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 Growing hostas indoors, under a plant light? 
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Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:42 pm
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Post Growing hostas indoors, under a plant light?
I've got a room that gets zero natural light. I've got a plant stand/plant light set up in the room, and I'd like to try to grow hostas there. I'm wondering, though, if that's possible. I know hostas are shade-lovers, and I'm wondering if trying to grow hostas under artificial light is essentially the same as trying to grow them in direct sunlight.

So, has anyone succeeded in growing hostas indoors, under artificial light? If so, I'd love to hear any tips/tricks you can share. Or, if this enterprise is doomed to failure, please let me know that, too, so that I can save the time, effort, and money.

Thanks, everyone!


Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:49 pm
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Post Re: Growing hostas indoors, under a plant light?
While I haven't grown any Hostas indoors, I don't see any reason why you cannot, as long as you give them the requisite dormant period. Certainly lots of folks grow Hosta seedlings indoors, but eventually they make it outside and will go through their dormant cycle to prepare them for next season. I seem to recall reading that Hostas need to go through a dormant period of around 6-8 weeks minimum.

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Tue Oct 12, 2010 7:04 am
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Post Re: Growing hostas indoors, under a plant light?
As Pieter said, the required dormancy will be the biggest issue.

Also, it is very difficult to give too much artificial light. The only lights that even come close to the strength of natural sunlight are high intensity discharge (HID) lamps...typically, metal halides are used for growing plants. It is more likely indoor hostas will become leggy from lack of enough light.

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Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:19 pm
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Joined: Sun May 02, 2010 7:29 pm
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Post Re: Growing hostas indoors, under a plant light?
I wish it worked, but it doesn't and don't waste your time or torture the plant. I've had friends who've tried this and killed perfectly beautiful hostas. The plant, as someone else mentioned, became leggy, buggy, just terrible-looking. A simply beautiful 'A. Drinking Gourd' perfectly DEAD in no time - she'd heard that blue hostas need less light. ALL hostas need light from the SUN. Even in the shade the UV and other wavelengths necessary for photosynthesis are available.


Thu Oct 14, 2010 5:53 pm
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Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:42 pm
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Post Re: Growing hostas indoors, under a plant light?
Thank you. I had two that were doing terribly indoors, so I've moved them out. I will nurse them back to health there and let them stay outside. I'll find something else for my special--but now abandoned--"hosta spot" indoors.


Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:23 am
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Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 11:57 am
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Post Re: Growing hostas indoors, under a plant light?
But...but... I so want it to work. I read online that hostas can be grown under artifical light continuously 24/7 - at least seedlings.
I bought a bunch of Frances Williams gallons and intended to grow them larger for spring planting.
They've been under fluorescent lights (within inches) continuously for about a month. Of the 12 plants, one has erupted gloriously with large new leaves, and another has produced moderate growth, but most have put up flower stalks but little growth. The large new leaves turn yellow and brown at the tips or edges nearest the light, so I raised the light near them.
Main issue: All the plants have shown continuous yellowing and dying of the original leaves. At this rate, the original leaves will be useless in a month. If new growth were replacing those, I wouldn't worry so much, but only a couple plants are growing much. Those are not leggy or buggy.
Other websites say plain fluorescent works fine, at least for seedings and young plants. Don't greenhouses grow hosta indoors? Or do they provide dormancy also? Is this too continuous light? Too close? Too little light? Wrong light? Or are they fated to need dormancy once they're past seedling stage? If I have to put them outside, what should I do with the lush growing ones? Thank you.


Sat Dec 11, 2010 12:22 pm
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Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 7:24 pm
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Post Re: Growing hostas indoors, under a plant light?
As you have said many have grown hosta seedlings successfully under florescent lighting but I have not heard of many who have had much success for larger plants. I think they need a dormant time.
Also, you may know H. Frances Williams is very prone to desiccant burning so that may be the reason for the edges turning yellow or brown. I have found a good alternative is one of it's sports, H. Olive Bailey Langdon.


Sat Dec 11, 2010 7:42 pm
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Post Re: Growing hostas indoors, under a plant light?
I don't think I've seen H. Olive Bailey Langdon yet. Is it large & puckery like Frances Williams?

I may put the senescing plants in my 'plant room' which hangs around 30F-40F in winter. That should dormant them.

And I'll keep the new leaves farther from the light.

Thanks.


Sat Dec 11, 2010 9:55 pm
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Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 2:21 pm
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Post Re: Growing hostas indoors, under a plant light?
You can grow potted hosta seedlings indoors under lights. If you let them go down, naturally, get the cold period, they will poke right back up once you bring the pot in and put it under lights. If you keep it watered, you can get them thru the winter and take the pot back out after the threat of frost in the spring. What I have done this with is seedlings and they are no worse for wear. Sometimes I will plant them out into the ground that next spring, some stay in the pot and I repeat the above the next, the seedlings 2nd or even 3rd winter. They are usually repotted, with fresh soil mix during the growing season.


Sat Dec 18, 2010 2:34 pm
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Post Re: Growing hostas indoors, under a plant light?
I have overwintered H. Dream Weaver in a pot successfully. It was a mature plant that grew feebly and was dying in the ground so I potted it up to try saving. While still much smaller than I'd hoped, it has performed ok in a deck pot and actually its modest size suits container growing while its vivid variegation also suits this small scale style of gardening. My several other Dream Weavers died whether in ground or rescue-potted. The point being, pot overwintering can work. I bury most such pots under loose leaves, but that just moderates the fluctuations, it doesn't prevent reaching subzero temps.
Perhaps I'll put my Frances Williams 'to sleep' in the cold room and then move them out, a gradual but deep dormancy, then bring them in after 4-6 wks.


Sat Dec 18, 2010 3:52 pm
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