propagating hostas from seed

Gardeners who don't have time to check on the progress of seed pods every day can cut the flower stalk when it looks like the pods are ripening and place it in a vase of water to finish ripening indoors. If you start them indoors, you need to start them 6-8 weeks before planting. It takes about two weeks for the seeds to germinate. In the spring, I removed about 20-25 seeds for harvesting. Water the soil in the tray with a watering can with a perforated sprinkling cap to avoid disturbing the soil. Hostas can be grown from seed collected in the autumn from dry seed heads. You know in the end, last fall I just found a bunch of people who were looking to get rid of some black walnuts. Thanks–I sometimes have some left after winter so I’d love to hear. I made a small separate garden for them and always wondered how they got there, next to a big one. Seeds from a streaked hosta may give you streaked hosta babies. I didn’t try planting seeds immediately in the fall, which may different, but I had no germination at all on seeds that weren’t stratified in a number of trials. Once I used your method: I was successful. If you don’t get seed this year, check again next. Cut off some of the roots of a mature plant, shake off the old soil and replant at the same depth. Hostas are native to Japan, China, and Korea, where they grow in moist woodlands, open grasslands, and along stream banks and rivers. Dig a hole with a trowel the same size and depth as the seedling pot and plant the seedling at the same depth it was in the pot. It gets a perfect hosta flower every summer though! Interesting! If the winter is cold I will bring my seedlings into a protected area such as a greenhouse or cold frame. I may turn it into a container plant since I’m afraid someone will pull it like a weed! I love “free” plants and try my hand at collecting/starting/using seeds I find on excursions. Put it in water, change the water frequently until there are enough roots growing to pot the leaf. But you MIGHT get an … Do you remember how many weeks you kept the seed in the fridge? Thank you! Hostas are shade loving, low growing, clump-forming perennial plants. Two weeks later, the first hint of green appeared. I don’t have Hostas, but they are a nice plant. Enjoyed reading about your experiment. We planted some black walnut “sticks” (mail order bare root plants) this year. Genetics also apparently play a role and seed from Hosta 'Dorothy Benedict' is said to take three weeks or more to germinate. I’m so glad you took the trial and error plunge, Inger. Needless to say, it never did! , What a great post! Hosta taxa are commonly propagated by division or tissue culture. I can’t believe it took me so long to figure this out. If you have enough seeds, Michael, you could try everything! Be sure to harvest the seed when the pods are beginning to dry out and turn like straw - just before the pods begin to spring open. Hosta flowers by themselves are lovely, and this is another reason to grow these plants in your garden. Thank you for sharing your experience – it’s really appreciated! Hostas do not need to be divided, but you can divide them if you want to propagate more plants, or … They got pushed in the back and forgotten. I didn’t have good luck with those left out over the winter, but you would think they would work. What’s important when growing Hostas from seed is to use fresh seed. You know since they aren’t true to parentage, I ended up with one that I think is going to be a real “mini” which I think is cool. Tamp the soil lightly around the seedling and water thoroughly. As I said, it isn’t the easiest way to make new hostas but it was a fun adventure! Those are the seed pods. Growing and selling Hostas from home can be as easy as planting them in bed, keep your varieties all grouped together and properly tagged. Plant in the pots in the same potting soil you used for the seedling trays. But I did have some tiny baby plants–hooray! But if you are in for an adventure, you might try the seeds too! Usually people put seeds onto damp paper towel and then put all that into the fridge. Hostas do not need to be divided, but you can divide them if you want to propagate more plants, or … Thanks! About half germinated. I suspect they’ll be true to type because the parent plants came from a Virginia plantation with huge banks of hostas that were likely many years old, especially as the single start I brought home then really hasn’t increased all that much. (Note my seeds didn’t fall off but those left on the plants didn’t germinate either). They form seed pods along the flower stems. A: You can collect seed from the crumbly brown pods and plant them immediately in a sunny, well drained spot. The only hostas that come perfectly true to type from seed are plants of the species, Hosta ventricosa. Over the past several years I have found about 12 or 14 miniature Hosta growing here and there. Glean some tips on when to plant hostas, how to plant hostas and what to plant