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Photos of a Hosta Plant's Stages of Growth: From Sprouts to Blooms

Updated on August 29, 2017
Faye Rutledge profile image

Faye loves living in the woods, taking walks, and reading. She enjoys watching her hosta and other flowers growing each spring.

My Hosta Plant
My Hosta Plant

How Long Does It Take for a Hosta to Grow and Bloom?

This article includes the daily documentation of the growth of my hosta plant, with photos and other observations, starting from when it started sprouting in the spring until its full growth, about a month later.

I rescued this pot of hosta from the porch of an unoccupied rental house belonging to my brother. Most hostas are planted directly in the ground, but you can also pot them. This particular one is located in Concord, Virginia and it grows rather large. I counted about 24 sprouts coming up this year.

Watching it Grow: From Dormancy to Full Bloom

I've had this plant for 4 years. Every year, it grows so fast I sometimes think it happens overnight. I look out the window one day and it is just sprouting, and it seems that when I look out the window next, it is almost grown!

This year, I decided to take time to look at it each day to see how much it had grown. I took pictures of it daily to be able to compare from the day before. On the 7th day, I started to measure a sprout each day. From my measurements, I found it grows about 1/2 inch a day. It slowed down a little after about the 18th day. After 28 to 30 days, it had pretty much reached full growth. Keep reading to find out how big it grew!

While it actually doesn't just grow to full height "overnight," you can see a definite growth spurt each day. As the leaves start unfurling, it just gets fuller and fuller! It's been fun to watch and document. I hope you enjoy seeing it and learning more about this plant.

Be forewarned, I'm not a professional photographer (not even a good one)!

About Hosta

Hosta is the genus name for this perennial plant which includes many species (up to 70). One of the common traits is the large heart-shaped leaf. The most common species has solid green leaves or green with white streaks. Other species include a wide range of solid colors or multiple colors in their leaves.

It is a shade-loving plant and it can grow to be about 2 feet high and can spread as much as 5 to 6 feet wide! In mid to late summer, it will have small bell-shaped flowers on a long stem, growing up from the middle of the plant. After it blooms, the leaves will turn brown.

Hostas don't die in winter, but they go through a winter dieback (also known as dormancy). The leaves fall off and the plant appears to have croaked, but it's really just conserving energy and waiting for temperatures to warm again. It will sprout again in the early spring.

Day 1: (March 23) Hosta is Sprouting

On day 1, the hosta sprouts are just coming through the soil. We're having a warm spring in Virginia, so it is sprouting early this year.
On day 1, the hosta sprouts are just coming through the soil. We're having a warm spring in Virginia, so it is sprouting early this year.

Day 2

On day 2, the sprouts are growing taller. Don't blink, or they will have leaves unfurling!
On day 2, the sprouts are growing taller. Don't blink, or they will have leaves unfurling!

(I did not take photos on days 3-5 because of bad weather.)

Day 6 (March 28)

There were a few days of bad weather and I didn't take pictures again until today.
There were a few days of bad weather and I didn't take pictures again until today.

Starting to Measure

On Day 7, I started to measure a sprout each day.

Day 7: Sprouts Are 3.5 Inches

On day 7, I started measuring the sprouts and they are an average of 3.5 inches tall! There was a big growth spurt, probably due to the rain we've been having.
On day 7, I started measuring the sprouts and they are an average of 3.5 inches tall! There was a big growth spurt, probably due to the rain we've been having.

Day 8: 4 Inches

On the 8th day, the sprouts are measuring 4" and you can see some of the leaves starting to unfurl.
On the 8th day, the sprouts are measuring 4" and you can see some of the leaves starting to unfurl.

Day 9: 4.5 Inches

Day 9 and it's 4.5 inches
Day 9 and it's 4.5 inches

Rate of Growth

I started measuring on day 7 and the hosta was growing at a rate of approximately 1/2 inch per day.

Day 10: 5 Inches

On day 10 they are measuring 5 inches.
On day 10 they are measuring 5 inches.

Can You See Them Getting Taller Each Day?

Look at the inside of the pot and compare how far they're up the side of it each day. More and more leaves of the sprouts are beginning to unfurl!

Day 11: 5.5 Inches

Day 11 and 5.5"
Day 11 and 5.5"

Day 12: 6 Inches

Day 12 and 6"
Day 12 and 6"

Day 13: 6.5 Inches

Day 13 and 6.5"
Day 13 and 6.5"

Day 14: 7 Inches

Day 14 and 7"
Day 14 and 7"

Day 15: 7.5 Inches

On day 15 the hosta leaves are 7.5 inches long. I will stop measuring, except occasionally, until it has finished growing.
On day 15 the hosta leaves are 7.5 inches long. I will stop measuring, except occasionally, until it has finished growing.

