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Hostas: Hosta for Florida

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gardenmart

gardenmart
Saugus, MA
(Zone 6b)

May 27, 2012
9:42 AM

Post #9140449

What's your opinion of Hosta in Florida? I have a question from a FL dweller that I can't answer except to say that probably the sun is too hot for them to be out in it all day as some of ours can be up here in the Northeast and that they probably have bigger slugs and snails than we do. Let me know of your experiences, please.
Thanks,
Martha

meadowyck

meadowyck
Brooksville, FL
(Zone 9a)

May 27, 2012
9:53 AM

Post #9140460

Martha (great name is my Aunt's name as well)

Well when I lived in Kentucky could not grow them too much heat and humidity. Then when I moved to northern Ohio I saw them plants in everyone yards in the full sun... some would get toasted if there was a lot of sun (which northern Ohio lakes). Now that I'm living in Florida again, my one little mouse that I brought with me is starting to die, it is in deep shade, but I think the heat (we have already hit the 90's, which is a little early for us this time of the year.

So I'm bringing it inside to see if I can save it and it will become a house plant... So to answer you question I would say I don't think they would survive too well, maybe if northern FL. I'm sw Flordia on the gulf.

I'm also interested to see what other Florida folks might say about them.

Jan

gardenmart

gardenmart
Saugus, MA
(Zone 6b)

May 28, 2012
6:25 AM

Post #9141501

I would imagine that the heat would get them. they burn out here if it gets too hot for too long or at least look pretty raggy. Thanks for the advice.
Martha

virginiarose

virginiarose
Southeast, VA
(Zone 8a)

May 28, 2012
7:17 AM

Post #9141569

Purchase only the 'Sun Tolerant' Hosta, and plant them in shade, and also they would require more water in a hotter climate.
I like to shop and do research on this website because they will list plants that are sun tolerant, then just take your pick!
These hosta's will hold up better in the heat but the hotter the zone the more shade they need. I would say definitely full shade or dappled morning sun in Florida. (very dappled) :)

http://www.hostasdirect.com/buy-plants/hostas-for-sale

gardenmart

gardenmart
Saugus, MA
(Zone 6b)

May 28, 2012
3:04 PM

Post #9142195

Thanks, having been born and raised in various northern climes, my experience of gardening in FL is only what I have seen growing in a few botanic gardens.
Martha

virginiarose

virginiarose
Southeast, VA
(Zone 8a)

May 28, 2012
3:18 PM

Post #9142218

Sure, this is a good suggestion. Just start off with inexpensive hosta's and see what works. :)
PamelaQ
Navarre, FL
(Zone 8b)

June 5, 2012
8:13 AM

Post #9153094

I live in the panhandle of Florida and they grow great here in the shade. Come back every year. I put down some slug bait stuff in the spring and they seem to do fine. I'll post some pictures later of mine growing right now.
PamelaQ
Navarre, FL
(Zone 8b)

June 5, 2012
5:36 PM

Post #9153754

This is one of my hostas growing here...

Thumbnail by PamelaQ
Click the image for an enlarged view.

PamelaQ
Navarre, FL
(Zone 8b)

June 5, 2012
5:37 PM

Post #9153756

and another...

Thumbnail by PamelaQ
Click the image for an enlarged view.

PamelaQ
Navarre, FL
(Zone 8b)

June 5, 2012
5:38 PM

Post #9153758

hiding among the caladiums...

Thumbnail by PamelaQ
Click the image for an enlarged view.

PamelaQ
Navarre, FL
(Zone 8b)

June 5, 2012
5:40 PM

Post #9153763

They do fine here... Not total perfection, but very nice...

Thumbnail by PamelaQ   Thumbnail by PamelaQ   Thumbnail by PamelaQ   Thumbnail by PamelaQ
Click an image for an enlarged view.

PamelaQ
Navarre, FL
(Zone 8b)

June 5, 2012
5:42 PM

Post #9153766

I think a nice shady spot and regular watering, they are happy to grow nicely.

virginiarose

virginiarose
Southeast, VA
(Zone 8a)

June 6, 2012
5:07 AM

Post #9154263

Those are beautiful PamelaQ, you are great inspiration for southern gardners!
PamelaQ
Navarre, FL
(Zone 8b)

June 6, 2012
9:57 AM

Post #9154594

Why thank you Susan. Very nice of you to say! :)

virginiarose

virginiarose
Southeast, VA
(Zone 8a)

June 6, 2012
5:52 PM

Post #9155104

You are welcome, and thank you for sharing! :)

gardenmart

gardenmart
Saugus, MA
(Zone 6b)

June 7, 2012
6:40 AM

Post #9155532

Thanks, PamelaQ! I think my response is that they need lots of shade that far south and careful watering and sun tolerant varieties. We have to put down slug bait here as well, because of all the lovely rocks and stones the slugs hide under to lay their eggs. Appreciate all of your help.
Martha
pbtxlady
Garland, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 9, 2012
10:27 PM

Post #9158792

We have similar problems here in Texas, but we do grow them. The heat won't usually kill them. They will burn (even in deep shade) and not look so good around mid-August, but when the temps cool down in the fall they get a second wind.

