is an easy-to-grow, long-lived, shade-loving perennial that is prized for its colorful leaves. Other common names are plantain lily and funkia.
About This Plant
An ideal foliage plant for shady areas, hosta grows well under deciduous trees, in borders, and as a ground cover. Foliage height ranges from 6 inches to 3 feet, with taller flower spikes appearing in early to mid summer. Foliage colors range from chartreuse to deep blue-green, and many varieties have striking variegation. Flower colors include white and lavender; some flowers have a sweet scent. Because hosta is a favored food of slugs, snails, and deer, control measures may be required.
Easy care/low maintenance
Select a site with light to full shade and moist, well-drained soil.
Plant in spring, spacing plants 1 to 3 feet apart, depending on the variety. Prepare the garden bed by using a garden fork or tiller to loosen the soil to a depth of 12 to 15 inches, then mix in a 2- to 4-inch layer of compost. Dig a hole twice the diameter of the pot the plant is in. Carefully remove the plant from its container and place it in the hole so the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface. Carefully fill in around the root ball and firm the soil gently. Water thoroughly.
Apply a thin layer of compost each spring, followed by a 2-inch layer of mulch to retain moisture and control weeds. Water plants during the summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week. After the first killing frost, cut plant back to an inch or two above soil line. Divide plants every 3 to 4 years as new growth begins in the spring, lifting plants and dividing them into clumps.
« Return to the Plant Care Guides Home Page