Host breeding rules
The host's favorite among decorative and deciduous perennials of the host conquers not only the beauty of the leaves and the accuracy of the curtains. It is durable and relatively undemanding, growing in the right place for many years, but it can hardly be called fast-growing. Host propagation is easy, although to obtain spectacular highly decorative bushes you will have to be patient. To independently increase the collection of the host, first of all, you need to remember the features of this far from typical garden culture.
Host propagation methods
Hosts maintain decorativeness for an amazingly long time, growing ever more spectacular bushes and sprawling compactly from year to year. They are releasing new outlets relentlessly, creating stunning beauty spots, borders, foregrounds, coatings and lines.
It is believed that hosts without a transplant in one place feel great after 25 years. But, unlike many other long-lived plants, they are not afraid of transplantation, separation and change of place, which allows reproduction as often as necessary.
Garden hosts cannot be called difficult to reproduce plants. They provide a wide selection of methods that will suit both experienced and novice gardeners, require several years of waiting, or allow you to get decorative plants faster.
In many respects, the choice of propagation methods should depend on the characteristics of the variety and type of host. Slow-growing and common, species and varietal, large-leaved and small-leaved hosts multiply in different ways.
Read more about host diversity in the article Hosts - species diversity and garden use.
Hosts, like most herbaceous perennials, can be propagated by seeds and vegetatively. The latter option is considered preferable for all varietal plants that actively form children and well increase the volume of bushes and sods. And the host, actively releasing new leaf outlets, is no exception.
Vegetative propagation allows you to get large, spectacular plants in two to three years. And this is the minimum period that you have to spend on waiting. After all, hosts do not grow bushes as quickly as other perennials. In general, with any method of propagation, hosts can expect that offspring can compete with the mother plant in 4-5 years.
The main methods of reproduction hosts include:
- in vitro, reproduction from the meristem (used only in industrial conditions due to the difficulties of working with tissue culture);
- propagation by division of a bush;
- propagation by cuttings (rooting of young shoots);
- sowing seeds.
Separation is the easiest way to propagate to the host
When to share hosts
Hosts constantly release new daughter sockets and annually increase volumes, providing the opportunity to separate the bushes almost every second year. The hosts consider optimal dividing frequency classic for grassy perennials 4-6 years old. During this time, the bushes grow enough to produce strong new plants.
Young hosts, under the age of 3 years, are undesirable to divide, they can completely stop in growth and almost not develop (especially if plants are used, purchased in garden centers and obtained not by separation, but by tissue culture method). Hosts are shared starting at the age of four.
Hosts can be split at the beginning and end of active growth. Mid-spring has always been considered the optimal timing - when these late-waking plants are already beginning to emerge from the ground, but they have not yet deployed all the leaves. It is usually recommended to focus on the punching of the first sheet, which should grow to 8-10 cm.
When the hosts are separated at this time, young plants quickly adapt and start growing, with proper care, building a healthy rhizome until the first frosts and wintering well.
These perennials are also shared at the end of summer, along with all perennials blooming in the first half of the season, when you can evaluate the size and quality of the bushes.
Preferred Separation Times:
- the third decade of April and the first decade of May (later separation is dangerous due to a prolonged arrest of growth in the most active period of development and an increased risk of plant loss due to heat and drought);
- the third decade of August and the whole of September (the later the host is divided, the higher the risk of losing the plant due to defective rooting before the advent of frost).
What should be the shares of the hosts?
At the host, the size of the divisions is determined by the characteristics of the variety's growth. Slow-growing varieties are best divided into large parts, but ordinary or fast-growing hosts will perfectly grow impressive, beautiful bushes in 2-3 years when using single outlets.
The standard split hosta is part of a bush with strong roots and one or two rosettes. Large is considered a split with 3-4 outlets. All the same, hosts achieve high decorativeness for the 2-3rd year, but if the task is to achieve the effect faster, it is better to choose a fast-growing variety, rather than larger ones.
Separation of even very old bushes into parts with more than 4 outlets is undesirable. For standard hosts, 5 or 6 years old, the classic version is considered to be divided into four parts.