As the Leaves Unfurl, It Gets so Much Fuller

I've stopped measuring for now.

Day 16

This is on day 16.
This is on day 16.

Day 17

Day 17
Day 17

Day 18

Day 18
Day 18

Day 19

Day 19
Day 19

Day 20

Day 20 is on April 11.
Day 20 is on April 11.

The Hosta's Growth Slows

Over the next few days, you can't see as much of a day to day change. The weather has been cloudy, cool, and rainy, so it may have slowed the growth.

Day 21

Day 21
Day 21

Day 22

Day 22
Day 22

Day 23

Day 23
Day 23

Day 24

Day 24
Day 24

Day 25: 10.5 Inches

On day 25 I took a measurement and it is at 10.5 inches.
On day 25 I took a measurement and it is at 10.5 inches.

Day 28: 12 Inches

Day 28 is on April 19. The longest leaves measure 12 inches. Is it finished? It seems to be, but we'll see.
Day 28 is on April 19. The longest leaves measure 12 inches. Is it finished? It seems to be, but we'll see.

Full Grown

I thought it was finished growing, but obviously it was not. It's grown so much more, I am posting another picture. It's really filled out and so pretty. You'll be amazed.

Day 35: (April 26) Full Grown with 14 Inch Leaves

At day 35 the leaves are 14 inches long (I'm sure some are longer) and the hosta spans 2 feet wide. I think it is finished growing for this spring.
At day 35 the leaves are 14 inches long (I'm sure some are longer) and the hosta spans 2 feet wide. I think it is finished growing for this spring.

The Results

From this experiment, I have learned that it takes approximately 35 days for my hosta to get to full growth with 14 inch leaves and a span of 2 feet.

From Small Sprouts to Large Leaves

I would love to have been able to set up a camera on a tripod to get the exact same view each day or to video the whole process. No matter how much I tried, I couldn't get the pictures exactly the same. Also, sometimes it was sunny, sometimes cloudy or rainy. I usually took them at about the same time every day (3 pm).

The video below shows what I would have liked to have done: a time lapse view from small sprouts to large leaves. Amazing!

Video: Time Lapse of Hosta Plant Growing

Hosta is Blooming!

Hostas grow long stems and have bell-like blooms. Mine are light purple, but the color will vary depending on the species. I've seen them bloom as early as the first part of June, but mine doesn't start blooming until the end of June or early July. The following pictures were taken on July 4, 2009. After it blooms, the leaves will begin to turn yellow and die. It will be done for the year, but the following spring you will find those little sprouts and you can watch it grow all over again.

July 4, 2009 - Blooms

M hosta has light purple blooms.
M hosta has light purple blooms.
I love the beautiful bell blooms, waving in the breeze.
I love the beautiful bell blooms, waving in the breeze.

Video: Watch it Grow: From Bud to Bloom

How to Plant

The video below shows how to plant a hosta in a container. Although most hostas are planted directly in the ground, you can pot them. The one I have is in a large pot. I just leave it outside all year and let nature take care of it. I may water it occasionally if the weather is dry. I set it near the woods, in the shade, because it doesn't like too much sun.

Video: How to Plant Container Hostas

Video: Planting in Pots

Deer Love to Eat Hosta Plants

This year the deer ate my hosta plant! This is what sometimes happens when you live in the woods.
This year the deer ate my hosta plant! This is what sometimes happens when you live in the woods.

Summary

I found that after sprouting, it will grow at about 1/2 inch per day and reach full growth in about 30 to 35 days. Mine started sprouting at the end of March, but it will depend on the area you live and and the weather that year. It will sprout earlier and grow faster if it's a warm spring. I hope you've enjoyed your visit and have learned something, too.

© 2009 Faye Rutledge

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    • profile image

      Lori 3 months ago

      I bought some hostas a year ago, but never planted because we were going to be moving. The short of it is, they have dried out and did not bloom this year once planted. Are they gone for good?

      Thanks

    • tazzytamar profile image

      Anna 3 years ago from chichester

      What a gorgeous plant - you're clearly a bit of a green thumb! I hadn't heard of josta before but I think I might get one

    • gadifi lm profile image

      gadifi lm 4 years ago

      We do and we love them as they are blooming right now, great lens and great information thanks for sharing this information with us

    • Faye Rutledge profile image
      Author

      Faye Rutledge 4 years ago from Concord VA

      @anonymous: Ken, thanks so much for your visit and comment. I'm glad I could help you with the spacing of your hostas. I hope you have good luck with them. I'm sure you will, as hostas are a hearty plant and grow fast.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks for posting your hosta pics. Your blog has been very helpful. I planting ten yesterday 1 foot apart. I'm now going to dig up and plant 2 feet apart!

