The Q&A Archives: Shade for Hostas

Question: I have a small section of my

Answer: While you're waiting for the tree to grow large enough to shade your hostas, why not plant some clumping bamboo? Golden variegated-leaf bamboo (Pleioblastus auricomus or P. viridistriatus) is not as aggressive as other running bamboos. This dwarf plant has slender purple-green canes and sulphur-yellow leaves striped with pale green. The plant grows to about three feet high.

This is an excellent subject for a container or for a low hedge. It is very showy in a the garden and good companion plants are yellow-spotted ligularia, ferns, hostas and hellebores.

The more sun the plant receives, the brighter the color of the leaves. This plant should be grown in humus-rich, moist, well-drained soil. In late winter or early spring cut back the old canes to encourage new, brighter leaves. The plant creeps slowly. To be absolutely sure that the plant doesn't escape and invade other areas, install a barrier around the root system if you plant it in the ground.

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