How to share hosts and plant in a new place
For hosts, pre-preparation of the planting site of new plants is preferable. It is advisable to dig the site since the fall, or at least 1 month before the separation. The soil is dug to a depth in the bayonet of a shovel, then organic fertilizers are planted into it in a standard dosage (1 bucket of compost per square meter).
On depleted soil it is permissible to use full mineral fertilizers or special preparations to improve the soil. The composition and texture of the soil is adjusted with standard additives, depending on its problem. Landing pits for the host are dug to a depth of 20-25 cm, and the width is selected depending on the size of the divide. Before landing, a small handful of wood ash is added to the bottom of the planting pits.
In the process of separation, the host is not complicated: this plant is easily “inspected”, development in the form of clearly distinguishable outlets allows you to quickly count and determine the places of separation. The host bus separation process itself involves just a few steps:
- The bushes are dug up, trying with a margin to grab free soil on the sides of the bush and thereby reducing the risk of damage to small outlets around the perimeter. Dug up hosts are gently shaken from the soil with shallow separation, only if it is very difficult to determine the location of the cuts; however, the less contact with the roots, the better.
- Bushes are divided into divisions of 1-4 outlets. It’s best not to cut the bushes, but to “push them apart” with two forks, less injuring plant tissue. But if it’s more convenient to work this way, the separation can be done with a shovel or a sharp knife, treating the slices with charcoal and slightly drying them.
- Each plant is inspected by removing damaged or dry parts.
- Plants are planted in individual, wide planting pits, digging them according to the size of the rhizome of the division.
It is worth paying attention to several important points when landing:
- When setting up the host’s shares, it is necessary to maintain the level of penetration at which the mother plant grew and to orient itself when planting precisely on traces of immersion in the soil. In hosts, they are not just noticeable, but expressed regardless of variety and age.
- the distance between the divisions should be from 25 cm for small-leaved and slowly growing, up to 35 cm for large-leaved and ordinary host.
Branch delenok without digging up the mother bush
If you need a small number of delenki or even one subsidiary plant, the host can be divided even easier without digging the entire mother bush from the soil. Having carefully examined the plant and noting the location of the rosettes, from the bush with a sharp shovel dig out a dividend from 2–4 rosettes and plant it in a new place.
Hosts are separated by a "triangle", conventionally considering the entire bush as a circle and "resting" with the top at its center. The mother plant needs watering and filling the voids with a fresh, high-quality substrate.
If you need to separate only a separate outlet, then the plants are inspected, choosing strong daughter outlets with their own roots around the perimeter of the bush. They are neatly and with a reserve of soil dug up from the outside, and then manually separated from the mother plant.
When separating individual outlets for 1-2 years, they are planted for growing in a separate bed to use in a permanent place when they grow up.
Hosts need special care after landing. Before resumption of growth and the appearance of signs of successful rooting, plants need protection from drought. Usually hosts are watered for at least 2 weeks after planting. Stable, light soil moisture is maintained by irrigation - plentiful, but not frequent, just compensating for the lack of natural rainfall and maintaining more stable conditions.
Difficulties of Cherenkovy host
Cutting host is considered a much less popular method and is usually used to propagate rare varieties or slow-growing plants. They use cuttings and, if necessary, propagate young plants or save those specimens that simply do not grow large bushes and form very few outlets due to various problems with conditions and diseases.
It’s hard to call the rooting process of individual shoots a classic propagation — for this perennial they use young sockets with at least a minimum of their own rhizome, broken off with a “heel” (or neatly cut).
Rosettes are selected by their compactness and size of leaves: from the whole bush there are individual rosettes with the shortest and smallest (compared to other rosettes) leaves. Sometimes such sockets break off themselves during classical rooting and these plants are used for cuttings.
For cuttings, the host selects the most active phase of vegetation, when strong, powerful leaves have already grown and plants are actively growing. Cuttings are carried out from late spring to mid-summer - all of May, June and July.
