Hostas are very popular plants to give gardens and exteriors a touch of light and color thanks to their great decorative potential. Their showy leaves, especially in the shaded varieties, do not even need the beautiful flowering of the plant to beautify any corner. If you want to learn how to care for these plants, very undemanding and suitable for beginners, join us in this article on How to Grow and Care Hostas.
Characteristics Of the Hosta Plant
We call it Hosta or beautiful, although, in reality, it is not a single species a whole genus of plants, the Hosta, which is part of the Agavaceae family. It is about forty species of perennial plants, of great diversity in terms of size and colors of their leaves, although all of them stand out for their great ornamental value. They are plants native to China and Japan, widely used both in outdoor spaces and in the decoration of apartments and interiors.
The most common species that are marketed can grow to sizes of about 60” (150 cm) in diameter in ideal conditions, with leaves that, regardless of their size, stand out for their marked ribbing. These can present very different shades of green and even patterns such as the shaded varieties, with the rim of its leaves almost white and very appreciated for this feature.
Flowering, which occurs at the beginning of summer, gives rise to inflorescences grouped in the form of small white bells that arise from the flower stalk.
- 10 Mixed Hosta Plants - All colors, sizes and textures
- Hardy in Zones 3-8 - Attracts Hummingbirds!
- Bright green, blue, gold and chartreuse foliage with white or white and lavender flowers - some fragrant!
How to Grow Hostas Step by Step
Follow these steps to learn how to grow Hostas step by step:
- Plant Hostas in the spring or fall. Early spring and early fall are the optimum times to grow perennials. Plants actively grow in the spring and fall, therefore those are the optimum periods to root them.
- Select a position with some indirect sunlight. Hostas are shade tolerant, which means they need some light but prefer to thrive in the shadow.
- Make the soil ready. Hostas prefer fertile, wet soil that drains well. Till the soil to a depth of 12” (30 cm) and mix in a generous amount of aged compost to prepare the garden soil. This will guarantee that the soil has all of the nutrients that the Hostas require, as well as that water drains effectively.
- Hostas should be planted in shallow holes. Dig a hole in the dirt for each Hosta that is 3” (8 cm) deep and wide enough to accommodate the roots. Cover the roots with earth and place the root ball in the hole.
- Allow ample space between the Hostas you plant. A minimum of 40” to 60” (100 to 150 centimeters).
- After planting, water the soil thoroughly and keep it moist. Water the Hostas thoroughly as soon as you finish planting them to help settle the dirt around the roots. Give the plants around 2” (5 cm) of water per week, spaced out over several days, as they grow.
Location For Hostas
Hostas can be grown both indoors and outdoors, although it is true that it is more common to find them in gardens and green areas, especially in shaded or semi-shaded areas.
It is best to place them either at the foot of a tree that protects them from direct sunlight or to find a shady spot for them, as these plants need high humidity to grow strong and fast. However, it is important to pay attention to which specific species of Hosta you are growing, as some small ones need more exposure to light.
Soil for Hostas
The Hosta is not a particularly demanding plant in terms of the soil in which it is grown, being the most important thing to take care of its only real requirement: moisture. Therefore, it is necessary to give it soil capable of retaining that certain level of humidity that the plant needs, both in soil and in a pot.
The Hosta, like almost all plants, does not tolerate waterlogging, but it will appreciate a clay soil capable of retaining moisture but maintaining sufficient drainage. If your soil is not able to retain moisture, you can improve its properties by adding vermiculite and perlite to the soil, which will improve its water retention and drainage properties.
In pots, the universal potting mix with equal parts worm castings, coconut fiber, and peat, plus a handful of vermiculite and perlite, will give excellent results. The plant is not very demanding as far as organic matter in the substrate is concerned, but it will also appreciate one rich in it. We recommend this soil for Hostas (Order here).
Watering for Hostas
Given the main requirement of the plant, which we have already mentioned, it is easy to realize that proper watering is vital for your Hosta to be in the best condition. You should water often enough so that the substrate never dries out completely, but, as always, avoid waterlogging at all costs.
If your Hosta is in a dry environment, it will also help it a lot if you spray some water on its leaves, but always at the beginning of the end of the day, so that the drops do not have a magnifying glass effect with the sun that hits the leaves. If, on the other hand, the plant is in a humid environment, it will need less watering.
Fertilizing for Hostas
The best thing to do, as long as the plant does not have very specific needs in terms of nutrients, is to use organic and ecological fertilizers. You should add compost around the stem of the plant every 15 to 20 days during the spring and summer months, allowing the plant to have nutrients on hand for further development.
- Easy-to-use fertilizer for all indoor plants including ferns, spider plants, pothos, and croton
- Houseplant fertilizer spikes feed continuously for up to 2 months
- When used as directed, plant food spikes are safe to use on all indoor, potted plants
Dangerous Pests for Hosta
Being plants that need a moist environment, Hostas are one of the most appetizing foods for snails and slugs, which will not hesitate to come to them to devour their leaves. For this reason, it is common to plant them in containers even outdoors, as it makes it easier to keep these avid mollusks at bay. In any case, it is sufficient to frequently check the condition of the plant to remove any unwanted visitors by the hand and, if the problem becomes serious, to use ecological traps such as the beer plate trap. Even so, we recommend limiting these methods to cases where they are really necessary.
We hope this article on how to grow Hostas will be useful. We recommend our article about How to Propagate Calathea.