Hosta is a wonderful shade plant. Many gardeners fall in love to hosta and make them as a valuable plant in their garden.
Hosta is part of herbaceous perennials native to Japan, China and Korea. They are easy to cultivate, easy to grow and to care for. Since they well do in shade area, they are often chosen for shade gardening.
A hosta plant commonly growing to adult in 4-8 years with varying size depends on the cultivar. Some of them reach 8 feet in or even more, such as the gold “Sum and Substance” and blue-leafed “Krossa Regal”, but the others can only few inches in diameter such as “Thumb Nail” and “Pixie Power”.
The hosta leaves are elongated to almost round or heart shaped with flat or concave leaves surface. The leaf shapes can changes during plant development. A few hosta cultivars are rhizomatous and can spread by rhizomes or runners.
The easy way to recognize hosta plants are by leaf color and big leaves size. The color can be yellow, green – white, or blue. The blue color leaf come from containswax coated green leaf, and so the color looks like blue.
Some variety may have combination color, include a combination of light and dark color, such as “Medio variegated” which the leaves show may be white, gold or yellow, or light green and dark green at the edge.
Conversely, in “Maginally variegated” show a light color on the edge and dark at the center.
As mention above, hostas are shade plant. They are do well in shade area, but most of them do not thrive in the deep shade.
Hosta best grow in partial shade, especially in organic-richexposure with morning sun and afternoon shade. The others tolerate some afternoon sun.
Commonly, darker leaves like blue-leafed hostas best in more shade, but the lighter one like yellow, gold and white-leafed can tolerate more sun, such as “August Moon” and “Sum and Substance“.
Hosta loves organic rich soil. Since hostas grow in shade, they will compete with others plant to get nutrient. So if you really serious to cultivate hostas, it is really important to make sure the soil contains enough organic matter.
A loamy soil may not need the addition of organic matter, but if prefer you may add some organic matter like compost or, leaf mold, and composted pine bark.
The recommended soil is well drained with slightly acidic pH range for 6.5 – 7.5, and is enriched with nutrient and organic matter. The planting hole should be dug at least a foot deep.
The width of the hole should be one and a half times the expected mature size of the clump. Check the plant’s label for ultimate size, or ask a nursery for information. Most hosta roots will grow and spread horizontally, so a large, wide hole is best.
If the hosta bought from nursery or plants grocery, make sure to get the health one. Remove hosta from its container, untangle the root and make sure the container’s excess soil is clear, do not use it in the planting hole.
Soak the root in water for 30 minutes before planting, apply this step if hosta ordered from mail or internet. Place the plant in the hole at the same level as it grew in the container, then refill the hole with amended soil.
Hostas love moist, so water is important for optimal growth. An inches of water per week is recommended, since hostas have large leaf, and it cause the evaporation trough leaves going rapid, it is why hostas best grow with sufficient water.
Hostas that are grown in sandy soil may need even more water, since sandy soil provided increases drainage.
Hostas fertilizing can be applied in early April, continue to mid to late may and last in mid July, using balanced fertilizer composition such as 5-10-5 or 10-10-10.
There are so many fertilizer choices in the market include granular or liquid fertilizer. Just read and follow the label carefully.