The Q&A Archives: Why isn't this hosta growing?

Question: This June, I planted a Blue Mouse Ears hosta in a garden that receives about 2 hours of sun. Never tested the soil, but we mixed alot of compost in, as the soil has alot of clay content. I fertilized it, watered well in the first weeks of planting. It's just not growing, maybe it's 1/2 inch bigger circumference wise. It did have a little shoot on it that probably would have bloomed had it not been knocked off by me. Should it receive more sun, test soil, or just be patient? Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Marie Hengst

Answer: Based on your description I think it is a matter of patience. It takes a year or so for a new plant to become established and begin to grow its best. Too, this is such a small variety that you may not see huge gains in size from year to year -- mature size is only about a foot across. With new hostas it is most important to water to supplement rain as needed so the soil stays evenly moist like a wrung out sponge -- not sopping wet or saturated but never dried out. Using an organic mulch about two inches thick will also help keep the soil more evenly moist and also feed the soil slowly as it breaks down. Also, this is a "blue" hosta -- these do best in shade or just a bit of dappled sun or gentle morning sun. If the direct sun it receives is afternoon sun, that could be stressful due to the intensity. Enjoy your hosta!

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