Where To Plant My Hostas
Edward R. Forte
May 17, 2022
Slugs and snails view hostas as an invitation to the buffet table.Fortunately, there are some simple precautions you can take to keep slugs and snails from attacking your hostas.It’s not how nature operates, and the resulting artificial look appears unattractive at best, jarring at worst.Careful grouping will give your hosta landscaping design a cohesive look.Wait until plants are just starting to emerge (they’re easier to spot this way), then dig up, divide and replant.Temperatures are cooler in the spring and the foliage hasn’t developed yet, so plants won’t be water stressed.While you’re at it, if you have children or a dog, think about planting hostas where they’ll get protection from trampling, too.Hostas like even moisture, too, which is another reason sunny spots don’t work — they tend to dry out faster.Overcrowding impedes their growth, and reduced air circulation can lead to foliage problems.Hostas look best with fine-textured companion plants because the foliage contrasts with their large, boldly textured leaves.Examples include ferns, bleeding heart, astilbe and false spirea.A large hosta measuring 24 inches at maturity can serve as a garden focal point and be enjoyed from a distance. .
How to Grow Hostas
are native to Japan, China, and Korea, where they grow in moist woodlands, open grasslands, and along stream banks and rivers.In moist, humid climates, use exclusion techniques such as rings of ash around the plants, or use saucers of beer as bait.Plant hostas with ferns, wildflowers, and shade perennials on the north side of a house or under the canopy of large trees.In the darkest recesses between buildings, under carports, or in narrow passages, hostas will grow and thrive if the soil is rich and moist.Take advantage of the fact that hostas emerge late and plant the large open expanses with spring-flowering bulbs and ephemeral wildflowers such as toothworts (Dentaria), spring beauties (Claytonia), and trout lilies (Erythronium).In cooler areas, combine white-flowered H. plantaginea with variegated Japanese silver grass (Miscanthus sinensis 'Cabaret'), garden phlox, and other perennials in borders protected from the hottest afternoon sun.Use the medium-size varieties as groundcovers in front of flowering shrubs or in mass plantings of mixed leaf colors and shapes under shade trees. .
Growing Hostas: How to Plant and Care for Hosta Plants
Hostas are hardy perennials that require almost no special attention and are perfect for a garden that doesn’t get too much sun.Keep this in mind if you have deer regularly wandering into your garden, as they will readily graze a hosta patch down to just stems. .
7 Tips for Growing Hostas
Unlike most perennials, hostas rarely need to be divided — unless they outgrow their allotted space and start crowding neighboring plants.If you choose varieties that grow too large, or position the plants too closely together, you’ll soon be doing some dividing and transplanting.By taking advantage of these differences, you can weave a beautiful tapestry of hosta foliage that provides lots of visual interest all season long.To lighten them up, combine them with plants that have a finer texture, such as ferns or the lacy leaves of astilbe, goatsbeard, thalictrum and bugbane.Though hostas are grown primarily for their foliage, most cultivars also produce flowers sometime between mid-June and September.Hosta flower spikes rise well above the foliage and feature tubular blossoms that open gradually from the bottom up.Leaf colors are usually brighter and display more pronounced variegation when the plants get plenty of light.If the leaves begin showing scorched edges or brown tips, the plants should be moved to a different location where they will get more shade and more moisture.In the northern tier of the country, hostas can sometimes be grown in full sun — as long as they get plenty of water.In fact, wet winter soils can make the plants susceptible to crown and root rot.These slimy pests nibble on tender hosta shoots and may continue to snack on the leaves during the growing season.Slug bait and beer traps can help, but the best solution is planting hostas with thicker than average leaves.The bulbs will flower early, and the hostas will be happy to hide their fading foliage. .
Designing with Hostas
When I began growing hostas, I used the plant’s size to determine where I placed it in my border.I was amazed by how much the color echo between the gold foliage and the yellow flower improved my design.As easy as hostas are to grow, they can be a bit tricky to work into a design, especially if you want them to be the star attraction.Balancing the colors and sizes of your hostas will help them work with the rest of your design.You can use green, blue, and lightly variegated hostas almost anywhere to support other plants, add structure, and make the garden lush.Another reason strongly variegated or yellow hostas can be hard to design with is because they catch and hold the eye.They are at their best when grown in morning sun because it provides enough light for their gold color to develop without scorching their leaves.Use flowers to accent hosta leaves The soft yellow flowers of ‘Cheddar’ trollius (Trollius × cultorum ‘Cheddar’, Zones 5–8) enhance the gold-variegated leaves of ‘Shade Fanfare’ hosta.Working with color is one of the most exciting aspects of designing with hostas because their leaves range from sharp white or brilliant yellow to silvery blue or near-black green.The most striking combinations include variegated hostas because providing a color accent emphasizes the amazing foliage patterns.Hostas with leaves that have a white underside, like green ‘Maekawa’ or blue ‘Azure Snow’, are more striking when you can look up at them.‘Pandora’s Box’, ‘Baby Bunting’, ‘Raspberry Sorbet’, and other small varieties are good candidates.Each needs its own territory, so place them away from each other and surround them with green or blue hostas and other plants with soothing foliage.The fine texture of Corydalis ochroleuca contrasts beautifully with the coarse leaves of the variegated ‘Blue Shadows’ and the solid green ‘Candy Hearts’ hostas.While your eye will pass easily over dark foliage, it will be drawn to the fabulous bronze color of a gold hosta.Because most hostas form a dense mound of cascading leaves, they have a heavy, solid look that should be made lighter by fine-textured companions.What could be more dramatic than a lacy maidenhair fern (Adiantum pedatum, Zones 3–8) resting against a hosta with thick, corrugated leaves?If the hostas are growing in partial sun, astilbes, goatsbeards (Aruncus dioicus and cvs., Zones 3–7), and bugbanes (Cimicifuga spp. .
Growing Hostas in Pots? Why not!
Using perennials—and even small shrubs—in containers has become more and more common as gardens shrink and breeders develop compact varieties.They come in thousands of cultivars and they are easy to care for, making them the perfect plant for busy or distracted gardeners.Mini-hostas, particularly, like the tight spaces of a container and can be very attractive on a porch, patio or stoop when arranged in a group or with other diminutive plants.In warm or especially dry weather, however, you likely will need to water your container every day or two, no matter what.Your bigger risk with hostas is watering too often, causing crown rot.In fact, some folks will plant their container hostas in the ground for the winter.A fourth option is to bring the pots into an unheated garage or shed after they have gone dormant. .