The process of propagation by propagation by hosts is not very complicated:
- Plants inspect and note strong, healthy, young sockets without visible damage. Digging a bush is not necessary. When trying to break off, it is worth remembering that only easily detached, “ripened” rosettes are used for cuttings - if they do not detach without effort, you should choose others that can quickly form a sufficient number of subordinate roots after planting as independent plants.
- Heel shoots are inspected, the leaves are shortened by half or a third to reduce moisture evaporation.
- Separated outlets are often planted in greenhouses or on beds for growing, and not immediately in a permanent place, but if it is possible to provide care, you can plant cuttings without an intermediate step. They are installed in the landing pits, slightly squeezed with soil and watered.
All host stalks look lethargic for several days, most often lie on the ground and seem to be dead plants. It takes several days for the rooting process to begin in moist soil. Both stable substrate moisture and protection against overheating are the most important rooting conditions.
Hosta planted cuttings need not only to be shaded from the direct sun, but also to mulch the soil and spray in the evenings (you can replace this procedure with increased air humidity by installing a cap over the plant). Usually after 3 days, the plants straighten and look much more cheerful, but measures for shading and additional moisturizing should be continued until the start of growth.
The rooting of leafy cuttings (they also break off with the heel) is not considered a reliable method. You can try to propagate to the host this way using the standard method of rooting leafy cuttings in containers under the hood and with treatments by rooting accelerators.
Growing hosts from seeds
The host seed propagation method is considered the most unpopular due to the long time it takes to grow plants. Seedlings reach even the minimum decorative effect only from the age of four, and full-fledged bushes form only after 6 years.
But the main reason for the rare use of this affordable, but requiring a lot of patience method is that varietal hosts do not retain their characteristics and color peculiarities, give offspring with a large spread of colors and leaf sizes in this method of reproduction.
The seed method is used for species host and if you need to get a large number of seedlings with any characteristics (for example, when filling the soil in decorative massifs).
Hosts are not sown in open soil, and even in greenhouses or hotbeds. Sowing seedlings with controlled growing conditions is preferred for this crop. For the plant use low, wide containers with good drainage holes.
For diving, choose containers with a depth exceeding the diameter and allowing lower irrigation. The substrate for hosta is suitable standard, from among the ready-made universal substrates for growing seedlings with neutral pH and good water permeability. The soil must be treated with a solution of fungicides, calcined or disinfected in any other convenient way.
For this plant, it is advisable to use freshly harvested seeds, because they very quickly lose their germination. Typically, varietal hosts and self-collected seeds are characterized by a wide variation in quality and viability, so the seeds are selected and sorted: it is believed that only dark seeds are suitable for sowing.
Seeds of the host do not need stratification or any other processing, but if the freshness of the seeds is doubtful or there is a desire to accelerate germination, you can resort to two methods:
- stratify at a temperature of about 5 degrees Celsius for 1-1.5 months;
- treat the seeds with growth stimulants immediately before planting, soaking in a warm solution in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions for 30 minutes.
The sowing process is quite simple:
- The substrate should be slightly moistened. It is advisable to lay drainage at the bottom of the containers. The soil is not compacted, but leveled.
- Seeds are laid out in 2-3 pcs. into small holes or superficially on level ground. Seeds are buried or covered with soil at 6-8 mm and re-sprayed.
For seedlings, hosts need to maintain a temperature of about 20 degrees Celsius and light soil moisture using the lower watering method. Covering with film or glass is desirable, as well as good lighting. Shoots appear unevenly, the first - after 2 weeks.
Dive is carried out after the appearance of the first leaf. The topsoil is always poured out of sand. Seedlings prefer lower watering, moderate temperatures and hardening.
In the first two years, hosts form tiny leaves and require very careful care. Hosts can be planted on seedlings for growing in the garden in the first year, but it is easier to grow plants as container plants during the first year, and transplant them into the ground in the second year.
Transplanting seedlings into the soil during seedling cultivation is carried out after the late return frosts disappear and after a long hardening (in June).Only in the third year they can be transferred to a permanent place, but it is better to grow hosts on the seedling beds until the fourth year and the formation of at least small but decorative outlets.
Seedling care after transplanting is similar to caring for dividends.