Hosta Care And Maintenance
Hostas thrive in moist, well drained soil which is slightly acidic. Space the plants 2 to 4 feet apart, depending on the variety and the density of the foliage you desire. Some of the larger varieties may need even more space. Dig a hole deep enough to cover the roots, making sure the leaves are above ground. If your soil drains well, leave a slight depression around the roots so that water sinks in around around the plant when watering, instead of running away.
During the hot and often dry summer season, hostas will need a regular watering schedule. Do not let the soil dry completely out. Keep the soil moist but not saturated. Without adequate moisture, leaves may burn, especially when planted in too much sun. Again, if your soil drains well, leave a slight depression around the roots so that water sinks in around around the plant when watering, instead of running away.
All hosta varieties go dormant in the winter. They collapse to almost nothing after a few cold nights. In cold winter areas, cover the collapsed plant with about 3 inches of pine straw mulch to insulate the roots from the severe cold. When spring rolls around, new leaves grow from the roots and the hosta quickly returns to its full leafy glory. Hostas requested for shipment from December 1 through March 1 are likely in a full or partial state of dormancy. We will ship dormant hostas if requested, but please be aware of the condition they will arrive in...perfectly healthy, but asleep!
Overwintering hosta is easy if a few precautions are used. Do not fertilize after the first of August. This gives the plants time to get ready for winter. The first winter a protective mulch of oak leaves, pine boughs or straw helps to prevent frost upheaval and protects the plant from temperature fluctuations. Mulch is optional for established plants. Foliage can be cleaned up in either fall after the foliage has died down, or in spring before the flush of new growth.
If you feel the need to divide your plants it is pretty easy, assuming they are not too large - in which case they might be tough to get out of the ground. But, once out of the ground, just pry them apart or, if necessary, cut them apart with a large knife. This is can be done in either fall or early spring before any growth appears. Hostas improve greatly with age and often don't show their true form for 4 to 5 years and, if divided before that, they start the maturing process over again.
Snails & Slugs
Insects and diseases are rarely a problem for hostas. Slugs are the most common problem plaguing hostas. They produce holes in the foliage making the plant less attractive. Slugs can be picked off the foliage at night when they are active, and dropped into vinegar or salt water. Another common remedy is beer or yeast dissolved in water. Set this out in butter containers to attract and drown slugs. If slug populations are keptin check, hostas should grow without a lot of chemicals to keep them looking their best.
Using Hosta In The Landscape
The Popularity Of Hostas
Sometimes called the perfect perennial, hosta grow into long lived assets for any gardener with little time to spend on their yards. From the delicate beauty of dwarfs, to the artistic ambiance of large hostas, this is a genus that help gardeners create interest and individuality in their gardens. Try one variety and soon hostas will be a standard in your yard, as well.
Where To Use Hostas
Hostas look elegant on their own or mixed into a perennial or shrub border, as background plants, specimens, ground covers or edging plants. Hostas make excellent companion plants to ornamental grasses. Shrubs and tall perennials that can be challenging for the landscaper to design around are softened with the use of hostas. Use them to outline a pathway or encircle a tree trunk. Browse through our selection of hostas. We are sure you will find the variety of hostas to meet your landscape needs.
Hostas are extremely hardy and grow in zones 3 to 9. They will grow well in full to part shade. For best results two to three hours of morning sun will bring out the best color. Blues, such as ‘Blue Angel’ or ‘Blue Cadet’ require more shade, while yellows, such as ‘Sum and Substance’ and ‘Gold Standard’ tolerate a little more sun. The more sun, the more water that will be required to keep the hosta looking good. It is best to keep hostas from getting full sun during the hottest part of the day.
Hostas In The Landscape
Hostas are wonderful plants to use in many areas of the landscape. They are well suited to problem areas. Hostas are ideal for areas where snow removal is necessary or where salt spray is occurring. They grow under walnut trees and survive through wet and dry conditions, including drought and dry shade conditions.