How To Plant, Grow and Care For Hosta (Guide)

Hosta is the most popular perennial foliage among gardeners. They grow in any zone, are easy to care for, low maintenance, and thrive in sun or shade.

This common home garden plant has more than 2500 cultivated varieties with different sizes, shades, and textures. Some of its varieties also produce fragrant flowers.

What else do you want?

Growing hostas with a good companion plant make your home garden clean and attractive.

In fact, you can build an entire garden of this plant but then also you’ll leave a few of their varieties. So, now you know how Hosta can sparkle your home garden decor.

With that let’s learn more about Hosta.

Where to plant hosta

Planting hosta is simple, you can plant them anytime between spring and fall. The one common thing that makes hostas a popular home garden plant is that,

hosta

Photo source: madaise

Unlike other plants, they not only survive but also thrive in shade. They easily grow in the north of the garden in shade or under the shrubs where other plants struggle to thrive. Most of their varieties grow in USDA zone 3-8, they grow in many different regions of the US.

Planting in shade

The easiest way to remember, lighter the foliage shade, the brighter the sun to grow.

Hosta

Photo source: Dan Keck

Different types of Hostas based on light tolerance.

  • Vegetative hostas grow best in partial shade. You can plant them under a tree or the bushes. 
  • Green foliage hostas are the most tolerant varieties. They thrive easily in the shade or partial shade areas of the garden.
  • Blue foliage hostas retain their color in partial shade. Planting them in too much sunlight bleaches their blue color to green.
  • White foliage hostas need little sunlight to retain their color. However, they burn if exposed to too much light.  It’s recommended to plant them in the spot where they get morning sun and evening shade.
  • Yellow foliage Hostas take more light than other Hostas.

Related Post: Best Companion Plants For Hostas

In sun

If you want to plant hostas in sun than keep in the mind,

Hostas

Photo source: Leonora (Ellie) Enking

  • Choose hostas variety that is light tolerant.
  • Plant them in the spot where they get shade during the hottest hours of the day.
  • Water frequently and put a good layer of mulch around them to keep them moist.
  • The further north you live, the more chance you’ll have to grow successful hosta in the sun.

Variety size

  • Small hostas grow well in the container, at the front of the border, rock garden, and raised bed.
  • Medium hostas work well as ground cover under large bushes or small trees.
  • Large hostas are good specimen plants or accents on the shade of the bush’s border.
  • Giant hostas are big enough to go back to your shade border and give a perfect look to your home garden.

Related Post: Best Hosta Varieties To Grow In The Garden

How to plant Hosta

  • Buy bare root or bulb hosta.
  • Dig a hole half the height of the hosta bulb.
  • If you’re planting in a pot then dig half the width of the pot or at least the depth that covers all the bare roots.
  • Mix the rich compost soil with sandy or clay soil, well-drained.
  • Put your hosta plant in the hole and cover all its bare roots with soil.
  • Water the base of the plant to moist soil. (Always water in the base of the plant)

NY Botanical garden-Hosta

Photo source: Erik Anestad

How much hosta spread wide depends on their variety, before buying them ask for their mature size.

Roughly,

  • Small hosta varieties spread twice their maturity height.
  • Medium hosta varieties spread thrice the maturity height.
  • Large hosta varieties spread nearly the same wide as their full-grown height. 

Related Post: Best foliage Plants To Grow (Indoors & Outdoor)

How to Grow Hostas

Growing Hosta is easy, you don’t need to take much care of them. Once Hosta gets established they grow themself. Just water them occasionally to keep them hydrated. Hostas generally take 4-5 years to mature, especially large varieties, so keep patience with them.

How to care for Hosta

Hosta doesn’t need much care but there are a few points you should keep in mind.

Let’s read them one by one…

Hostas

Photo source: Leonora (Ellie) Enking

In pot

  • Choose a large container at least 11 inches in width, large containers or pots are better to grow hosta.
  • Make sure that your pot has a hole in the bottom to flow excessive water.
  • Put a few rocks in the bottom inside the container or pot to have a proper drainage system, hosta roots don’t like water.
  • Spread a layer of mulch around the plant to keep the soil moist.
  • In the frost cut off dried leaves and cover plant soil with a layer of mulch.
  • Water regularly and fertilize plants in the growing season.
  • If your plant gets attacked by slugs and snails make a circle from copper wire, they don’t like to cross copper.

Fertilizer

  • Apply fertilizer in the spring season when shoots emerge but before the leaves unfurl.
  • Use 10-10-10 (Nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium) with a few spoon drops of Epsom salt.
  • Sprinkle fertilizer around the base of the plant.
  • Do not leave any fertilizer on the foliage.
  • Initially, hosta prefers slightly acidic soil but when they get mature after 4-8 years they’ll tolerate any soil type.

Pests and Slugs

Hostas have very few diseases and are low maintenance. If you leave in the area where slugs and snails then they can damage your hostas plant 

Hosta

Photo source: Peter Stevens

To protect them you can,

  • Plant hosta with thick, waxy leaves that are less likely to be attacked by snail and slugs and protect your hosta.
  • Surround the base of the hosta with organic snail baits that contain active ingredients of iron and phosphorus.
  • I mentioned above snails and slugs don’t cross copper strips, you can surround the base with copper strips.

Deer and rabbit

Most of the hosta are deer and rabbit resistant but there are a few varieties that are edible by these animals. Having a beautiful Hosta plant get eaten by a rabbit or deer is a real pain.

You can’t guard your Hosta plant all time.

Hosta 'June'

Photo source: ctalley94

So what to do…

Plant hostas with chives and mint herbs, their fragrance might convince them to go somewhere else. Spray deer and rabbit repelled around the hostas plant. You need to spay it occasionally and after a heavy rain, this definitely works and protects your hostas.

Some common questions

Is hosta toxic to pets?

Hostas are toxic when eaten by dogs, cats, and horses, keep them away or better don’t grow hosta.

How to split hosta?

  • Locate the area around the base, if the leaves are too big, tie them with thread, to see what you’re doing.
  • Slightly dig around the base with a regular garden shovel, hosta has very shallow roots, you don’t need to dig too deep.
  • Gently pull the hosta, if there are any roots attached with the ground cut them using your shovel.

Pin it!

Click to read relatable post.

  •  
  • 89
  •  
  •  

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *