Plant and Care for Hosta Plants

How to Plant and Care for Hosta Plants

Hosta are popular foliage plants known for their tolerance to shady areas, but they do need some sun. Sometimes called funkia or antlers, hostas are attractive, easy-care, long-lived perennials that provide garden interest from spring to fall. They offer a variety of sizes, leaf shapes, and colored leaves, as well as spikes of purple or white bell-shaped hosta flowers, which are sometimes fragrant.

How to Plant and Care for Hosta Plants in your home garden

Plant hosta in light or partial shade in moist, rich soil. Prevent snails and snails. Mulch annually with well-rotted manure, compost, or leafy soil and divide the clogged clumps every three to five years.

About Hostas flower

The beauty of hosta is that there are so many sizes, heights, textures and colors available! They are suitable for many different types of gardens (patio, border, container, rock, shade) and are also hardy.

Most varieties tend to be between 1 and 3 feet in width and height, but larger or smaller varieties are readily available. Leaf colors include bright white, lime green, and blue-green to name a few. Hosta leaves also vary in texture and shape, from smooth and narrow to grooved and heart-shaped.

While these plants are primarily known for their attractive foliage, they also produce beautiful flowers in pink, lilac, light blue, or white from early summer to early fall. Hummingbirds and other pollinators love flowers, which can even be fragrant depending on the variety.

Note: There are almost as many slugs, snails, rabbits, and especially hosta-like deer as there are humans. Keep this in mind if you have deer that roam your yard a lot, as they can easily graze the hosta area to the stem.

When to Plant Hostas

Hosta are usually grown for their leaves, but they also bloom. Hosta blooms in summer, either purple or on tall stems. Hosta flowers may be beautiful, but after a few days they will start to look dull – many gardeners remove the hosta flowers to get the most out of the foliage.

How to Plant Hostas

Hosta plants should be planted separately in early spring or late fall just before frost. Plant a hole about 12 inches deep in a well-drained area. Fill the area around the hosta with rich soil. There should be enough space around the edges of the plants (about 8-10 inches for small hosta plants) for the plants to grow as they mature. Hosta reaches full maturity after about 6 years.

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While hostas are known as shade-loving plants, there are also some varieties that are best suited for sun exposure. A good rule of thumb is to allow variegated or lighter hostas to get more sun. Darker, darker plants need moderate shade. All hostas need some shade (at least 3 hours a day) and should not be planted in direct sunlight.

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How to Care for Hostas

Hosta are perennials that provide attractive foliage from spring to frost. They are easy to grow, require little care and can live indefinitely. Every year they increase in size and beauty. Hosta rarely (if ever) need to be separated, and will do their best when left undisturbed.

Place to plant

Hosta grows best in partial shade and tolerates very shady areas. With the exception of a few varieties, they need protection from the scorching heat of the afternoon sun. Hosta are shade-loving plants and should always be planted in a location protected from hot afternoon sun for best results. The best place to grow hosta is one that receives some morning sun but is shaded before the midday sun gets too hot. The morning sun helps bring out the color of the leaves, especially the golden yellow. Too much sunlight can cause the leaves to burn. If you decide to grow your hosta in full sun, the most important thing is to make sure they have enough moisture to avoid scalding the leaves. Hosta are heavy drinkers, and their large leaves absorb water quickly and require a lot of water. Hosta, which are considered sun-fast, are usually great in full sun if you can keep up with their water needs. Also, use plenty of mulch to retain soil moisture and keep the roots cool.

irrigation

Keep well watered. Hosta are often referred to as drought tolerant. This is true to a certain extent, especially for mature plants. Most hostas can survive fairly well with normal rainfall and extra watering, but that doesn’t mean they’ll do well. If you want your hosta to grow well and have lush foliage, watering is the best thing you can do. For hosta growing in partial shade, we recommend 1.5 inches per week. Those in sunny locations will need more water.

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fertilizer

Fertilizing is beneficial in spring to early summer when the hosta is actively growing. We recommend feeding with a half-strength water-soluble fertilizer or using it for continuous feeding as intended. We also recommend against fertilizing in the fall.

Split

To learn more about dividing hosta, read our gardening guide to dividing hosta

 cover

Mulching is an excellent way to make the most of watering and reduce weeds. It is important not to cover too deeply, especially next to the hosta. One to two inches of mulch is sufficient, and the mulch should be several inches from the hosta crown and buds. Covering the stem is not good for the hosta.

stew

If you plan to grow hosta in pots or containers, we recommend using a quality potting mix. The same mixture is great for modifying heavy clays. This soil mix is ​​considered “soilless” and doesn’t contain any nutrients, so it’s important to fertilize your plants regularly. Because soil mixes are also considered “sterile,” there are no microorganisms to help break down any organic fertilizers you might add, so we always add a spoonful of compost to the mix.

maintain

Trim off damaged leaves and faded pedicels. Faded flowers can be cut into the leaves as soon as they fade.
You can let the seeds mature and sow them yourself. You will have new baby plants, but understand that they do not grow from seed and rarely look like hybrid mother plants.
In the fall, after the winter leaves die, remove the old leaves. While the leaves can remain until spring, we recommend removing hosta leaves in the fall. to prevent pests. Hosta leaves should not be composted. If necessary, start controlling snails and snails in the spring when the hosta appears.

How to Plant and Care for Hosta Plants
How to Plant and Care for Hosta Plants

PESTS/DISEASES

The carelessness of these plants extends into the field of pests and diseases. With proper care, few gardeners will experience these problems. However, you must try to keep your blue hosta completely pest and disease free.

disease

The most common fungal disease affecting hosta is anthracnose. The disease thrives in warm, humid conditions and causes discoloration of leaves and damaged edges.

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While it may not kill the plant completely, a quick response is essential to ensure it doesn’t spread to other foliage or worse, other plants in your garden. Avoid overhead watering, keep the soil cool in warm weather with a layer of mulch, and remove any affected leaves as soon as you spot them.

Leaving blue hostas in water makes them susceptible to a common soil-borne disease: crown rot. This can cause the hosta’s leaves to yellow, turn brown, curl and rot the roots, eventually killing the plant. The best way to prevent canopy rot is good watering habits—never overwater your plants, and make sure you plant them in well-drained soil.

Other less common diseases to watch out for include leaf blight, nematodes, bacterial soft rot, and host virus X.

pest

If you find small holes in leaves, you may be battling snails or snail infestation. A nuisance to many gardeners, these pests love the wet, cold conditions of blue hosta. They tend to hide in foliage during the day and start foraging at night, making them difficult to spot.

To catch slugs and slugs, install a beer trap near your hosta. To build a trap, place a deep bowl or barrel full of beer in a hole in the garden. The smell will attract any snails in the area, causing them to fall into the bucket and away from your precious plants.

While the snails find the hosta more delicious, the deer consider the plant their favorite garden snack. If you wake up one morning to find that your previously lush leaves have been stripped down to the stems, deer are likely to be the culprit. There are many foolproof ways to keep deer out of your yard, from tall fences to motion-activated devices to scare them away.

Rabbits can also be a problem, but they won’t completely destroy plants like deer. However, they tend to eat new tender leaves, so it’s important to keep them out of the garden.

If you’re learning how to grow hosta, this guide contains everything you need to know to make them thrive. They are easy to grow and maintain and look great in any shady garden.

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