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How to Plant Hostas Bulbs

By Traci Joy ; Updated September 21, 2017
Hostas prefer morning sun and afternoon shade.
Hosta image by Michele Maakestad from Fotolia.com

Hosta bulbs are actually tubers. The top end of the tuber is shaped like a small carrot and long roots hang from the bottom. Hostas come in different varieties and foliage colors. Dwarf hostas grow to a height of 6 inches, while other hostas grow 2 1/2 feet tall. No matter what type of hosta bulb, or tuber, you plant, they all have the same basic gardening requirements.

Select a location for your hostas that receives morning sun and afternoon shade, and has well-drained soil.

Till the soil to a depth of 12 inches. Add 6 inches of compost or manure and work it into the loosened soil, leaving you with a slightly raised planting site.

Dig a hole 12 inches deep and three to four times wider than the tuber. Build up a mound of dirt inside the hole so the top of the hosta tuber will sit 1 inch under the soil level.

Shake the roots of your hosta and gently spread them out over the mound inside the hole.

Fill in the hole with composted soil. If your hosta tuber is already growing foliage, plant it at a depth where the soil level meets the crown. If you are planting a tuber, cover it with approximately 1 inch of soil. Pat the dirt down securely.

Water well so the soil is moist at least 4 inches deep. If any soil sinks into the hole, add more soil and tap it down well. After the initial watering, water with a minimum of 1 inch of water per week.

Fertilize your hostas, if you wish, with a 10-10-10 fertilizer. Apply a granular slow-release fertilizer every few months, or apply a liquid fertilizer every seven to 10 days. Check the label on your particular brand for the proper amount to use.


Things You Will Need

  • Rototiller or shovel
  • Compost or manure
  • Fertilizer


  • It can take up to eight years for a hosta plant to fully mature.


  • Hostas make great snacks for deer and rabbits, so keep that in mind when selecting your planting location.

About the Author


A certified nutritionist who majored in health, fitness and nutrition, Traci Vandermark has been writing articles in her specialty fields since 1998. Her articles have appeared both online and in print for publications such as Simple Abundance, "Catskill Country Magazine," "Birds and Blooms," "Cappers" and "Country Discoveries."