After splitting ? Hostas

jsf67May 9, 2014

We had 4 of a plant with white and green leaves. Years ago my wife hired someone to split them into 8 plants. That worked well. Last fall she hired someone else to resplit them into 16 plants. In four of those places we got this. I can't tell if it is a different plant or just changed leaf color for some reason. In three places, we got sickly looking remnants of the original plant, which I will post next. In the other nine places, nothing.
Was the original Hostas?
Is the faster growing plant with all green leaves the same plant?

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bart1(6/7 Northern VA)

I'd repost the second picture in this thread just for ease of use, because before too long the two posts will be very far apart on this board.

I'm no expert, but the other plant looks very different than this one............that one has varigated leaves (white stripes on green leaves) and this one doesn't.

Also, just an FYI, it's very easy to split hostas yourself. There's no need to hire anyone unless you are physically unable to dig a hole and use a shovel.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 8:25AM
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Sorry, new to the forum. I didn't initially realize I could post a photo in a follow-up. I thought I needed a second thread.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 8:41AM
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A disturbing second possibility: These are invading other parts of the lawn and garden, but weren't near the hostas last year. The bunch in this photo, I ripped out of the lawn late last fall and put into this very steep spot (the photo makes the steepness hard to see) where various other ground cover has been destroyed every winter leaving mud in the summer. We need to pile snow very high on top of this area every winter, and other plants don't recover in the spring. This (lilly of the valley, I think) did even better (or at least came up earlier) where I transplanted these than the undisturbed ones elsewhere. I expect they will hold this slope where nothing else worked. But I didn't want them in place of the hostas.
To my uneducated eye, all three looked identical a week before these three pictures were taken (shoots reddish just above the ground and starting to unfold into green leaves above). The first photo looks more like the third than the second. But the leaves are a bit bigger in the first photo than the third and the first has no start at flowers, while the third clearly does.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 9:05AM
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Not entirely sure what to make of this series of photos. It seems we're looking at a variegated hosta initially, and btw, variegated plants can sometimes "revert" back to all-green, and these all-green ones will indeed have more chlorophyll and therefore, usually grow faster.

But then you've shown us lily of the valley also. I see three different plants here-two versions of hosta and lily of the valley.


    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 9:13AM
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Great. Thanks. I was hoping the first picture was what was supposed to be there: The result of splitting a plant that last year was a much larger and healthier version of the second photo.
The first and second pictures should be the two parts this spring of the splitting one plant last fall. If they are both hostas, then they are what they should be. For whatever reason, they just look very different at the moment. I hope/expect the all green one will go back to mixed at some point (they look better mixed) and the weak looking white one will grow.
The third picture was just here because I can't see the leaf differences and was worried I got the lily in with the hosta. Once it starts the flowers, I can identify the lily, which I am trying to remove from the lawn and garden areas and add to some of the problem areas where nothing but poison ivy seems to survive.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 9:27AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

there is an extremely active hosta forum ...

the first is probably lancifolia ... or the all green undulata called erromeana ... a scale would help IDing ...

the second is probably undulata albomarginata.. but we wont know until it unfurls..

and the third is lily of the valley.. which is not a hosta ...

see you in the hosta forum ...


I hope/expect the all green one will go back to mixed at some point ==>>> no they wont

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 10:01AM
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The 4 plants we started with were identical. When they were split to 8 (years ago) they were still identical. Splitting to 16 hasn't worked as well (only 7 came up so far). But I won't buy the theory that they are now two different varieties. There are no other hosta plants in the area. If the first photo is a hosta, it almost certainly is the other half of the same plant as the second photo, but absolutely certain is half of a plant that last year was identical to the plant that the second photo was half of.
Since I can't even tell the difference between a lily leaf and a hosta leaf, I feel foolish arguing with someone who knows more. But I do know the history of the plant.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 10:56AM
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lycopus(z5 NY)

It is not uncommon for parts of a variegated plant to lose the variegation when propagated. Variegated plants are typically chimeras composed of meristematic cells that differ genetically. If only green (chlorophyll producing) cells give rise to the new plant, the entire plant will be green.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 12:47PM
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Thanks for the info. I'll watch how these plants develop. I may try re splitting the mixed ones this fall or next fall and removing the green ones. I guess we got lucky the first time splitting 4 of these and getting 8 out of 8 thriving and mixed color.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 12:58PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

if you go to the hosta forum.. and read a few of the posts... you will soon be enabled ...

and you will soon be throwing this common junk away ... lol ...

you can do so much better in the hosta world ..

can we see you there????


    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 1:13PM
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My eyesight must be pretty bad. Another part of the garden where she dug out the lily and planted half of one of the hosta. Two days ago, when the other photos were taken all the shoots in this section looked the same to me. Today it is obvious most are hosta. But others I couldn't tell and I was going to post the quality reduced full image and the comment that I can't tell if it is hosta except for those that turned white and can't tell if any are lily until the flowers start.
But the full size full quality image on my big monitor made me see lots of the flowers already started. I can't see that on site. So I posted a cropped, rather than quality reduced version.
The smaller shoot in the middle looks to me identical to what the hosta looked like a few days ago, before they grew bigger and faded from uniform dark green to mixed white and light green.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 1:35PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Even if you can't see much difference, the quality of the leaf is different if you feel them. The texture is different. Lily of the Valley (which is not actually a Lily btw) has the slightly rubbery feel of many bulbous and rhizomatous plants. If you keep looking closely at your plants you will begin to know the difference. As you can see some of us can tell them apart even in a photo and certainly in the flesh. But its not an innate ability. It's just practice and anyone can do it in time.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 7:19AM
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