Costs associated with production of perennial crops often necessitate the use of close spacings. For crops such as hosta and daylily, this pot-tight spacing can lead to a taller, more upright habit and rank, spindly growth. Also, many varieties of these crops are slow to break and fill out the container causing scheduling delays and reduced plant quality.
The A-Rest Solution
Some innovative growers have recently found that A-Rest plant growth regulator, when used as a drench on daylily and hosta, controls excessive height and promotes a greater number of flower buds and/or breaks, greatly enhancing crop quality. Plant color is also improved by darkening green foliage and increasing color-contrast in variegated varieties. Growers report that the resulting compact plants have reduced their shipping costs by 20% by allowing the use of 5 racks rather than 4 racks per cart.
Plants are divided and potted up as customary in late summer. After over-wintering and just as plants begin to emerge in the spring, treat with A-Rest Solution. A drench of 4 ppm A-Rest (2 oz A-Rest per gallon of water) is applied to the surface of the container and allowed to wet the substrate thoroughly just to the point of leaching. If the substrate mix contains no bark as a component, we suggest testing a 2 ppm rate initially prior to trialing the 4 ppm rate.
Effects of 4 ppm A-Rest drenches applied at initial crop emergence to daylily (left) and hosta (right).
Photo credit: Sawyer Nursery.