Instructions for Planting Hostas


Hostas, a herbaceous perennial, grow well in shady areas. The foliage of hostas can range from light to dark green, yellow and gray-green or blue. Hosta is also considered a liliaceous plant, meaning its blooms resemble lilies. It grows well in groups and thrives in humid climates. Hostas come to leaf in late spring, so many gardeners plant the perennial with other plants that grow in early spring. Hostas also grow well in large pots.

Step 1

Cultivate the soil. Use a shovel or tiller to cultivate the planting area for hostas to a depth of 12 to 16 inches. If planting hostas in a tub, use hand tools.

Step 2

Add organic matter to soil. Use shovel and rake to spread a layer of manure or decayed compost over soil. Pre-packaged mixtures are available at garden centers. Use rake to work the organic mixture into soil.

Step 3

Dig hole for planting. Hosta plants can be planted from spring through summer. The planting hole should be deep enough to accommodate roots, and should be at least one and a half times the size of the root clump. For very large plants, dig a hole that is large and wide to allow mature roots to grow. For larger plants dig holes 24 inches apart. If planting in pots, make sure the pot is large enough to accommodate a mature plant. Rhizomes should be planted in early to late fall. Hole should be large enough, about 6 inches deep, and twice the width of the rhizome. Dig holes about 6 inches apart for small rhizomes and 18 to 24 inches apart for larger rhizomes.

Step 4

Plant the hosta. After removing the hosta from its container, slightly loosen roots. Shake excess soil off the roots and place plant in the hole. Cover roots with soil. Leaves should be at ground level after planting. Rhizomes should be placed in hole and backfill with soil, and then tap down lightly.

Step 5

Mulch. Cover the area around the plants completely and mulch up to 4 inches. Leave a few inches around the base of the plant stem clear. Water daily to encourage root growth. For rhizomes, water until temperatures drop in winter. Begin watering in early spring.

Things You'll Need

  • Hosta rhizomes
  • Hosta plants
  • Manure or decayed compost
  • Mulch
  • Shovel
  • Tiller
  • Rake
  • Water


  • "Hostas"; Rosemary Bennett; 2009.
  • "The Gardener's Guide to Growing Hostas"; Diana Grenfell; 1996.

Who Can Help

  • American Hosta Society
Keywords: grow hosta plants, herbaceous perennial plants, planting hosta directions

About this Author

Carmel Perez Snyder is a freelance writer living in Florida. She attended the University of Missouri and has been a journalist for more than 12 years. Her work has appeared in the AARP Bulletin, the Oklahoma Gazette, the Amarillo Globe-News, and eHow.