with hostas. Host a and day Lily will grow under black walnut….and baby squirrels lol. I have several dozen starters now from a teaspoon of seeds. Propagating hostas is a wonderful and low-maintenance way to get color and variety into your garden. For anyone else who wants to try it, here’s advice from a couple of coop extension services: Hosta species can be propagated by seed. Well I think when I get back from a visit with my sister in CA I’ll give this methods a try! After reading so many letters from your readers I have concluded they grew from seed dropped from the big Hostas next to them. I made my first attempt at starting some hosta seeds this spring. So not sure how green my thumb is . All are thriving and really big. Thanks for the post. This is extraordinarily helpful–and you helpfully included photos as well. Plants grown from divisions will be identical to the parent plant and should flower from their second year. For soil, I use a bagged potting mix for seedlings because it has given me better results than any of the other starting mixes I have tried. On the upside, though, when you do plant them, you’ll be able to see where you are placing them a … Hostas are hardy perennials that are very easy to grow. Hostas are most commonly propagated by dividing mature plants. See this page on tagging, you’ll see … Germination has been reported in as little as two to four days with potting mix temperatures in the 80 degree range. Nothing. Since germination rates are low, I wouldn’t bother if you have just one. Another thing to consider is seed quality or what the seed parents are. I fill each pot nearly full with potting mix and press it down lightly. I collected the seeds in mid-October then stored them until February which seemed a generally good seed starting month. Above is a seedling from Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ which is a large plant growing to six feet across. It’s now June! I had several failed attempts at growing hostas from seeds. Hostas are notoriously low germinators, so despite planting lots of seed, I didn’t have a lot of growth. It was several in a single neighborhood, which your squirrel tale made me wonder about :). Next up, seeds. Growing Hostas From Seed I sow the hosta seeds in quart-sized plastic plant pots, hopefully labeled and one variety to a pot. You can also propagate hostas in either the early spring or the early fall by division. That’s a great bit of information Scott. ;O). The broad, pointed leaves appear thick and … The seeds were pretty old. It's important that while the seeds are germinating, they receive enough water. I put them in water in a small pyrex cup lined with paper towel. Hostas are a favorite shade-loving plant of gardeners in the United States, prized for their beautiful foliage. Put it in water, change the water frequently until there are enough roots growing to pot the leaf. They can be grown from seed, but because of hybridization, hosta seed collected from mature plants most often does not grow to resemble the parent plant. I didn’t plant them until late, March or maybe even the beginning of April. Didn’t pay a lot of attention to how many seeds I put in the different types of containers, but I think the plastic pot may have worked better. I grew cannas this year for the first time from seed and I’m not sure if they’ll get big enough to flower, they are growing steadily. Hostas are hardy perennials that are very easy to grow. Pingback: How to Divide Hostas (for the Weekend Gardener) | Art of Natural Living, Wow! Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Above you can see black Hosta seeds which are about 1/4″ long. They are so small I worry that they will be eaten or forgotten and hoping for a better chance of survival with a larger plant. In a process called apomixis, seeds are formed in an asexual way (does not require the mixing of pollen onto the pistil) that results in exact genetic copies of the mother plant. Strange but true. Last fall, I found a surprise in my garden–my hosta plants had produced seeds! Sexual propagation is used by hybridizers to develop new cultivars, but is not a commercially viable propagation method because seed propagation does not produce a plant identical to the parent. Hosta taxa are commonly propagated by division or tissue culture. But if you have a number of them it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try. Water in well. I know seeds vary widely in how well they germinate as they get older. In a process called apomixis, seeds are formed in an asexual way (does not require the mixing of pollen onto the pistil) that results in exact genetic copies of the mother plant. You need to plant a lot of seeds to get a few plants. Thanks Frank–so happy this worked for you. But it was a fun project and I’d never look a gift hosta in the mouth! Thanks, that’s good to know! Thanks Jim! Foliage colors range from pale yellow to the deepest of blue-greens, with many variegated forms also available. I will have to try