No idea what to do with the shaded areas of your garden?
Loved for their deep-green, shiny foliage, hostas are a hardy perennial plant that can survive in light to medium shade gardens.
They are easy to grow and will thrive for many years, given the right conditions.
When to plant hostas? While timing isn’t as critical as other plants, you will have the best chance if you plant in early spring or early fall. Plant bare-rooted hostas in the spring while potted hostas in the fall. The trick is to give the plants enough time to grow roots before the ground freezes.
What Is the Best Month to Plant Hostas?
As mentioned, you would want to plant hostas from early spring to late summer or early fall.
Hostas planted later in the growing season may need extra care and attention to ensure optimal results.
The most important thing to keep in mind is to plant them a month before the first frost of the year.
If you are from the part of the world that experiences the rainy season, plant well before the rains are expected to start.
Planting Hostas in Different Climates
Generally speaking, hostas will grow best when planted in climates with warm summers and cold winters.
Available in many varieties, those from regions tagged as USDA Hardiness Zone 3 to 9 can find a hosta variety they can grow.
Here are a few hosta growing tips to keep in mind when planting hostas in different climates:
Though they will thrive in shaded spots, hostas also require sun exposure to grow.
Keep in mind that they won’t tolerate too much sun, which could burn and fry their delicate leaves.
As such, growing hostas in the tropics might mean you will have to provide them with shade.
Does your area have a particularly dry climate?
If so, you might want to install a drip irrigation system for your hostas to have access to enough hydration.
Doing this will keep them well-watered enough to grow healthy green leaves.
Live in a temperate climate? To grow hostas in such conditions, choose a hosta variety with hard leaves.
These hostas might be able to tolerate colder areas, but make sure the temperature in your area does not go below freezing.
Choosing Hostas Seeds
The hosta variety you choose will depend on the growing conditions in your area.
Here are a few of the most common ones that home gardeners absolutely adore:
One look at this hosta variety, and you will see why it is a crowd favorite.
Its lance-shaped leaves with silky ivory edges will stand out in any garden.
What’s more, the summer will bring with it lavender-like flowers.
Plant this variety in Zones 3 to 8.
For its white flowers and blue-green leaves with golden edges, Frances Williams is yet another garden favorite.
Compared to other varieties, it is less prone to slugs and snails because of its thick foliage.
Like the Patriot, it is also best grown in Zones 3 to 8.
Hostas can survive in the shade, but that doesn’t mean they don’t like the sun.
Expose Sun Power hostas to a few hours of sunlight, and you’ll get bright yellow-green leaves.
To achieve a more out-of-this-world aesthetic, grow and enjoy the blue foliage of Halcyon hostas.
This variety is also resistant to slug and will produce lilac-colored flowers in the summer.
Shadowland “Coast to Coast”
Need to add more color to your garden?
The almost gold-like leaves of this variety will be their brightest when exposed to some morning sun.
Come summer, and it will produce pale violet flowers that look wonderfully in contrast with its bright leaves.
How To Grow Hostas
Already chose a hosta variety to plant? That’s good!
Your next step would be to prepare everything so that you’re ready once the planting season arrives.
Tip 1: Pick the right location.
Hosta leaves get easily burnt when exposed to too much sun.
As such, choose a spot in your garden that gets anywhere from light to medium shade.
These hardy plants will also grow beautifully in a frost pocket or a north-facing garden.
The spot you pick should also be protected from hail and strong winds.
Tip 2: Make sure the soil is healthy.
Once you’ve chosen the area to plant them in, make sure the soil is nutrient-rich enough for hostas.
Ideally, the soil pH must be around 6 to 6.5.
To achieve a fertile soil that retains water well, mix well-rotted organic matter into the soil.
If growing in pots, plant them in large clay pots with several drainage holes on the bottom.
Tip 3: Protect from slugs and snails.
There’s nothing more satisfying for these mollusks than munching on healthy foliage.
To protect your hosta leaves, use copper rings and place them around each plant.
Tip 5: Divide.
If your hosta plants have grown too big for your liking, you can go ahead and divide them as soon as spring arrives.
This way, you will have parts to propagate and turn into new hostas.
How To Plant Hostas
Ready to turn your garden into a tropical forest?
Below are the easy steps to planting potted hostas.
Follow the same steps for planting hostas in pots, but make sure the pot you use is well-draining.
For bare rooted hostas, soak them in water a few hours before planting to avoid drying them out.
Step 1: Dig a hole.
When the ground becomes workable as spring arrives, you will know it is time to plant hostas.
As with any plant, the first step to planting them is digging a hole as big as the root ball.
Generally speaking, this should be around a foot deep and 2.5 feet wide.
Step 2: Put the plant in.
Next, take the hosta from the pot and untangle the roots before placing it in the hole.
Do not skip untangling the roots, especially if you’re planting potted hostas.
Doing this ensures that the roots don’t strangle themselves and prevent nutrients to travel freely.
Step 3: Fill with soil.
Put soil back into the hole until it is firm.
Make sure that the crown of the plant stays above the ground to allow the plant to breathe.
Each hosta plant should have at least three feet of growing space to reach its mature size.
Step 4: Water.
To help the plant become stable, water thoroughly and deeply after planting.
If you plant them in a spot that gets more sun, make sure you water them more.
Step 5: Add mulch every year.
Once your hosta plants have matured, it would help to promote soil health if you add mulch annually.
Use leaf mold, compost, or manure for the best results.
Not only will mulching hinder weed growth, but it will also keep the soil evenly moist and protect the plant from pests.
How To Water Hostas
After planting, the next stage would be to help the plants grow roots and become established.
To do this, you will need to do regular watering and occasional fertilizing.
Tip 1: Water until the hostas are well-established.
At the beginning of its life in its new location, you will want to provide your hosta plant with optimal growing conditions.
This means watering it regularly until it has grown strong roots.
You will know it is time to water hosta plants when the top inch of the soil around them has gone dry.
Tip 3: Water only during drought.
Once they are strong enough, most hosta plants will be able to survive on just rainfall.
In such cases, water them only when your area is experiencing drought.
Also, if you planted a variety with large leaves that form a canopy, you might want to check more often if the soil is getting enough water.
The same can be said with hostas planted near large trees, which probably suck up all the available moisture from the ground.
Tip 2: Fertilizing hostas.
About four weeks into its new life, you can begin giving your hosta plant some all-purpose plant food.
This will provide it with the right balance of nutrients to grow healthy foliage and survive the changing weather conditions.
How Long Does It Take to Grow Hostas?
To reach their full mature size, it might take hostas a little longer than other perennial plants.
Generally, you would have to wait around two to four years for them to reach their full potential.
Larger varieties might even take longer than that.
For this reason, you would want to provide them with a big enough growing space that can accommodate their full-grown size.
Versatile, tough, and adaptable – hostas are an exciting plant to grow, especially if you are a beginner home gardener.
Choose the green leaved varieties if planting in fully shaded areas, while brighter-colored ones are able to tolerate more sun.
Whichever variety you pick, plant them early in the spring so that they have enough time to get established before winter comes.