How to Cultivate Hostas

Overview

Every home garden should have at least one hosta. These hardy, perennial plants require little care and give much in return. Hostas have wide, thick leaves spreading from a central base. They come in a variety of colors from deep blue to lime green; some are variegated with white tips. Their white or lavender flowers resemble lilies and may be fragrant, depending on the variety. Hostas grow well in shade gardens, where few other perennials grow, and look gorgeous planted in masses.

Step 1

Buy healthy nursery plants that are well-suited to your garden. Blue hostas need more shade while green and yellow hostas tolerate some sun. Hostas range in size from a few inches to 8 feet. Make sure you have room for the variety you select.

Step 2

Lay 2 inches of compost and 2 inches of moistened peat moss on top of your garden soil. Dig these amendments into the soil with your shovel to a depth of 12 inches.

Step 3

Dig a hole at least 12 inches wide and 1 1/2 times the expected mature width of your hosta. Check the label or consult a nursery expert for more information about your plant. Hostas spread horizontally, so it's important to loosen and improve the soil in a wide swath.

Step 4

Remove the hosta from its pot by squeezing the pot and gently turning it over while holding the plant in your hands. Loosen the roots by pressing on the soil slightly.

Step 5

Set the hosta in the hole and back fill the soil around it, tamping down gently to remove any air pockets. Water the hosta well after planting.

Step 6

Water the newly planted hosta at least weekly or more often to keep the soil evenly moist. Hostas need at least 1 inch of water per week. Signs of drought stress include dropped or yellowed leaves.

Step 7

Apply a granular 10-10-10 fertilizer in early spring, early summer and mid-summer as indicated on the package. Don't apply fertilizer after mid-July in temperate climates.

Step 8

Divide hostas that have bare spots in the middle of the plant to reinvigorate them. Dig up hostas with your shovel in mid-summer and place them on the ground. Brush off some of the dirt so you can see the roots. Cut the hostas with a sharp knife to divide them into two or three sections. Replant the hostas as described.

Things You'll Need

  • Hosta plant
  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Peat moss
  • 10-10-10 granular fertilizer
  • Sharp knife

References

  • Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet: Growing Hostas
Keywords: growing hostas, hosta plants, hosta gardening

About this Author

Julie Christensen has been writing for five years. Her work has appeared in "The Friend" and "Western New York Parent" magazines. Her guide for teachers, "Helping Young Children Cope with Grief" will be published this spring. Christensen studied early childhood education at Ricks College and recently returned to school to complete a degree in communications/English.