that if I get more seeds this fall. The prized hosta is full of seeds at the moment, so I’m off to collect with your help. Gotta love sitting in a patio garden! I didn’t refrigerate them (didn’t read about that till later), just put a few in some peat pots in a plastic take out container with a clear lid like mentioned above and a few more in an uncovered 4″ plastic pot. I have a hosta plant and will remember to collect seeds. Continue to mist the plants daily to keep the soil moist. Use a small garden spade to dig a hole the size of the root ball. of seed across the top of the damp soil. Thanks for commenting! While hosta care is considered easy, it helps to know a little bit about how to grow hosta… . Leave shapes vary from long, sw… The sources I consulted said you could plant them without any special preparation, so I planted some seeds, set them on my heating coils and waited. I took a pod and left it in my car all winter. They will … Plant each seed into a 4″ pot filled with moistened seed starter mix. Growing Hostas from Seed Planted Three Months Prior. Use a small garden spade to dig a hole the size of the root ball. Keep the tray in a warm spot, where the temperature is between 65 and 75 degrees. She has a degree in economics from Sam Houston State University. Your pictures are great, as usual. I will place the seeds on a saucer to dry for a few days before planting. Since coming to Canada I have not grown anything from seed. Step 2 - Care for the Seeds. Thanks for sharing Roxanne. Another thing to consider is seed quality or what the seed parents are. Interestingly my favorite of my hosta “kids” was one that was just tiny from a giant “mom” Good luck keeping them over the winter. They both have pros and cons. Love the descriptions-truly helpful information. Pat down lightly. I have some with wide leaves and some with narrow, but they are still small so I’ll have to get back to you on this. Slowly, but I still produced baby plants. The parent cannas were overwintered in a plastic tub in the basement with my elephant ear plants. Q: I have a number of mature hosta plants. How to Divide Hostas (for the Weekend Gardener) | Art of Natural Living, https://artofnaturalliving.com/2014/06/18/divide-hostas-weekend-gardener/. When leaves start growing through … I didn’t know if this was an unusual occurrence, but it started me thinking. If you do, I’d love to hear how it goes. For soil, I use a bagged potting mix for seedlings because it has given me better results than any of the other starting mixes I have tried. One way to start propagating ajuga plants is by planting seeds. If a person is interested in growing new variegated plants you need to start with seed from streaked pod parent hostas, using a streaked pollen parent alone or a green plant will just produce more green plants, or blue plants if they are used. I’m amazed at the high germination rate given the age of the seeds. Dampen the soil thoroughly. grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 9. Germination rates are low. Should I try growing hostas from seed? It is good to know that they can be put under a grow light to gain some size, though. Your email address will not be published. Scatter roughly 1 tbsp. The soil will need to be constantly moist from when sown to when the hostas have a few leaves. First of all, you need the original plant tag from the day that you purchased your hosta. I came here looking for advice on how to overwinter them since they’re slow growing and still so tiny, so was happy to see they can be overwintered in the house till at least next year. This is my first visit to your site. Thanks for sharing your method–I didn’t see that anywhere on the internet! Eureka! Mist the seed daily to keep it moist. From now on I will always overwinter them in the basement by a window with scant light. Most will be plain Jane green seedlings and you may have to grow them for 5 or so years to see what they really look like. Hosta Seeds I collected the seeds in mid-October then stored them until February which seemed a generally good seed starting month. I have a Victory hosta single leaf cutting done this way and now potted about a … My neighbors have some mature trees…, I would love to have them removed but it takes 50 YEARS to have ‘clean’ soil again. I, too, am a suburban-nature-girl. Gardeners who don't have time to check on the progress of seed pods every day can cut the flower stalk when it looks like the pods are ripening and place it in a vase of water to finish ripening indoors. I found seed on a plant this spring. Unlike most indoor plants, indoor hostas require a period of dormancy during the winter, which replicates the plant’s normal outdoor growing conditions. Thank you!! Growing from seed. Because of their sweet smell, these plants will attract hummingbirds to your garden. I would like to plant these seeds but have tried with no success. Division (shown at left) is a process in which the healthy parent plant is uprooted during the spring and then daughter plants are taken from the mother.In the genus Hosta, the mother plant develops a very substantial root system which has the capability of being divided into multiple daughter plants.These divided daughter plants can then be transplanted as a form of propagation. My understanding is that they produce seeds somewhat sporadically. