Heuchera and Hosta Update

Heuchera ‘Lime Rickey’ on 4-23-19, #562-4.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well. The Heuchera and Hosta are all doing good for the most part. We have been having cool temps this week but nothing serious.  Some of the perennials are growing like weeds now while others are casually taking their time. If you grow several different Hosta cultivars from different size groups, you will find the larger cultivars grow at a much faster rate than the miniatures. At least that is the way it is here.

You can click on the names of the Heuchera and Hosta to visit their own pages.

The Heuchera ‘Lime Rickey’ in the above photo was a little off at first but it seems to be doing much better now.

 

Heuchera ‘Obsidian’ on 4-23-19, #562-5.

The Heuchera ‘Obsidian’ is being weird again this spring. I don’t understand how some plants can do great their first year and then go downhill after that. I dug it up, checked its roots, made sure there wasn’t a mole tunnel under it, amended the soil with cow manure, then put it back in the ground at the proper depth. So far it is still being weird!

Heuchera (Coral Bells) don’t have a lot of rules to keep them going. They need well-draining soil, kind of lose and loamy like most plants. They can go for short dry periods but they prefer consistently damp soil, but not to damp. During dry periods they like at least an inch of water per week or they begin to feel neglected. Although they don’t seem to mind Oxalis and Clover to a point, they consider most weedy companions as intruders. They don’t seem to like the pushy Chickweed or Lamium purpureum (Deadnettle) and always ask if I can remove them. Company is one thing, but enough is enough!

 

Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ on 4-23-19, #562-6.

The bigger Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ continues to do very well. The smaller plant next to this one is doing very well also. This plant handed me a “to-do list” reminding me to keep the Virginia Creeper (lower left corner) in check.

 

Heuchera ‘Venus’ on 4-23-19, #562-7.

The Heuchera ‘Venus’… They say a photo is worth a thousand words, but I can honestly tell you this Heuchera looks even better in person. It seems to like its Red Clover companion. That’s good because I can’t remove it. Its stem is right next to the Heuchera with much deeper roots. Heuchera ‘Venus’ is looking better than ever so I don’t think I need to bother it.

Heuchera always looks good this time of the year through most of May. Once the heat of summer sets in and the Japanese Beetles arrive… I have plenty of leaves for mulch that I am going to put on the shade bed, and maybe in the bed in the north side of the house. That will help keep the soil cool and retain some moisture.

Now for the Hosta…

 

Hosta ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’ on 4-23-19, #562-8.

The Hosta ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’ is taking its time making sure the coast is clear. She keeps reminding me how I couldn’t find her earlier because I was looking in the wrong place. Then she giggles so I know she is just kidding around. I was looking behind the label instead of in front of it… Anyway, the Hosta ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’ is alive and well. 🙂

 

Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ ? on 4-23-19, #562-9.

If this is a Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ I will really be surprised. It survived the winter and started leafing out faster than the rest of the Hosta. I have looked at its label several times to verify to myself, and to the plant, that it says Hosta ‘Blue Angel’. The label hasn’t changed and that is exactly what it says… This clump looks like a very nice and healthy miniature Hosta, which Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ is not… Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ grows to a mature size of 36″ tall. Its leaves also do not match Hosta ‘Blue Angel’. So, I need to find out the source of this plant from Mast’s Greenhouse to see what miniature Hosta they have available… I WILL figure it out! I am certainly not unhappy with the plant because it is very good. It just needs to have its proper name.

 

Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ on 4-23-19, #562-10.

It seems to take a long time for the Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ leaves to unfurl. I looked back at last years photos and it seems to actually be a little ahead. Patience is a virtue…

 

Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’ on 4-23-19, #562-11.

What a glowing beauty! The Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’ is definitely a winner! Sometimes I go outside in the dark to check on something, like measure a plant (yes, I really do that). If I shine my light toward the Hosta this one lights up like it is saying, “I am here!” I have had several gold-leaved Hosta on my wishlist for many years but there are never any available locally. I was fortunate to have found this one at Muddy Creek Greenhouse in 2017.

 

Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ on 4-25-19, #562-12.

The Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ has grown by leaps and bounds. It wasn’t the first to emerge, but once it did and the temps warmed up it took off and grew faster than any other Hosta here. I have taken several photos of it already that I haven’t posted because by the time a post is finished it has grown more. Then I forgot to take its photo on the 23rd with the other Hosta which is why this one was taken on the 25th (even though it is in the same folder). Currently, it is already 30″ wide and it just the last part of April!

 

Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’ on 4-23-19, #562-13.

The Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’ is looking very good now.

 

Hosta ‘Guacamole’ on 4-23-19, #562-14.

The Hosta ‘Guacamole’ is doing very good now. I am going to like it much better with it all on the same location.

 

Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’ on 4-23-19, #562-15.

The Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’ is one of my all-time favorite Hosta. I like the color and their vase-shaped habit.

 

Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’ on 4-23-19, #562-16.

The Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’ is an amazing Hosta for sure. It just does its thing and that is growing and looking beautiful! Beautiful large dark green corrugated leaves!

