Hostas are hardy perennials that have beautiful green foliage and there are many varieties from which to choose. Fortunately, most hostas can survive in nearly all conditions USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 10; however, in order for hostas to thrive and to grow full and lush leaves, proper planting is a must.
Select a planting site that has partial shade. Most hostas thrive in areas that receive morning sun, but afternoon shade. However, hostas with blue leaves requires more shade, while hostas with yellow, gold or white leaved hostas can tolerate more sun. In addition, some fragrant hostas, like August moon, need at least 5-6 hours of sunlight at day.
Amend the soil, if necessary. Hostas like rich, well draining soil. Unless you’ve already worked on your planting site in the past, you should consider adding a couple inches of organic matter, such as compost or peat moss. A great way to make a garden bed suitable for hostas and other plants is to till the soil to about depth of 18 inches and work in about 6 inches of organic matter.
Adjust the pH, if necessary. Hostas like soil with a pH level of 5.5 to 6.5. Use pH testing strips, available at most nurseries, to test your soil. Then lower or raise the pH if necessary. Adding sulfur will lower the pH and adding lime will raise it. Follow the dosing instructions, since you must add a specific amount based on your current acidity levels.
Dig holes for your hostas. Dig holes that are one foot deep and one and half times as wide as the expected width of the plant. This varies from hosta to hosta, but generally, a hole that is 2-3 feet wide will suffice.
Take the hostas out of their current containers. Shake away all the soil from the container. Do not use it in the planting site. Then, untangle the roots. If the roots are compact in a ball shape, make some vertical cuts with shears to help loosen them.
Plant the hostas. You should plant them as deep as they were planted in the container, so you may need to backfill some of your soil before setting the plant in the hole. Place the plants in the holes and spread out their roots a bit. Backfill the soil and pat it down until firm. If you received your plants in the mail, then soak the roots for 30 minutes prior to planting.
Water the newly planted hostas well and keep them watered the first couple of weeks. Afterwards, rain should suffice, unless you experience an unusually dry spell.