The hosta plant is famous for its large foliage and spikes of lavender to pink flowers. Hosta is a robust and enduring landscaping perennial, a plant that tolerates shade well and is easy for the beginning gardener to grow successfully. The large leaves come in an array of colors depending on the particular species and hosta goes well when grown in combination with other plants such as begonias, tulips, daffodils and impatiens. You can purchase hosta at your local garden center and plant them yourself, keeping in mind a few points to ensure your hostas will thrive.
Choose a spot to plant your hosta that receives shade in the afternoon after having some exposure to the sun in the morning. Hostas do well in the shade but being in total shade stunts their growth. A combination of sun and shade is the optimal scenario for hosta. Those with blue leaves can withstand more shade; the gold, yellow and white leaf varieties are much more tolerant of the sun.
Prepare the hosta’s bed in organic soil, if possible. Add such organic matter as manure, compost and leaf mold. Till as much as 6 inches of this organic matter into the hosta bed, with the total depth of the bed tilled to as deep as 16 inches.
Dig the hole for your hosta plant a foot deep into the ground that you prepared for it. Make the hole wide to account for the horizontal root expansion the plant will experience. Take the hosta out of its container and shake any soil adhering to the roots loose before planting the hosta in the hole. Try to keep the hosta at a similar level as it was in its container, with the spot on the hosta where the leaves begin kept just above ground level.
Water your hosta well immediately after planting it. Remember to ensure your hosta gets at least 1 inch of water each week, with those in sandy soils needing more than an inch because of the drainage conditions. Water your hosta during the early part of the day and try to stay on a regular schedule for the best results.
Watch your plants carefully for signs of the effects of not enough watering. The hosta leaves will droop if this is the case and the tips will exhibit signs of “burning,” changing color since they are the part of the plant furthest from the root system. Compensate with more water to alleviate this problem.