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. I started hosta’s from seed this winter, I placed them in a zip lock bag with a wet paper towel and place on top of a forced air heat vent, your percentage of seeds that start is nearly all of them, and if a few don’t start with the rest, just keep them in the bag and wait. Its the only answer that fits. Hostas are low-growing, clump-forming perennial plants grown mostly for their lovely foliage, but beyond this, a single description is almost impossible, since there are hundreds of varieties available, ranging from those with tiny leaves about 1 inch in diameter growing in a 6-inch clump to giant specimens with leaves that are 18 inches long growing in clumps 6 feet across. The only hostas that come perfectly true to type from seed are plants of the species, Hosta ventricosa. All Rights Reserved. If you no longer have the plant tag, then don’t propagate that plant. :0). i don’t know if you realize that black walnuts are a natural herbicide & almost nothing will grow under or around them. Hostas are low-growing, clump-forming perennial plants grown mostly for their lovely foliage, but beyond this, a single description is almost impossible, since there are hundreds of varieties available, ranging from those with tiny leaves about 1 inch in diameter growing in a 6-inch clump to giant specimens with leaves that are 18 inches long growing in clumps 6 feet across. If you want to read more, you can try searching “seed stratification.” One reader mentioned putting seeds on a wet paper towel in a plastic bag and that onto a heater, which I thought was interesting. If I try planting them again, I will go even further back! Required fields are marked *. If you would like to grow hostas from seed, plan to start the process in January in order to transplant the seedlings outdoors in the spring. Hostas are native to Japan, China, and Korea, where they grow in moist woodlands, open grasslands, and along stream banks and rivers. Originating in the Orient and brought to the Europe in the 1700s, today there are over 2,500 cultivars with such variety in leaf shape, size and texture, that an entire garden could be devoted to growing hostas alone. The broad, pointed leaves appear thick and … Sometimes a person just needs to experiment! Propagation Hostas can propagate by seed or cuttings, but most houseplant gardeners grow hostas from seeds in containers. Of course for years I’ve split and exchanged hostas. I’ve already got my eye on different neighborhood hostas to try for some different types next spring. grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 9. you describe it very well, it is a amazing stuff, thanks for sharing …. It is such a unique looking seed and beautiful plant my friend, I am glad it sprouted for you . How fun Andrena! Their lush foliage and easy care make them ideal for a low maintenance garden. In a couple of weeks you should see tiny Hosta seedlings germinate. Well over 90% will end up being uninteresting solid green plants. The sources I consulted said you could plant them without any special preparation, so I planted some seeds, set them on my heating coils and waited. Wasn’t aware then of the low germination rate but I now have 10 tiny plants — one that sprouted only 2 weeks ago, way after the other ones. The earliest I saw was just over two weeks and some were as late as 2-3 months. I’d like to plant the same hosta in several other places and share it with friends, so growing from seed is the answer. Step 1 - Plant the Seeds Take a plastic container and fill it with moist potting soil. Anyway, now I will take a look around your site! For months. That sounds easier than putting them in water in the refrigerator (though I would need to keep the cats from running off with the bag of wet seeds )! Kill many every year. I had been wondering what to do with all the hosta seeds and if it was worth trying to save them and plant them. A proper growing environment and care can accelerate their growth. Just wonderful!!! In the end it took a fair amount of trial and error to produce my plants… What did I learn: Would I do this again? I ended up with one teeny plant (years later it is still about 8 inches across) from a large parent and it ended up being my favorite! You can also propagate hostas in either the early spring or the early fall by division. Congrats on your cannas Christopher! The Hosta seeds need to be constantly moist from the time they are planted, until they have several leaves. This seed will be planted in early September so that the plant can get its root system developed before going into winter. I’ve planted bare root hostas. Glad you enjoyed