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American Hosta Society Forum - View topic - Buying Hostas? opinions wanted!
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 Buying Hostas? opinions wanted! 
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Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 4:43 am
Posts: 1
Post Buying Hostas? opinions wanted!
First and foremost I am new to this board and relatively new to the hosta addiction with that being said I have some issues!

My first hosta was a Blue Angel I bought at a local flea market about six years ago, it never reached its full potential. My wife and I moved to our new home in 2007 and I brought it with. I am somewhat a friend to a horticulturest that owns a nursery a mile away. I never thought I would get hooked on a shade garden but did. Our first year we spent around 600.00 dolllars on hosta, we have 10 acres and a great spot for a shade type garden area was in the making! To make this story a little shorter I will get to the point.

Our friend the hosta collector/ greenhouse always seemed to talk down any others hostas or plants that someone had, I guess thats natural sometimes when you are the owner, I guess! He referred to the big chain stores as asphalt gardens. Here is a few we bought from him are first time around...Whirling dervish, june, el nino, love pat, orange marmalaid, avacado, striptease, hankypanky, great arrival and el capitan, I think there were a few more but anyway. All these plants were 1 eyed plants 2 if we were lucky. Ive been a little smarter on my hosta purchases and havnt bought from him since, I thought we were friends but looking back at the size of plants it was no special bargain not that I was due that. It just seems to me there might be more to it. Here is my list of places that sell hostas there are just my opinions

1. big chain stores i.e. Hdepot Menads, etc. at least you get 3-4 eyes for a resonable price
2. nursery, garden center always higher priced and less quanity
3. mom & pop splitting there hostas makin a few bucks
4. online where you get liners or bare root and listed normally 2 years old
5. flea markets

I recently met a couple that had a decent sized greenhouse in the country, They sold hostas, shrubs, veggies, etc. I started talking about garden centers and they openly told me where they first got there hostas from and how they started there garden center. I was amazed when they said they sold by the plant and what I mean by this they had all there hostas in the ground, in rows ,named each plant had to be there at least 3-4 years with multiple eyes 5-10 they would dig what you wanted. I saw the hosta stilletto with at least 20 eyes and asked for that one and sure enought they sold me that whole plant for 10 bucks. I visited the fello they told me about, it was acually a day lilly farm and the same thing I bought a Sagae and Blue umbrella for 18 bucks. When I got home and compared my identical hostas his was twice as big and more mature then the plants that have been in the ground from the almighty horticulturist. This has shed a new light on my hosta purchases for ever.

I wonder if the horticulturist was tought by someone to sell minimal eyes to make more money where as the couple started there hosta venture buying from a guy that sold nice field grown hostas and they followed that tradition.

I understand the theory behind new hostas and the production, I have been on line and searched hostas and seen one in particular that has made his mark on the hosta world, I believe the horticulturist gets his new stuff from him which I could do the same. Its just funny to me how some think that one eye is great for 20.00 bucks and when buying June at walmart with 5 eyes is a rip. I live in NW Indiana, I collect hostas and many other shade loving plants. Please let me know if there is anyone out there that has the same problems, if this is the norm I think Ill stick with the guys that give me more for my buck.

Thanks in advance, if there is any special place to get nice mature hosta please email me. I would greatly appreciate it. From one hosta lover to another. Thanks Izzy


Thu May 21, 2009 5:53 am
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Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:18 am
Posts: 40
Post Re: Buying Hostas? opinions wanted!
Quote:
Please let me know if there is anyone out there that has the same problems, if this is the norm I think Ill stick with the guys that give me more for my buck.


I think you have summed it up very well, free enterprise.
Find a little old lady selling 14 eyes for 10 bucks.
Avoid horticulturist at all cost, what do you think the BS stands for behind a degree in horticulture? I rank them right up there with Bernie Madoff!


Thu May 21, 2009 5:56 pm
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Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2009 4:53 am
Posts: 13
Post Re: Buying Hostas? opinions wanted!
I agree that some of your more common fast growing hastas, are still pricey at your garden centers but the slower growing hard to find variates are going to cost you more. It's all in the eye of the beholder your more common hostas are great, but if you want something your friends or neighbors don't have it's going to cost you more. Think of it this way, you collect tropical fish and they found and collected a new species from Africa, it's rare and hard to get and it will be expensive. After a few years if it breeds well in captivity you will be able to own one for less money, but if it is hard to raise in captivity it will always be more expensive. For me I like variety and I own my share of some of those beautiful more common Hostas but if someone is willing to sell me an eye or two of one that's not as easy to come by it's worth a little extra cash to have it in my collection.


Fri May 22, 2009 2:26 am
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