Hostas are perennial garden plants native to woodland areas of Asia and valued for their tolerance to shade, longevity and ease of care in the home landscape. Hardy in zones 3 through 8, hostas thrive in most areas of the United States with only minimal care once established. Hosta leaves come in a variety of different colors from yellow-green to dark green, depending on the variety. Although commonly regarded as foliage plants, hostas also produce fragrant flowers in early summer through fall in shades of white to purple.
Plant hostas during early spring in a location that receives full morning sun and partial afternoon shade when temperatures peak. Ensure the planting site consists of well-drained, fertile soil for optimal growth. Space hostas 1 to 3 feet apart.
Apply a 2-inch layer of organic mulch to the soil surrounding hostas to insulate the roots, deter weeds and conserve moisture. Start the layer at least 2 inches from the base of the plant to minimize the chance of disease.
Water hostas about 2 inches per week, but only on weeks that receive less than 1 inch of natural rainfall. Decrease the frequency of watering to once every two weeks during winter, when the plant is not growing actively.
Feed hostas during early spring, just after active growth resumes, using a slow-release fertilizer. Water both before and after applying to release the nutrients into the soil. Apply at the rate described by the manufacturer's directions.
Remove spent flower stalks whenever possible to encourage the production of flowers instead of seeds. Pinch off the flowers near their point of origin to reduce the risk of disease and minimize damage.