Photos of a Hosta Plant's Stages of Growth: From Sprouts to Blooms
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, from when it started sprouting in the spring until its full growth, a little over a month later. There are also photos from when it bloomed a few months after that.
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 First Sprouting to Full Bloom
I'd had this plant for 4 years at the time these photos were taken. 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!
In 2009, I decided to take time to look at it each day to see how much it actually 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)!
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
I did not take photos on days 3–5 because of bad weather.
Day 6 (March 28)
Starting to Measure
On Day 7, I started to measure a sprout each day.
Day 7: Sprouts Are 3.5 Inches
Day 8: 4 Inches
Day 9: 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
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 12: 6 Inches
Day 13: 6.5 Inches
Day 14: 7 Inches
Day 15: 7.5 Inches
As the Leaves Unfurl, It Gets so Much Fuller
I stopped measuring for now.
The Hosta's Growth Slows
Over the next few days, you can't see as much of a day-to-day change. The weather was cloudy, cool, and rainy, so it may have slowed the growth.
Day 25: 10.5 Inches
Day 28: 12 Inches
I thought it was finished growing, but obviously it was not. It grew so much more over the next week that I took another photo. It had really filled out and grown so pretty. You'll be amazed.
Day 35: (April 26) Full Grown With 14-Inch Leaves
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
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
I found that, after sprouting, hosta plants 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.
Questions & Answers
I have had 4 hostas in large planters for several years, each year coming back beautifully, except this year, one has only sprouted a few leaves and doesn't seem to be sprouting any more, as it's been over a couple weeks now. The others are growing normally. Any ideas?
Are the 4 hostas in the same location? If the one that's not doing well is in a shady area, it may not grow as quickly as one in a sunny area. That's the only thing I can think of. I would continue to keep an eye on it and see how it does.Helpful 7
My hostas are not coming up yet. It is the first week of April in Chicago, IL-where are you located?
I'm located in Virginia, so it is probably warmer here. Your hostas will probably be up soon, after the weather is warmer.Helpful 6
We have two Hostas (Pandoras’ Box) that were planted in 2018. One started sprouting two to three weeks ago. However, the other has not started to sprout. How long should we wait till we assume it isn’t coming back and plant another in its place?
I am in no way an expert on Hosta. However, if one has sprouted, I think the other won't be far behind. How about the location? If it's in a more shady area, it might take longer to sprout. I would wait another couple of weeks, just to be sure.Helpful 5
Can you plant the Hosta plant's blooms or should you just get rid of them?
No, don't plant the blooms. (After they die, just pick them off) You can transplant the plant itself. There is a video on my page showing how to do this.Helpful 3
Any recommendations on what size pot to use for a hosta plant? I'm trying to take into consideration what their full width will be to pick the right pot. Any suggestions?
I would say at least a 3 quart pot or larger.Helpful 2
© 2009 Faye Rutledge