Reader question… “I have what I think is a hosta seedling growing in my garden, but it is not near my other two hostas. I have not planted any seeds. Is there any way that one of my hostas seeded itself? Can you tell me how I could positively identify whatever this is? I have never actually seen a hosta seedling, but this does look like a baby hosta (I think). My other question is, is this seedling worth saving?” –Laurie P.
This must be an extraordinarily good year for self-sown hosta seedlings, because so many of you have written recently about hostas self-sowing. We are finding an incredible number of seedlings here too in some very interesting places… many are popping up nearly a hundred feet away from the nearest hosta, so I guess I have birds or perhaps squirrels or chipmunks to thank for distributing the seeds.
Three of this spring’s “volunteer” hosta seedlings
Personally, I do think these seedlings are worth saving. Usually they have a well-developed root system for their size, and they have already proven what a strong little plant they are. We transplant these tiny “volunteers” to a nursery area (we call it the HICU
:o)) and leave them for at least a year so they can grow big enough to be moved to a bigger nursery area or to a garden.
Two of last spring’s “volunteer” seedlings
It’s always a surprise to see the hostas these seedlings become. We have had self-sown seedlings develop colored edges, variegation, twisty and rippled leaves… different leaf colors and shapes, a range of sizes from miniatures to huge… it definitely is not true that all “ordinary” seedlings develop into “plain green” hostas.
Three-year-old seedlings just starting to show different characteristics