Growing Hosta (The Emerald Isle & Emerald Atoll Collections)

Planting: Choose a site with evenly moist soil (Hostas will endure dry shade in all but the hottest, driest parts of North America if watered regularly until they become established). Emerald Isle requires about 55-60 square feet of space; the miniature varieties in Emerald Atoll take up about 18 square feet. Use a shovel or spade to loosen the planting bed soil to a depth of 10-12 inches and turn in a 3-4 inch layer of organic matter, such as compost, aged manure, leafmold, or peat moss. Then open the bags to get an idea of the size of the roots. With a trowel, dig the planting holes, spacing them according to the suggestions provided with your order. Set the roots in the holes with the larger varieties in back, shorter varieties in front--the heights and spacings of the varieties are provided in the package. Hold the buds (the pointed growing tips) 1 inch below the surface of the soil. then push soil back into the holes to cover the roots, firm the soil, and water thoroughly. Do not fertilize the first season. The following spring, use a balanced, granular fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, at the rate on the manufacturer's label.

Please note: Bareroot plants dry out quickly once they are removed from their packaging. We strongly recommend that you keep the roots covered with packing material until you are ready to plant.

Care: Hostas are about as carefree as a plant can get. It's possible to plant them and forget them, but for best performance, we recommend that you fertilize them each spring, remove the flower stalks below the level of the leaves after the blooms have faded, and cut the foliage to the ground after hard frost in the fall. The Achilles heel of Hostas is slugs. Set out shallow bowls of beer to keep the population in check, put down diatomaceous earth as a barrier, or (in the South) mulch with prickly Zoysia grass lawn clippings.

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