    • shay-marie profile image

      Shay Marie 4 years ago from Southern California

      I'd never heard of Hostas until two days ago. My aunt asked me to post a craigslist ad for the plant sale she's having this Saturday, and Hostas are among the plants she's selling. Fancy me stumbling across your article on the same day I posted the ad!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      You sure have a good attitude about the deer using your hosta for a private buffet and they seem to particularly like host. Someone told me they use a product called Deer Stopper than doesn't smell as bad as Liquid Fence. We still have snow on the ground in April when your plant is so happily growing, what a fun idea! :)

    • Grasmere Sue profile image

      Sue Dixon 4 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      Great fun! I love hostas- I've got about 5 different ones. Most are just about an inch high. Some have yet to show. Let the battle with the slugs begin!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I did enjoy watching your hosta grow. I have several in my front yard and back. They are so beautiful.

    • Faye Rutledge profile image
      Author

      Faye Rutledge 5 years ago from Concord VA

      @anonymous: Thank you for this great resource for ordering hosta plants.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      We'd love to see you order from us, www.nhhostas.com or visit us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Hampshire-Hosta...

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Having a Hosta plant put in today by landscapers alongside my driveway. Thanks for the info. re: Hostas!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Having a Hosta plant put in today by landscapers alongside my driveway. Thanks for the info. re: Hostas!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      I love the way hosta grows and makes such a perfect plant for a shady spot.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      you answered all my questions, very helpful. i thought all my plants have died, now i have something to enjoy and look forward to watching them grow. thank you.

    • Camden1 profile image

      Camden1 5 years ago

      I have several hostas in the front of the house. So far, they've come back every year (four years now - it's practically a miracle)!

    • MariaMontgomery profile image

      MariaMontgomery 5 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      I've been watching my hostas this year. It is amazing how fast they grow. Nice lens. Beautiful photos. Liked.

    • RuthCoffee profile image

      RuthCoffee 6 years ago

      I love hosta! I planted all of mine from bulbs and get excited every year when they start sprouting. Enjoyed this lens.

    • profile image

      tssfacts 6 years ago

      What a delightful article. I at the moment don't have a hosta plant. You have inspired me that I just might be able to grow one.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      i am worried about my "DRINKING GUORD" doesn't seem to be coming up. It is almost May 1. in the Toronto area."JUNE AND FIRST FROST" doing quite well, and if i stretch my imagination, "NIGHT B4 XMAS AND HONEYBELLS" may be coming along

    • Faye Rutledge profile image
      Author

      Faye Rutledge 6 years ago from Concord VA

      @HelenHoliday: Yes, they'll come back every spring! I always love to see the little sprouts popping through the dirt. :)

    • profile image

      HelenHoliday 6 years ago

      I lave four hostas in a small bed just outside my bedroom window. Every winter I think surely they've died from frost, but they miraculously return every spring. I love them!

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 6 years ago

      I love my hostas but they are not as pretty as yours.

    • caketech profile image

      caketech 6 years ago

      I love hostas...they are starting to sprout right now in my yard! I loved your idea for this lens. Well done!

    • Faye Rutledge profile image
      Author

      Faye Rutledge 7 years ago from Concord VA

      @anonymous: Thanks for your info. I've never cut mine back, but they do die out, usually in August. This year was hotter than usual and they died out in July. We had a little rain, and in a few days there were new sprouts and they were growing strong again. I've never seen them do that before!

    • jolou profile image

      jolou 7 years ago

      I don't have a hosta, but they are lovely. Great lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Has anyone cut their hostas to the ground??My hostas are beautiful until hot sun in July....I have no shade here.I cut them down with the hedge trimmer and in 2 weeks they returned and are growing like weeds; really pretty.I plan on doing this every July--earlier next year since they were really getting burned.Same here--they grow an inch each day--lovely to watch.

    • Faye Rutledge profile image
      Author

      Faye Rutledge 7 years ago from Concord VA

      @HorseAndPony LM: Oh, thanks so much for the visit and blessing! A nice surprise!

    • HorseAndPony LM profile image

      HorseAndPony LM 7 years ago

      I'm back for a visit! I am a huge fan of hostas and love this lens. Blessed! http://www.squidoo.com/horseandpony-squidangel

    • profile image

      marsha32 7 years ago

      wow! looks like they grow really quickly

    • PromptWriter profile image

      Moe Wood 7 years ago from Eastern Ontario

      Cool. If you kind of scroll down looking at the pictures as they go by it's like watching one of those flip motion books. I love hostas. Congrats on the purple star!

