How to Plant and Grow Gorgeous, Shade-Loving Hosta Plants
They Love the Shade!
- Hostas are a shade-loving plant. So, if you have some dark, moist areas in your yard that need a makeover, fill the space with different types of hostas, which are perennials so you can enjoy them year after year. The perfect place to plant them is around trees that offer natural shade with only a hint of sunshine.
- A hosta plant, also called a plantain lily, is the perfect plant for providing color and texture to your yard. They are available in several different shades of green and blue and there are also variegated varieties that have white, silver and gold patches or stripes on their gorgeous leaves.
These are the things you will need:
* Hosta plants (Identification chart below should help)
* peat moss
* garden trowel
* diatomaceous earth
Which Hosta Would You Like?
Instructions for Successful Hosta Plants
The very first thing you have to do is find suitable, healthy hosta plants. You need to look for dense plants in pots that have some leaf buds and at least a few unfolded leaves. Stay away from any wilted hostas in containers full of dry soil. If the pots get dry, the hosta plant can wilt to the point of no return.
Once you have your hosta plants in hand, dig a hole that is about twice as large as the pot they are in. Wait until all danger of frost has passed. I have found it is best to fill the hole with a mixture of soil and peat moss.
Be extremely careful when you remove the hosta from its original container. You don't want to damage the roots, and you should leave the rootball intact as much as you can.
Place the plant in the hole leaving the base of the plant level with the ground. Fill in the hole around the plant with soil and press gently but firmly to set the hosta in place.
Water enough so that you have completely saturated the soil around the plant. You can apply some shredded pine bark around the plant as mulch, then sit back and watch this beautiful foliage grow and spread, year after year.
Hostas also produce stately purple flowers that some people adore and others despise. I happen to dislike them, as they take away from the great foliage of the hosta, which is the true beauty of the plant. I cut them off, but if you keep them, cut the flower stalks back after the blooms fade. Remove any damaged leaves (slugs love hostas and make big, ugly holes in the leaves).
Frances Williams hosta is one of my favorite varieties. It will grow and spread to about four feet. It has green leaves trimmed in gold and the leaves appear to almost have a seersucker design to them. There are several varieties from which you can choose. They all look great together and are especially nice when planted en masse.
In the early spring, divide any established hostas when the soil is warm enough to be worked. Digging with a shovel, dig deep enough to dig up the whole clump. Separate the clump, divide in half and then replant each one. Next year, you will have twice as many plants.
Use plenty of organic matter in the soil as you prepare the area in which you are going to plant.
Mulch will provide protection in the winter.
Large holes in the leaves are signs of slugs. You can prevent slugs by spreading diatomaceous earth around the plants, but a saucer of beer will work also.
Note: If you are having trouble with ants eating your hostas, set loose some ladybugs, and they should take care of the problem for you - no pesticides needed.
Learn How to Divide and Propagate Hostas
Questions & Answers
Can I dig up a Hosta plant in early June and replant it elsewhere?
It is not the best time, but if you are careful not to cut the roots, you will probably be successful. Get the spot you are transplanting them to utterly ready before you dig them up. Don't leave the roots above ground for long.
© 2011 Mike and Dorothy McKenney