever had make seed babies was good old sum and substance. i am saying that this was one parent because the seedling grew underneath the foliage of the mature plant. I only discovered them after the fall cleanup. I have never had another hosta of any kind drop a mature seed to grow a new plant. I have got a whole bunch of giant green hosta that grew from roots that most people would throw away. they were in the center of the giant clump that i divided this past spring and were a lot of roots. I said what the heck and potted them up and they have put out leaves and are blooming right now.


Syracuse, NY
(Zone 5a)

October 4, 2011
7:28 PM

Post #8836403

Beautiful babies!!! I have a very tiny ginko Craig, and hope it makes it. Hasn't bloomed this year, so no seedlings yet. But i hope to have some seedlings as nice as yours someday. :)

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