    • HorseAndPony LM profile image

      HorseAndPony LM 7 years ago

      Congratulations on your purple star! I love hostas. We recently moved and this will be the first year we do not have any. Thanks for sharing. I loved watching your hosta grow.

    • Holley Web profile image

      Holley Web 7 years ago

      That is beautiful! You could make a flip book out of those pics and watch them grow. Very well presented and makes me want the hosta back that I gave my mom ;) Congratulations on the Purple Star!

    • CrossCreations profile image

      Carolan Ross 7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Lovely! They DO grow so very fast, that is documented well here and this lens is so well-designed. I'll be moving this year and will dig up my favorite hostas to take with me, better do that soon before they get any bigger.

    • Pmona LM profile image

      Pmona LM 7 years ago

      Great job of documenting the grown of this hosta plant. Amazing how quickly it grows!

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 7 years ago from New Zealand

      Fantastic job on this lens on your hosta. I love the photo diary!

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 7 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Stopping by to Congratulate you on your lovely Purple Star! :)

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 7 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Brilliant lens and great info! I really enjoyed watching your hosta plant grow. We have two near the front walkway that my hubby planted. He has taken up the green thumb! Thanks for sharing! :)

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 7 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Stop by for another visit. My hosta's are just starting to peak out of the ground. I love springtime.

    • profile image

      ohcaroline 7 years ago

      Very interesting...and your photos are excellent. I don't have any hostas yet.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I love your lens on Hostas. I love gardening, and anything to do with plants really gets my interest!Thnx for your comments in my guestbook as well!

    • only1bub profile image

      Debbie Hawkins 8 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      What a unique lens! thanks for the SqidU feedback & lensroll! This page isone that will definitely compliment my how to make a moss planter lens - will be adding a link here on it!

    • JanieceTobey profile image

      JanieceTobey 8 years ago

      Nice lens! Your hosta is really looking beautiful now! 5 stars

    • EpicFarms profile image

      EpicFarms 8 years ago

      What a great idea for a lens! and you were right ~ it shot up in a hurry! Excellent job with the documentation (and the photos :o)

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Very enjoyable. Excellent lens idea. I felt like I was there with you. Love your use of pictures! 5*s.

    • Tiddledeewinks LM profile image

      Tiddledeewinks LM 8 years ago

      What a unique idea for a lens.

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 8 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      I like this lens. It is so neat to watch the hosta grow. Good job!

    • Snozzle profile image

      Snozzle 8 years ago

      What a great idea for a lens. Loved it.Mike.

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 8 years ago

      Great lens - you've been blessed by a squidoo angel :)

    • Sarunas profile image

      Sarunas 8 years ago

      Great lens : )Well Done. 5* from me.Keep it up :)

    • Simeyc1 profile image

      Simeyc1 8 years ago

      LOL as Arnie would say 'Hosta-la-vista'.....cute Lens...made me laugh....now I have to go and stare at the dozens of Hostas growing in my garden!

    • x3xsolxdierx3x lm profile image

      x3xsolxdierx3x lm 8 years ago

      You can tell the effort and time that went into this lens.....personal and enjoyable...good job! :) 5 stars

    • Faye Rutledge profile image
      Author

      Faye Rutledge 8 years ago from Concord VA

      [in reply to Ramkitten] Thanks for your kind remarks! I think the poem goes:Mary, Mary, Quite ContraryHow Does Your Garden Grow?With Cockle Shells and Little Blue Bells,And Little Maids All In A Row. :-)

    • verymary profile image

      Mary 8 years ago from Chicago area

      Wow! Very cool. We have a hosta with sort of marbled leaves--so pretty. Not sure it grows as fast as yours, though! Nice work, 5*****

    • Adrienne Jenkins profile image

      Adrienne Jenkins 8 years ago

      Cool idea for a lens. I love it the way hosta and lily of the valley emerge from the ground. You know it's really spring when the come up.

    • MikeMoore LM profile image

      MikeMoore LM 8 years ago

      This lens is almost like a virtual chia pet. Nicely done. Great idea. 5 stars!

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 8 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      What a neat idea! Isn't there a song or something that has a line, "How does my garden grow?" or some such thing? For some reason, that's what popped into my head when I saw this. We rarely notice or get to see this kind of thing--probably partly because many of us are too busy to notice--so this is really cool. 5 stars for an original lens!