How to Garden Hosta Plants


Hosta is a genus of shade-loving perennial plants in the lily family. They are prized for their foliage that unfurls in a wide range of colors and patterns, their long life and their easy care. Hostas thrive in moist, humus-rich soil and are hardy in USDA Zones 3 through 8. Hostas are long-lived and propagate themselves via underground rhizomes. They can be dug and divided into multiple new plants every few years, making establishment of a large colony possible.

Step 1

Choose a planting location for your hosta that affords filtered or dappled sunlight to complete shade conditions daily.

Step 2

Plant in multiples and drifts or mass for dramatic ground cover effect. Under-plant hostas around specimen trees and as understory in woodland gardens.

Step 3

Provide a nutrient-rich soil that is high in organic content. Amend the soil with significant amounts of well-aged manure and compost to create healthy growing conditions. For hostas already established in the soil, top dress the base of the plant each year with a few pounds of compost and/or aged manure.

Step 4

Water your hostas regularly, keeping the soil evenly moist an inch down--but not soaking wet--at all times throughout the growing season.

Step 5

Feed your hostas once or twice per year with a slow-release complete and balanced fertilizer such as a 10-10-10. Apply according to label dosing instructions and water in deeply.

Step 6

Mulch around the base of your hosta plants every year with at least two inches of organic material such as shredded bark, leaf mold or cocoa bean hulls. Mulch will boost the soil nutrition and hold moisture in reducing the need for irrigation.

Things You'll Need

  • Aged manure
  • Compost
  • Balanced slow release fertilizer
  • Organic mulch


  • Purdue University: Hosta Has Much To Recommend It
  • Ohio State University: Growing Hostas
  • University of Vermont: Hosta
Keywords: hosta lily, shade loving perennial plant, plant garden grow care

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An omni-curious communications professional, Dena Kane has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals, as well as film and broadcast media. Kane studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.