Hostas are a popular choice with gardeners as they are such a useful plant, easy to grow, they come in a range of leaf sizes, shapes and colours. Shade loving they are perfect for cutting. We thought we would put together A Focus on Hostas, so let’s start with a few facts:
A Focus on Hostas – Hosta Facts
- Hostas are named after Dr. Nicholaus Host, a physician to the emperor of Austria.
- They are also known as the Plantain Lily.
- The Hosta is a genus of about 40 plants native to Esatern Asia.
- You can eat Hostas and some varieties are grown as leaf vegetables.
- They are popular fillers for flower arrangements.
- They flower, producing spikes of lily like flowers.
- Hostas are said to symbolise friendship and devotion.
- Hostas require little care and will live to be 30 or more years if properly cared for.
- Some varieties are fragranced and should be located by patios or walkways so they can be fully appreciated.
A Focus on Hostas – Hosta Varieties
There are so many to choose from and they range from miniatures to large in size. Their leaves also vary in colour, texture and pattern. They do flower but gardeners often choose to remove the flowers to make the most of the foliage diaplay.
Golden Valley Plants offer a variety of hostas with many included in our 4 for 3 and 3 for 2 offers currently available on our website. Take a look at our hostas here.
A Focus on Hostas – Growing Hostas
The good news is Hostas require very little care. Plant in moist, fertile soil in light or partial shade. They prefer water retentive soil, if your soil is clay or sandy it is best to dig in plenty of organic matter to help the hosta establish itself.
If you decide to plant them in pots make sure you drill drainage holes to prevent the soil becoming too wet as this will kill the roots. Avoid metal containers as these can get very hot and hostas like to be kept cool.
An inch or two of mulch sprinkled annually before new shoots appear will keep them well fed. They can be prone to slugs and snails due to the moist rich soil, and heavily textured leaves tend to be more resistant than smoother leaf varieties. Copper rings are an ideal, environmentally friendly way to control slugs.
Hostas are prone to bulking up so divide congested clumps every three to five years. You can do this in the Autumn or Spring, lift from the ground with a fork and cut in two using a sharp knife. You can find more useful information on how to care for your hosta here.