How to Plant Hosta Bulbs


Hostas are most desired for their striking, large leaves and bold foliage. Available in cultivars with variegated combinations of celadon, lime, emerald, chartreuse, blue-green and even white, the hosta also provides pretty spikes of pale flowers as an added bonus. These shade lovers offer mounds of elegance and color to fill out your cool garden areas.

Step 1

Choose a site with good drainage and filtered sun to full shade.

Step 2

Work the soil to a depth of about 1 foot. Add organic matter to the soil and mix well; hostas require a rich medium to grow their prized foliage.

Step 3

Dig a hole about 1 foot deep. Make sure the hole is wide enough for the roots to spread out comfortably.

Step 4

Prepare to plant bare root hosta starts by making a small hill of soil at the bottom of the hole. Gently spread the roots out over the mound, ensuring that the foliage base rests right at soil level. Fill in around the roots and firm the soil.

Step 5

Remove hosta plants from their container and loosen the roots, separating any clumps. Gently shake excess soil from the roots and spread them out in the hole. Back fill the hole and firm soil.

Step 6

Plant hostas 1 to 3 feet apart to allow for mature growth.

Step 7

Water the freshly planted starts. Carefully monitor hostas for adequate hydration, especially if they are planted near trees or shrubs that will be sharing the water supply.

Step 8

Apply a balanced, slow release fertilizer when planting, typically in early spring or fall. Always fertilize at the base of the hosta and never over the leaves; fertilizer can burn or damage them.

Things You'll Need

  • Hosta start
  • Organic matter
  • Slow release fertilizer


  • Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet, Growing Hostas
  • University of Illinois HortAnswers, Plantain Lily, Hosta
  • Clemson University Cooperative Extension, Hosta
Keywords: plant hostas, care for hostas, growing hostas

About this Author

Desirae Roy began writing in 2009. After earning certification as an interpreter for the deaf, Roy earned a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from Eastern Washington University. Part of her general studies included a botany course leading to a passion for the natural world.