sandyslopes

Is This Hosta Dead or Alive?

sandyslopes z5b n. UT
August 5, 2019
last modified: August 5, 2019

I feel like the hosta might still come back. Am I in total denial? Wouldn't be the first time, lol. In spring I thought it would send up some leaves, but it's August and it still looks like this.

The roots are holding it firmly in the ground, so it's solidly in there. No rot.



This once was a thriving Abba Dabba Do. I noticed it getting smaller a few years in a row. My diagnosis was that it was no longer getting the water it needed, so I raised the sprinkler last fall, and now it's got moist soil that it should be happy in. What should I do for it?

Comments (20)

  • nicholsworth Z6 Indianapolis

    sandyslopes..that's weird!..it doesn't seem dead..but it's August and not one leaf??..I tend to think it's a goner..in person does any of it look like a pip?..

    sandyslopes z5b n. UT thanked nicholsworth Z6 Indianapolis
  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

    lets look at the other half of the plant ... crikey... dig it up ... i am positive we will learn something ...


    top right corner of the pic.. is that a bud on an exposed root ...


    ken

    sandyslopes z5b n. UT thanked ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5
  • ademink

    I would dig it up, take a super sharp knife and cut the top off of each one of those calloused eyes. Plant it about an inch below soil level and see what happens.

    sandyslopes z5b n. UT thanked ademink
  • djacob68z5sewi

    Not sure what to say......looks like a creature from another world. I agree, dig it up, see what you find. Then show us.

    sandyslopes z5b n. UT thanked djacob68z5sewi
  • newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada

    It does look like that plant has potential. But if it hasn't grown, what harm would there be to dig it up and investigate?

    sandyslopes z5b n. UT thanked newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada
  • zkathy z7a NC

    Abba Dabba Do, Atlantis and Sun Power all just hate my garden. They are all related sports. The biggest one is a small mound. Sandy, if you didn’t have the name Sandyslopes I might have taken it myself as it is a perfect description of my garden. I’m very interested in how this works out as I’m willing to give up on all of these hostas if they give me any more trouble.

    sandyslopes z5b n. UT thanked zkathy z7a NC
  • sandyslopes z5b n. UT

    All right, the consensus seems to be to dig it out. I don't see any buds, but I could be missing something. It's just strange looking, you know? Looking at the roots will be the next step. I was hesitant to do that because I don't want to stress it any more, but what have I got to lose at this point, right? I'll get that done soon and show you all what I find. Thanks for all your input!

  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

    but what have I got to lose at this point, right? <<<=== bazinga

    sandyslopes z5b n. UT thanked ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5
  • sandyslopes z5b n. UT

    zkathy, I was almost sandy alkaline but didn't like how that sounded, so sandy slopes describes my situation, too. I have Atlantis and Sun Power and they do well enough here. I would like Abba Dabba Do to come back to it's previous self.


    Maybe we can all learn something from this experiment. At first I thought some problem hostas were planted too deep, sinking into my sand. Now I think it's lack of water. Other plants grow taller and cut back on the quantity of sprinkler water that gets through. So I don't realize for a while they're not getting enough. When I dig this one up maybe we'll find another reason. It's always puzzling when a hosta that was doing well starts to shrink in my garden.

  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

    my guess is that it is dry rotted ... a zombie ...

    sandyslopes z5b n. UT thanked ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5
  • zkathy z7a NC

    I would have been sandy acid here. Maybe acidic sandy soil turns Sun Power and it’s descendants into midgets and alkaline sandy soil turns them into ZOMBIES!

    sandyslopes z5b n. UT thanked zkathy z7a NC
  • djacob68z5sewi

    This is sounding like the potential for a Netflix series—-“Zombie Hostas from Sandyslopes.”

    :-)

    sandyslopes z5b n. UT thanked djacob68z5sewi
  • sandyslopes z5b n. UT

    Here's what I found. It's really wet because I just hosed it off. The part at 4:00 is mushy, but that's the only mushy part to it.


    So I snapped it off. It broke in what seemed like a natural place.


    Here it is turned upside-down. This part was facing down into the ground. I don't know that much about roots, but they seem firm, not mushy.


    Something I think is interesting is the piece on the bottom of this pic was in the ground lower and off to the side, still attached. It's as if the hosta put more growth up higher and made roots closer to the surface because that's where the water was. It was getting some water, but not the deep watering it had before. .....I'm guessing, so does that sound logical?


    Here's kind of a side view of how it was in the ground

    So I still don't know if it's dead or alive. I potted it up deeper in the pot with only a little bit showing. I was afraid to cut the top with a knife like ademink said, but I can still do that. I also didn't use any bleach on it, should I? Or is it.... Yikes..... A ZOMBIE hosta? Poor thing. :-(

  • ademink

    I have had this happen before. The crown is exposed all winter and it dries out and callouses. If the crown is viable, it will grow. Cutting the top of the callousing will allow it to actually emerge. That has been my experience. You won't kill it by cutting it. Think of slicing a carrot very thinly. Take a carrot slice off the top of the eyes.

    sandyslopes z5b n. UT thanked ademink
  • sandyslopes z5b n. UT

    Thanks for elaborating on that ademink. That makes sense that it was exposed over winter, so now I can understand the callousing. I wasn't sure how much or why I'd cut any of it, but I can picture a thin carrot slice. Very helpful! I might as well give it a try, even though it looks pretty bad now.

  • don_in_colorado

    ALIEN FACEHUGGER!!!

    sandyslopes z5b n. UT thanked don_in_colorado
  • djacobz568sewi

    Yes , don——- my sentiments exactly! Huge zombie spider eating huge strange caterpillar!……lol

    sandyslopes z5b n. UT thanked djacobz568sewi
  • peren.all Zone 5a Ontario Canada

    That really is bizarre. I hope it grows because I remember it as being a striking specimen.

    sandyslopes z5b n. UT thanked peren.all Zone 5a Ontario Canada
  • djacobz568sewi

    We will all be waiting with bated breath, as the saying goes, to see what happens with this specimen, as you say. I am hoping it returns even more striking and you must keep us updated!

    sandyslopes z5b n. UT thanked djacobz568sewi
  • sandyslopes z5b n. UT

    You want to see alien? I think this shot looks the most like some alien being. It looks like it wants to be set loose on the world. Bwahahaha!


Need help with an existing Houzz order? Call 1-800-368-4268