How to Grow Hostas


Hostas are hardy perennials prized for their attractive foliage. With more than 2,500 cultivars available, foliage ranges in shape, size and color. Although green and white variegated leaves are one of the more common varieties, hosta foliage covers a range of colors in blue-green, white and golden. Although hostas tolerate shade, they grow best with morning sun and shelter from the hot afternoon rays, according to the Ohio State University Extension.

Step 1

Prepare a bed for hostas by digging to depth of 8 to 10 inches. Remove rocks, roots and other debris. Work 2 to 3 inches of compost or well-rotted manure into the soil. According to the University of Georgia Extension, hostas prefer rich, organic, well-drained soil and suffer in soggy conditions.

Step 2

Add 10-10-10 fertilizer following the application rate on the container. Mix in well with the existing soil. The University of Georgia recommends repeating application in the spring when new growth appears, and using water-soluble fertilizer once or twice a month during the growing season. Colorado State University warns that you should cease fertilizer by July to allow the plant to harden before cold weather resumes.

Step 3

Dig a hole in the prepared soil large enough to accommodate the root ball of your hosta. Gently loosen the roots. The roots of root-bound plants should be cut with several vertical cuts to loosen them, according to Colorado State University Extension.

Step 4

Position the plant to the original planting depth. Fill in around roots with soil. Firm down with your hands to secure the plant and remove air pockets.

Step 5

Water thoroughly to moisten the soil to the root level. Hostas require little watering, but if your area does not receive at least an inch of rain a week, supplemental water is required. Saturate the soil to the root level to encourage deep roots. Frequent light watering encourages roots to form near the surface of the soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden spade Soil amendments (compost, manure) Sharp knife 10-10-10 fertilizer Water-soluble fertilizer


  • Ohio State University Extension: Growing Hostas
  • University of Georgia Extension: Growing Hostas
  • Colorado State University Extension: Growing Hosta

Who Can Help

  • University of Vermont Extension: Choosing and Growing Hosta
Keywords: grow hosta, plant hosta, hosta care

About this Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with 4 years experience in online writing and a lifetime of personal journals. She is published on various sites, including Associated Content. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.