There are so many varieties of Hosta that they can fill just about any need you have in your garden. Hostas range in size from 6 inches to 3 feet tall with foliage that ranges from green to gold to blue-green. There is also a large selection of leaf textures to choose from. Smooth, seersucker, and crinkled are just a few of the many choices. The flowers are very fragrant and include colors ranging between white, lavender, and blue. Although Hosta’s are virtually maintenance free, if you follow the subsequent guidelines when planting your next Hosta you will amazed with the outcome.
Before planting your Hosta, it is important to ensure that the site you have chosen has the appropriate characteristics to allow for proper growth. Light to full shade is ideal for most varieties of Hosta. Types of Hosta with gold or green leaves need some sun in order to develop the proper leaf color. However, the blue-leafed varieties grow best in full shade in a part of the garden with a cooler temperature. Hostas also prefer rich organic soil that is moist and well drained.
When and How to Plant Hostas
Planting your Hosta in the spring will provide you with the best results. Begin by preparing your garden bed with a tiller or garden fork to a depth of 12”. Before digging the hole, mix in a 4” layer of compost. Dig a hole that is twice as wide as the root ball. Then remove the plant for the pot and place it in the hole so that the top of the root ball is level with the top of the hole. Carefully backfill the hole and gently firm the soil. Finish by watering thoroughly.
Caring for Hostas
To care for a Hosta simply place a 2” layer of mulch around the base of the stems leaving room for the flower to breath. Water thoroughly during the summer when there is less than 1” of rain per week. After the first deep frost cut the plant back leaving only 1 or 2 inches above the ground. Dividing the plants every 3 to 4 years as the new growth begins in the spring will keep your Hostas looking their best.
Alan Summers, president of Carroll Gardens, Inc., has over 30 years experience in gardening and landscape design. He has made Carroll Gardens one of America’s preeminent nurseries, having introduced more than 20 new perennials and woody shrubs over the years and reintroduced numerous “lost” cultivars back to American gardeners.
Every Saturday, Alan hosts a call-in gardening forum on WCBM radio - 680 AM. For those outside of the WCBM listening area, they can listen to radio show via the internet.
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