this Claudia. Hostas are a favorite shade-loving plant of gardeners in the United States, prized for their beautiful foliage. Hostas can be propagated by dividing a mature plant. I suppose if all of the parent hostas were very similar you have more of a chance that they will be true to type. One of my little hosta babies has decided to be tiny for life–it’s a perfect specimen about 6 or 8 inches across. Enjoy! Put the plastic container on a windowsill or in a location in your home that receives a lot of sunshine. This is mainly dependent on temperature. Water the plants and apply a granular fertiliser such as Growmore in spring at rates on the packet. Lay them out on a piece of paper for a few days to completely dry. Hosta plants are a perennial favorite among gardeners. The seeds will begin to ripen in the seed pods and the pods will grow larger. Cut a 4- to 5-inch-long (10 to 12 cm) stem (or side shoot) just below a leaf, and remove all but two or … Your hosta plants will come up year after year with very little work on your part. The soil should be level with the top of the tray, not packed in too tight. Fill a shallow plastic tray designed for seedlings with a loose potting soil designed for seedlings. At an nearby office, I saw some beautiful hostas with ripe seed pods. The interesting part however… I harvested the seed pods three years ago and they spent the entire time in the fridge. Our youngest child was about five years old at that time. The seed pod may (and probably will) still be a bit green. To start Shasta Daisies from seed, you have two options: start them indoors or direct sow outdoors. The best times for dividing plants are in early spring or late fall, about a month before the frost comes. For anyone else who wants to try it, here’s advice from a couple of coop extension services: Hosta species can be propagated by seed. This has really been the best information Ive found concerning trial and error. http://www.nhhostas.com - How to properly divide your hostas. Back fill with soil and firm in place. On the upside, though, when you do plant them, you’ll be able to see where you are placing them a … Germination is slow. The wet paper towel would do pretty much the same thing as soaking them in water. Good luck with them over the winter and thanks for commenting! I went back to the Internet where one (and only one) source said that sometimes the seeds will need stratification–basically to sit in cold water in your refrigerator  for a few weeks before planting. You are lucky your little hostas “planted” themselves, Margie! Fertilize hosta every other week during the growing season, using a water-soluble fertilizer for houseplants. You must add “the green thumb” touch to the plants. Division (or tissue culture) has long been the primary ways of propagating hosta but as you and a few others demonstrate, seeds will grow. In the end I only got three plants, still small. Yes, you can root hosta leaf cuttings but you have to cut the leaf with a bit of the root it is growing from, preferable with a few small roots attached to the cutting. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →, University of Kentucky: Hosta Propagation. Have fun and I’d love to hear how it all turns out! Be sure to harvest the seed when the pods are beginning to dry out and turn like straw - just before the pods begin to spring open. This preserves the seed and simulates winter conditions. They can be grown from seed, but because of hybridization, hosta seed collected from mature plants most often does not grow to resemble the parent plant. We’d been told to freeze the nut before planting, which we did. Then over the next few weeks more. Amazing! I then placed them in a sunny window with a fluorescent light on them over night. The green foliage can come in varying colors, and with the right care, the plants can produce pink, purple, or white flowers during the summertime. Thanks for sharing! I dearly love Hostas and it could be fun no matter what I get! Use the same method to plant a hosta in a pot, ensuring you water the compost thoroughly and allow to drain. Some only as big as the palm of my hand. If you decide to do this, sow ajuga plant seeds in containers in fall or spring. Use the division of your hosta plants as a way to propagate them all over your yard for free, or give a little “eye” to a friend as a way of saying you care. The best times for dividing plants are in early spring or late fall, about a month before the frost comes. By starting your seeds now you will have a good sized plant next year. These leafy plants are perennial favorites, and growing hostas isn’t reserved for experienced gardeners. Thanks. Maybe I’ll try planting a black walnut again! We are on time of use electric rates, so I only tried this on weekends, but they seemed happy to be in the land of the midnight. Good luck. The side of my yard that abuts them looks like hell. If you start them indoors, you need to start them 6-8 weeks before planting. Elongated seed pods will