 

Hosta ‘Red October’ on 4-23-19, #562-17.

Talk about a miraculous recovery! I thought the Hosta ‘Red October’ was completely gone. Each time I checked on the Hosta and took photos of them coming up, Hosta ‘Red October’ was nowhere to be seen. The clump had struggled last spring because of a mole tunnel under the roots, so I dug it up. There were only two plants left in the clump so I put them beside two separate Chinese Elm trees. They didn’t do well all summer but they did survive. This spring they were gone. I dug into the soil where I had planted them and nothing was to be found. Then one day, with no camera, I saw they had both came up. Not just a sprout, but the whole plant! It had only been a couple of days since I took photos and they were not there. It was a pleasant surprise for sure! So, I took both plants and put them where The Hosta ‘Rainforest Sunrise’ had been (where one of the ‘H. ‘Guacamole’ had been last year).

 

Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ on 4-23-19, #562-18.

Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ is looking GREAT and getting bigger every time I check. This is going to be a great specimen in time.

 

Hosta ‘Whirlwind’ on 4-23-19, #562-19.

Hosta ‘Whirlwind’ is definitely one of those delightful and entertaining Hosta. Emerging in bright colors in the spring then darkening as the season progresses.

 

Hosta sieboldiana ‘Elegans’ on 4-23-19, #562-20.

All of the Hosta are doing very well except for the Hosta sieboldiana ‘Elegans’. This will be our 11th summer together and it has always been AWESOME and has never had a lick of trouble until now. Apparently, with the up and down temps this past winter, its roots heaved up exposing some of the roots. Even with leaves as a mulch, it didn’t help that much because leaves blow off. I dug up the clump and dug the hole deeper, amended the soil with cow manure, then replanted what was left of the clump. Some of the roots are sticking upward which is a little weird… Hopefully, it will get back to its old self and start growing better.

Well, that’s it for the Heuchera and Hosta update. It took five days to finish this post! Today I went to three greenhouses to see what was available. I needed to see if Wildwood Greenhouse had another Leucocasia (Colocasia) gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ and see what else was available. I went to Mast’s because they were in the neighborhood but I didn’t go to Muddy Creek. Then, of course, I had to check with Wagler’s… So, the next post will be about the new plants which I will start on NOW…

Until next time… Be safe and stay positive. I hope you are getting dirty!

Ajuga, Heuchera, Hosta, Leptinella & Zantedeschia Update

Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’-Bugleweed

Hello again! I am back with round two of the update. The Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’ has struggled through the winter and probably 80% of has died out. What is left is beginning to bud. Later on, I will have to replant what has died with new plants from what is left. They can spread pretty fast so that won’t be a problem. You have to be careful with Bugleweed as they have a tendency to become too thick which can lead to crown rot.

In an earlier post, I mentioned that only two of the Hosta I bought last year survived the winter. Well, I made a very good discovery Friday… I was looking for the new Hosta behind the tags and they were in front of them. SO, the only one that didn’t return is Hosta ‘Rainforest Sunrise’. The following are in the order the photos were taken.

 

Hosta ‘Empress Wu’

I am very glad the Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ survived the winter. I planted this Hosta last spring by the porch on the north side of the house because I want something there that makes a statement. I have had this cultivar in mind for this spot for several years but I could only find them online. Last spring I found one at a garden center in Clinton but didn’t want to pay over $20.00 for a gallon size pot. Then I found the Colocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ which I planted there but farther away from the wall because I knew it would get big. Then after that, I found a smaller Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ at a local greenhouse. Well, even though I had kind of used that spot for the Colocasia ‘Thailand Giant’, I still had to have the Hosta ‘Empress Wu’. I planted it behind the Colocasia in the corner. In time, this Hosta will be very big as it is the largest Hosta cultivar available.

 

Hosta ‘Guacamole’

Hosta ‘Guacamole’ appears right on the heels of ‘H. ‘Potomac Pride’. I bought this award-winning Hosta from Lowe’s in the spring of 2014. The clump has spread nicely and it always makes a good show during the summer. It is always good to see it return in the spring.

 

Hosta ‘Red October’

The Hosta ‘Red October’ has been with me since 2009 I brought from Mississippi. Last year it showed some signs of needing help, so this spring I may need to give it some attention. I have lost two Hosta I brought with me and I don’t intend to lose a third which is why I moved H. ‘Krossa Regal’ last spring.

 

Hosta sieboldiana ‘Elegans’

Hosta sieboldiana ‘Elegans’ is another award-winning Hosta I bought in 2009 while living in Mississippi. This clump gets larger every year and the plant keeps getting more dramatic. It is a beautiful blue-green Hosta with AWESOME thick, puckered and corrugated leaves!

 

Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’

Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’ is always the first to appear in the spring so it is always the one I check first. I brought this cultivar with me from Mississippi, too. It keeps getting bigger every year and has never ceased to be AWESOME!

