Growing Hosta


Growing Hosta transcript

I'm in our Hosta lane, here at White Flower Farm. Hostas are native to Asia, and there are over 2,000 cultivars in existance -- some of them only several inches tall, and others are several feet tall.

Hostas are a very versatile plant for shady areas. Smaller varieties make nice edging plants, medium sizes are good for stabilizing slopes, and larger, architectural varieties make wonderful specimen plants.

Because there are so many varieties of leaf shapes, colors and textures, it can be a bit intimidating choosing Hostas for your yard. If your goal is to create a sort of tapestry of Hostas, use varieties with narrower, lance-shaped leaves to compliment wider, heart-shaped leaves or corrugated leaves of similar colors.

Place solid-colored varieties next to variegated cultivars which echo the same colors. Keep in mind that gold varieties are great for brightening up shady areas, but they will also compete for your attention if placed next to bold, white-variegated varieties, so it's usually best to keep your golden varieties together in drifts.

Use blue shades if you want to create a garden that's more calming and serene.

Plant Hostas with other shade-lovers such as Ferns, Heuchera, Hellebores, Japanese Forest Grass, Aralia, Lamium and Wax Bells.

Hostas grow best in Part Shade or Shade – almost all will scorch in full sun, all day. The rule of thumb is that the lighter the foliage, the more sun the Hosta will tolerate, so keep bluer varieties in more shade to best retain their color. If you've chosen a Hosta in a golden shade, give it early morning sun, or late afternoon sun, to help it develop its gold color – if it's in full shade all day its color will be chartreuse rather than gold.

Hostas produce white or lavender flower stalks which rise above their foliage in summer. Some varieties have flowers which are fragrant.

Slugs are the bane of Hostas. If you have a moist area prone to slugs, choose a Hosta with heavier, corrugated leaves, which are harder for them to munch on, or use slug bate, dishes of beer or diatomaceous earth to discourage them. Deer will also snack on Hostas, so you may want to plant Daffodils with them to deter the deer from your emerging Hosta leaves.

Once established, Hostas will tolerate drought, and will compete successfully with tree roots in the North, but will need regular watering in the South. Once established, these low-maintenance plants can be ignored and will still perform, but to get the most out of them, provide consistent watering and a light application of fertilizer each spring.

For photographs and descriptions of all the varieties of Hosta we offer at White Flower Farm, visit our website.