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How to Grow and Care for Hosta Plants in Your Garden

Plantain Lilies

This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the day This plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic wateringThis plant needs a thorough, deep weekly watering, Double icons require boggy or wet conditionsHummingbird PlantButterfly FlowerWhite flowering plantblue flowering plantPurple flowering plantA photograph is availableHow to Use the Plant Care Icons at The Garden Helper
The Hosta, or Plantain Lily is a very useful, long lived perennial for the shade garden.
This family of plants is known for it's decorative, large clumps of lush green foliage and spikes of lily shaped,
sometimes fragrant flowers which appear later in summer.
Hosta leaves come in a broad range of solid and bi-colors, from blue to green or gold.
The most common leaf shape is heartlike, but some varieties have narrow, straplike leaves.
There are few perennials that are as easy to grow as Hostas... but you must remember a few basic rules.
Deeder the Garden Gnome

Growing Requirements for Hostas

Hostas thrive in filtered shade like you would find in their natural habitat... the forest floor.
The fragrant varieties Hostas and the solid green varieties will tolerate full sun,
but these types are better off with morning sun than hot afternoon sun.
Hostas are somewhat drought resistant, but the more light which they receive,
the more water the plant will need to survive, so watering should be increased
proportionate to the brightness of the lighting.

Hosta plants should be grown in well-drained, rich organic soils.
They will tolerate a wide range of soil pH, but prefer slightly acidic soil (pH 6.5).
An organic fertilizer, or top dressing of compost should be applied in early spring,
then again in mid summer. Most Hostas are hardy in zones 3-9, but they will
benefit from some winter protection by mulching.

Hostas can be left undisturbed for many years but if they overgrow their setting,
they can be easily transplanted in the spring.

Propagating Hosta Plants and Growing them from Seed

Hostas can be grown from seed which can be sown directly in the garden in spring or early summer or they can be started indoors at 70°.
Germination takes 15-20 days.

They can also be propagated by dividing mature clumps.
The best time is to divide Hostas is in early spring, when the new growth has just begun to show. Large clumps can be cut into quarters using a sharp, straight edged shovel, a large knife or even an axe.

To divide smaller Hostas, dig up the clump and shake off most of the soil. Pull the rhizomes apart or separate them with a sharp knife, making sure each division has a good cluster of leaves and plenty of roots.
When you replant your Hosta be sure to leave plenty of space for growth,
because each summer will see your specimens grow larger and better.
Slugs and snails consider this plant a great delicacy.
Be sure to take steps to protect your Hosta from these creatures.


A Green, Variegated Plantain Lily, Hosta undulata Hostas and Ferns Growing in a Shade Garden Hosta Plant Blooming in the Garden
Plantain Lily
Hosta undulata