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Friday, April 10, 2009

Hole-y Hosta

How are your Hosta? Are they hole-y?

Although this is Easter weekend, this is not a religious post. While many people certainly feel that Hosta have been heaven sent, I'm writing about the Holes in them.

Hosta are amazing plants. If they grow in your area, you should never garden without them. There is such a huge selection of foliage patterns, colors and sizes, I don't even consider the blooms but they can be lovely too.

It's no wonder that Hosta tours are generally in early June around here. The foliage has fully flushed out by then but it's still clean and pristine.

A wonderful thing about Hosta is that they are still beautiful months later. There's only one thing, they usually have some holes in the foliage by then.

At the very right side of this photo you'll see the plain green foliage of a Hosta. I have quite a bit of this variety. It was given to me by a woman in my garden club. Stuck in the middle of the three huge clumps she gave me were tags from the nursery she had bought them from. While I could read the name of the nursery, the name of the Hosta was obliterated.

See the holes in the leaves? Most people would blame those holes on slugs. Ewwww, slugs! I hate slugs, in fact, I'm a slugaphobic. But as much as I'd like to blame those slimy creatures, I have to confess that these holes were probably not caused by them. First of all, I have few slugs here. Secondly, this location is out by the street, around my mailbox. The soil there is gritty from the sand the town spreads during winter snow. It's also very dry out there, the worst conditions for slugs. So why the holes? Well, little twigs falling from the trees above will cause those holes.

I do have some Hosta in the garden that seem to beckon and call the slugs to come and dine. Those leaves look like swiss-cheese by late summer. I couldn't find a photo of one of those today but will keep looking.

In this photo though you see one or two larger holes. Again, this type of hole is more likely caused by twigs falling from the trees above. If your Hosta are planted under trees as so many of them are, then you will just have to live with those holes.

Of course there are also the holes caused by Calie-the-wonder-doodle chasing chipmunks through the Hosta bed. I decided to spare you from those photos as there's very little Hosta left to see.

Still, aren't they beautiful?


Anonymous said...

Do you not have deer in your neighborhood that love to dine on Hosta? We spent the last three years in deer free bliss, then our neighbor with the two big dogs moved and now we're like a salad bar for them. :(

Joanne said...

Your hostas are lovely and well done you for growing them in the ground I only seem to have success in pots and with slug pellets actually in my case snails are our worst culprits.

Some years ago we looked after a friends duck for a fortnight and it lived in a rabbit hutch in the garden at night but during the day it fed on a constant supply of snails you could actually see them going down it's throat whole. Well for about three years after that we had no problem with slugs or snails I am often tempted to keep a duck just for this purpose.

Blossom said...

Still, they are indeed beautiful. I have a feeling that you have a big lovely garden.

our friend Ben said...

We're lucky here---no holes from slugs or even trees. But last year it hailrd and really shattered our newly unfurled and beautiful hosta leaves! I was devastated (as were they). Holes or no holes, yours look gorgeous. And I love Joanne's duck patrol idea!

joey said...

Hole-y hostas or not, they're lovely ... I can't live without them.

Gail said...

I used to try to grow them! They decline in this garden...they like moisture and unless you want to water all summer long, you won't have them. gail

Jan said...

I don't have a problem with slugs and snails, or small twigs making holes in my hostas, but pine tree needles, when the fall just the right way, will make a hole. It is not to bad, though, and like you said, you just have to live with it.

Always Growing

cindee said...

I love hosta and just started to try to grow them. My problem is slugs. The new growth comes up out of the ground in the Spring and they are chewed off at the ground! I what to do? I guess I have to put out sluggo or I may not see the hosta ever grow here!
Interesting though about the sticks poking holes in the leaves! They still look beautiful to me!!!

Melanie said...

Hi all, well, Hosta to see to be quite popular! Luckily for us, we do not have deer at all in our area. Many parts of Long Island are plagued with deer, some areas just a few miles north of us do have them. Just last year an article in the paper stated that deer have made their way back into Queens, which is one of the five New York City burroughs.

Ducks are great slug eaters, I've read this from other gardeners. One person told me that her duck was also a great guard duck as it chased anybody who came in the fenced in yard and tried to bite them.

One of the safest ways to get rid of slugs (safe for the other creatures around) is to put a few bowls of beer in the garden. Cindee you could try this near your new Hosta. The slugs don't mind if it's cheap, stale beer either. Just use a few old aluminum pie plates or plastic bowls, fill them with beer and place them in the Hosta beds. The slugs will drink the beer and drown. My only problem is I HATE slugs, even dead ones so I use a very long stick to tip out that bowl full of dead slugs, ewwwww.

Erin said...

I'm drooling over your hosta pictures. I just love them! I am adding more to the garden every year - this year it is thanks to my friend who divided hers and shared with me. I'd love to read any other hosta tips that you have.

Cinj said...

My hostas were all gobbled by the deer last year. I'll have to mix up a repellant to keep them away so they can even get a chance to be holey.

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