 

Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’

I bought this plant from an Ebay seller in 2009 while living at the mansion in Mississippi, too. I actually bought my first Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’ after I moved to the farm when my grandpa passed away in 1981. I always liked its vase-shaped growth habit and leaf color, kind of a powdery blue-green. I had to relocate this clump last spring so I divided it while I was at it. I was a little worried at first this spring because it looked like most of it didn’t survive. Fortunately, it appears all the plants from the division have made it now.

 

Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’

Thank goodness the Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ survived the winter. I bought this cultivar in the spring of 2014 but I thought it was a gonner in 2016. Fortunately, it came back again in 2017 so I moved it in front of where I moved the Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’. Hopefully, it will do better this year. Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ was the Perennial Plant Association’s Perennial Plant of the Year in 1991. It was also the number one selling Heuchera for 20 years straight.

 

Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’

Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’ was new for me last spring and my first gold-leaved cultivar. It is certainly a show stopper with its bright leaves you can see from far away. I am anxious to see how well it does this year.

 

Iris fulva-Copper Iris

I brought this AWESOME iris from Mississippi where I found it growing in the backyard at the mansion. I couldn’t leave without bringing several tubers with me and they have spread nicely. This past winter proved they are hardy down to -10° F!

 

Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’

“HERE I AM!!!” I almost S–T!!! It isn’t every day your Hosta calls out to you like that. Just look how big it is already!!! I was looking behind the tag this whole time and it was in front of it instead covered with leaves. GEEZ! WOW, was I glad to see it!

 

Hosta Abique Drinking Gourd’

Since the Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’ was in front of its tag, I look in front of the lag for H. ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’. Sure enough, there it was, too! Very good! This cultivar was the 2014 American Hosta Growers Association Hosta of the Year. It has thick puckered leaves that are cup-shaped. I am looking forward to seeing what this plant can do as the years go by. It will be AWESOME!

 

Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’

Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ is just sitting there looking like it has the last three times I have taken its photo. I am not complaining because at least it survived the winter and without much mulch a lot of the time. It is on the end and the wind seems to blow its cover off and on and it isn’t as deep as the others so some of its roots are exposed. I cover it up and it disappears. Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ is a MULTIPLE award winner and am glad I found it last spring at Lowe’s. This Hosta was introduced 18 years years ago and is still very popular.

 

Heuchera ‘Obsidian’

I wasn’t worried about the new Heuchera surviving the winter because there were visible signs of them the whole time and they all came through with flying colors. Heuchera is a Terra Nova introduction and is supposed to be the “blackest” Heuchera. It did very well last summer and I have no doubt it will be great in 2018 as well.

 

Heuchera ‘Venus’

Heuchera ‘Venus’ sure looks different when it first starts growing in the spring compared to how it looks in the summer. The leaves will be a silvery-green with maroon veins. Well, that depends on the light and time of the year. Heuchera ‘Venus’ is part of the Planet Collection hybridized by Wijnhout from the Netherlands and introduced in 2003. I had several similar cultivars on my wishlist but I had not heard of this one until I found it at Lowe’s last spring. It was a very good performer last year and had the tallest flower stems.

 

Heuchera ‘Southern Comfort’

The Heuchera ‘Southern Comfort’ is another Terra Nova introduction I found at Lowe’s last spring. Earlier during the winter, something dug a hole in front of this plant. I filled the hole in but whatever it was kept coming back. This plant is kind of on a slope which didn’t help either. Fortunately, it wasn’t affected by having its roots partially exposed off and on. The wind kept the leaf mulch blown off this plant, too. This cultivar is fun to watch during the summer as its leaves change color with age. It is a very nice Coral Bell for sure!

 

Leptinella squalida ‘Platt’s Black’-Brass Buttons

I was just thrilled and overjoyed that the Leptinella squalida ‘Platt’s Black’ survived the winter. It is without a doubt one of the most dainty plants I have ever grown and here it survived a very cold January, even down to -10° F temperatures on more than one occasion. 🙂

 

Zantedeschia aethiopica Hybrid-Calla Lily

A few weeks ago I noticed the Calla Lily sprouting where I had it stored in the basement. It was really nice last summer in the shade bed, but I will put it where it will get a little more sun this year. I guess I need to put it in a pot, huh? I had a pretty large clump in Mississippi from bulbs I found in a box of Suzanne’s but it turned out to be pink. I used to remove them and bring them inside for the winter as a houseplant until I found out it was pink. After I started leaving it outside, it spread like crazy! It was a different species because the leaves were solid green. The species name on the label from this one says Zantedeschia hybrida. GEEZ! It is without a question, a Zantedeschia aethiopica hybrid because it has spotted leaves. It also has very yellow flowers. 🙂 Ummm. I don’t have a page for the Calla yet…

So, the only Hosta that didn’t survive the winter was the Hosta ‘Rainforest Sunrise’. Maybe someday it will come up after all.

I think that is it for now. I went out earlier and took photos for the next post. It will be a tour of the yard (s) and where all the beds are. I know I get confused how to explain where the beds are and when I talk about “the other yard”. Maybe I will draw a map. 🙂

Until next time, be safe, stay well and positive. Oh yeah… GET DIRTY! 🙂