The biggest problem is not cold enough winters. They need a certain number of chill hours (sustained days under 40 degrees) to recover during the winter. We didn't have enough cold weather last winter, and some of my mature hostas came back half their normal size. Even lost a few. Those were all in the ground. Didn't have that problem with the potted ones, I guess because pots get colder.
GreenThumbSuker
Mobile, AL
(Zone 8b)

June 9, 2012
11:55 PM

Post #9158826

I live in Mobile, AL about an hour northwest of Pensacola FL and I have a few "sun tolerant" Hosta's that do well (not superb) in the shade. Our hot summer sun would cook them for dinner.They are not nearly as lush as some of the plants you "northern peeps" post pics of and frankly I'm extremely jealous. :)

I take what I can get.. When I first started my hand at gardening I saw pictures of the BEAUTIFUL (and so many varities of) Hostas and fell desperately in love. Then sadly I learned that our climate it not prime for these beautiful specimens. Since I also love many of the Tropicals I had to convince myself that since it is difficult to grow many of those outside in the north that would be my trade. I had to do that to reconcile the unfairness of it all in my head... -- I really wanted some of the wonderful full magnificent Hostas.. LOL You guys are so lucky!!!

So yes, We can grow Hostas that are nice, but not magnificent. We just have to baby them and give them lots of shade and during the hot summer. -- However I just gained an idea from what pbtxlady posted.. Maybe I can put some in pots, sink the pot in the ground in the shade, then pull the pots up and place them somewhere for winter so they dont have the insulation of the ground...this might give them a more appropriate chill time. Hmmm... bc Pots DO get colder.. Great thinking pbtxlady.

virginiarose

virginiarose
Southeast, VA
(Zone 8a)

June 10, 2012
2:34 AM

Post #9158857

That is a great Idea about the above ground pots. Also please stick with the Hosta's that are labeled as 'Sun Tolerant' but still keep them in full shade. They are just easier to deal with and you can get a list on several websites but my favorite is HostasDirect, Click 'Research' and you can access the database. Then 'Hostas', on the left side you can choose what kind of hosta's you are looking for and select one or several shopping options, I usually choose 'sun tolerant' and 'slug resistant' then print out a list and shop from that list during the year.

http://www.hostasdirect.com/plant-databases/hostas
GreenThumbSuker
Mobile, AL
(Zone 8b)

June 10, 2012
4:39 AM

Post #9158897

virginiarose,

I have already saved the link you provided to my favorites. When I looked at it last night I noticed that it has many sun tolerant Hostas. I can tell you that I have never had so many to choose from because our local outlets sell so few.

Can someone tell me more about Slug Bait, because while I'm sure COMPLETELY wrong I keep imagining an item that I recall seeing Raid advertise many many years ago called a Roach Motel which I think was Baited. lol, I just keep envisioning armies of slugs marching One by One Hoorah, Hoorah.. - another, more real mental picture is definitely in order. :)

Many Thanks

GTS

virginiarose

virginiarose
Southeast, VA
(Zone 8a)

June 10, 2012
6:59 AM

Post #9158997

Most people put out some sluggo. I have mostly slug resistant hosta's, but earwigs can be a problem also. You can mix one part ammonia and 10 parts water with 3 or 4 drops of dish-liquid soap. The ammonia will kill the slugs, the eggs and the soap mixed in will kill the earwigs.
Before Hostas emerge you can pour 2/10 solution around the crowns to kill any eggs.
Also I have some Deadline Force II slug bait, for big problems. It does contain Metaldehyde which is considered to be toxic, however it is in a liquid form and you use only one drop every six to twelve inches around the flower beds or Hosta beds. It works real, good. Do it after it gets dark and by morning all slugs are dead and the bait has soaked into the ground. Wear gloves or just be sure to wash your hands. The critters cannot eat it like they do the Sluggo, even squirrels will pig-out on the sluggo and iron can be toxic also if enough is ingested. (I am tempted, it would be nice to get rid of a few squirrels) Hummmmm, no, no, no!

Nothing like the Roach Motel. :))
http://www.biconet.com/crawlers/sluggo.html
http://rosecare1.stores.yahoo.net/deadforii.html
pbtxlady
Garland, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 14, 2012
11:07 AM

Post #9164931

There used to be a thread about growing hostas in the South--is it still around? Some of us were keeping a list of hostas that do well for us down here. I have several that have actually gotten pretty big.

GTS, all of mine in pots, in general, do better than the ones in the ground. Remember, if a plant can survive -40 in Minnesota, our measly little +30 winters aren't going to do much for it.

I have some in the ground that grow and thrive no matter what the weather does. They're mostly "landscape" hostas, though, like my undulata albomarginatas. Another one that (surprisingly to me) seems to not mind our weather is nigrescens.

Of those I have In pots, Sagae and Fragrant Bouquet get huge (well, huge for us, LOL). I got 2 Satisfactions last year from Chris at Hallson Gardens, so they arrived big, and so far they're still nice-sized and gorgeous. My Sept Sun is beautiful every year until about August, when it gets burned, but it comes back by the end of September. Over at my parents' house, there are some blues that do beautifully, even though they get quite a bit of sun. Unfortunately they planted them from bulbs and threw away the package, so I don't know what they are. I planted an Elegans for them last year, and our mild winter didn't bother it at all. A few years ago we planted a huge Frances Williams over there, and while I don't think it's gotten bigger, it's kept its size. Unfortunately, beautiful as it is, I can't recommend that one for other reasons.

Virginia, have you ever ordered from Bridgewood Gardens? I've been very happy with the two large orders I placed there.

virginiarose

virginiarose
Southeast, VA
(Zone 8a)

June 14, 2012
11:51 AM

Post #9164988

Yes, I was very happy with Bridgewood Gardens!! Big plants at good prices, plus I liked the way they come all potted up with the hay stuff, that really keeps them from drying out. :)
GreenThumbSuker
Mobile, AL
(Zone 8b)

June 14, 2012
12:30 PM

Post #9165037

pbtxlady,
You just put a spring in my step today... There is hope and I can have some beautiful Hostas..

Thanks for the info. I'm so excited!
pbtxlady
Garland, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 16, 2012
2:08 PM

Post #9167758

oh, no, I enabled someone! LOL! Good luck, GTS, and let us know how yours do.

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