develop on the stalks in a configuration similar to the flowers. Back fill with soil and firm in place. Hostas also need air around their root system. I just did the paper towel trick in an old take out container, clear lid to let the sun in and maintain moisture. Move the tray to a sunny window or beneath a grow light when seedlings emerge. I took another bunch of seeds, placed them in water in the refrigerator for a few weeks, then planted them. There is a 1 in 100 chance that a green hosta seed will produce a gold, variegated, or depending on what it was was pollenated with a blue hosta. We planted our black walnuts out in a field that just contains junipers and wild grasses, so we didn’t care what they took out underneath I hadn’t heard that it takes so long for the soil to return–I suppose the roots take ages to decompose. They are large hostas so I hope the seedlings grow as big. Sexual propagation is used by hybridizers to develop new cultivars, but is not a commercially viable propagation method because seed propagation does not produce a plant identical to the parent. Peat absorbs and holds a lot of water, which is essential for germinating seeds. For 1-2 months, the hosta flower… Many collectors around the world sow a huge amount of seeds every year, hoping to get new varieties of these beautiful plants. On which fantastic beauty flowers are formed. Even without “help” they didn’t survive. Remove the plant from its pot and put the plant into the hole. I am actually quite happy I tried it with last year’s seeds, since I didn’t seem to get any this year. Thank you for the information. One of the most exciting ways to reproduce hostas is to sow seeds. Free seeds–who could argue with that! Hostas can be propagated by dividing a mature plant. And here I thought I was the only one who liked to “try my luck” I’ve never tried Hostas though. Ideal plants for shady locations, hostas (Hosta spp.) Thanks for your response. All sources I consulted said to harvest the seeds when they are black and papery. Light Refrigerate the seed until January. I didn’t use a grow light and wished I did, but they are either in a southern or Eastern window. Instead start collecting Hostas that you are free to propagate. I put seeds in compost last December in my utility room (I live in uk). Thank you! I’ve now got about fourty seedling plant about the size of my thumb. This Hosta plantagenia has rather long seed pods, full of seeds. _ b. The green foliage can come in varying colors, and with the right care, the plants can produce pink, purple, or white flowers during the summertime. The are really a nuisance as they drop hundreds (thousands) of walnuts that take very little effort to grow and then you have to deal with the fact that they put out a chemical that kills everything under the canopy so they have no competition. . At that stage, the seedlings are more tolerant of short periods of dryness. Use the same method to plant a hosta in a pot, ensuring you water the compost thoroughly and allow to drain. Is there a trick? Growing Hosta Seedlings The basics of growing Hosta seedlings indoors under lights. Division (or tissue culture) has long been the primary ways of propagating hosta but as you and a few others demonstrate, seeds will grow. These leafy plants are perennial favorites, and growing hostas isn’t reserved for experienced gardeners. The seeds germinate in a month or less. Hosta – Propagating. Thank you so much for all the information! Foliage colors range from pale yellow to the deepest of blue-greens, with many variegated forms also available. Transplant the seedlings into the garden when all danger of frost has passed. Thank you. This is interesting. Mine had grown for longer and I still wouldn’t let my husband weed where I planted them fearing he’d mistake them for weeds! If you have a lot of seeds, you might even try a couple methods and see which works best! If you have questions on how to get started or a question about growing seeds please ask your question and I am sure we can help you out. Keep the soil very moist, but not soaked, throughout the growing process. Learning how to grow hostas isn’t difficult — it’s actually one of the easiest perennials to tend. Their lush foliage and easy care make them ideal for a low maintenance garden. Thanks Anthony. And waited. It all starts in the summer when a tall peduncle grows from the center of the stem. Let them dry on the stalk and then collect them, open them up and you will see the flat seeds, take the seeds out, let them dry out on a paper towel and then put them in an airtight container. I have a particular hosta that looks tropical because the leaves are so large. Originating in the Orient and brought to the Europe in the 1700s, today there are over 2,500 cultivars with such variety in leaf shape, size and texture, that an entire garden could be devoted to growing hostas alone. On my list to try this year is starting a Catalpa tree from seed.

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