Tell us your Favorite Shade Plants: Hostas are the back bone of my shade garden

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Tell us your Favorite Shade Plants

By dave
January 20, 2016

We're putting together a list of the ATP members' favorite shade plants! Come on in and read how to nominate your favorites! We will later publish a final article on the top picks.

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Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
Grandchildren are my greatest joy.
Charter ATP Member Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Echinacea Vegetable Grower Hybridizer
Tomato Heads Garden Photography Birds Cut Flowers Foliage Fan Plays in the sandbox
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Paul2032
Jan 22, 2016 12:16 PM CST
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Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Mika
Oxfordshire, England and Mento
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Critters Allowed Daylilies Irises Roses Hostas
Birds Multi-Region Gardener Cat Lover Dog Lover Ponds Foliage Fan
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cliftoncat
Jan 22, 2016 12:39 PM CST
Gorgeous Lovey dubby
Name: Karen
NM , AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Garden Art
Plumerias Hibiscus Houseplants Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Dog Lover Cat Lover
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plantmanager
Jan 22, 2016 12:41 PM CST
Gorgeous! I've always wanted to try hostas at my New Mexico place. Do you think rabbits and deer would eat them? It's so ugly trying to fence everything off from them.
Handcrafted Coastal Inspired Art SeaMosaics!
Name: Mika
Oxfordshire, England and Mento
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Critters Allowed Daylilies Irises Roses Hostas
Birds Multi-Region Gardener Cat Lover Dog Lover Ponds Foliage Fan
Image
cliftoncat
Jan 22, 2016 12:48 PM CST
Karen, we have both rabbits and deer, but no fences against them. We occasionally have a little damage from rabbits nibbling on our hostas, but in the main they seem to prefer the grass in our lawns. The deer we have are not many in number, and I get so delighted to see them that I don't mind them eating a few plants - that said, they seem to like the roses best. By far the biggest pest for our hostas are slugs (they LOVE hostas and their damage is very unsightly) but we have been able to stop them in their tracks by using mineralised straw mulch. We used to use copper rings, but our hosta collection grew too big to keep it affordable.
Name: Karen
NM , AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Garden Art
Plumerias Hibiscus Houseplants Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Dog Lover Cat Lover
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plantmanager
Jan 22, 2016 1:00 PM CST
Thank you for that info, Mika. I may try some here. They're all so green and beautiful! Do they take a lot of water, or only a medium amount? We are on a very iffy well and it doesn't rain enough to collect rainwater.
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
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tarev
Jan 22, 2016 1:28 PM CST
Karen, in my very dry area, yes, it will need a bit more watering, with the very low humidity. It is the thermal heat that is not good for it especially when we start hitting the high 90's to triple digit and very dry, leaves will start wrinkling bad and plants will just slow down, just too dry for it, even in shade. And my other enemy as already mentioned by others are the slugs. I grew mine in a container before, also experimenting then how the plant will behave here.

You may want to put several layers of mulch to help hold the moisture around the plant, and use a soaker hose if you are planting inground, and position in your shadiest side of the garden.
Name: Mika
Oxfordshire, England and Mento
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Critters Allowed Daylilies Irises Roses Hostas
Birds Multi-Region Gardener Cat Lover Dog Lover Ponds Foliage Fan
Image
cliftoncat
Jan 22, 2016 1:39 PM CST
Karen, have a look at this - it's from a website for Mickfield Hostas, national collection holder of hostas in England, and includes all sorts of useful info on growing hostas in less than ideal conditions. I've found it very helpful and I think it may have something for you, too.

http://www.mickfieldhostas.co.uk/planting_ideas.htm
Name: Karen
NM , AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Garden Art
Plumerias Hibiscus Houseplants Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
plantmanager
Jan 22, 2016 2:03 PM CST
Thank you Tarev and Mika. Good information. I was thinking of planting in ground, but below the plants I could add granular fertilizer and those water holding crystals to help keep them hydrated. I could even add a mister over them if it would help. It's close to a water bibb. Mulching is a good idea too. I'm always trying things that need a lot of extra work, lol!
Handcrafted Coastal Inspired Art SeaMosaics!
Name: Rose
Oquawka, IL (Zone 5a)
Garden Photography Echinacea Dahlias Clematis Region: Illinois Hibiscus
Heucheras Charter ATP Member Birds Hummingbirder Hostas Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Rose1656
Jan 22, 2016 3:41 PM CST
Beautiful as always Paul. Any plans for new ones this year, or are you out of room? I have some ordered but I'm trying to keep it small until I find out about my shoulder... Sighing!
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
Grandchildren are my greatest joy.
Charter ATP Member Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Echinacea Vegetable Grower Hybridizer
Tomato Heads Garden Photography Birds Cut Flowers Foliage Fan Plays in the sandbox
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Paul2032
Jan 22, 2016 4:47 PM CST
Rose....I will probably get a FEW new ones this year but my room is full.........
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Debbie
Manitoba, Canada (Zone 3a)
Hostas Cat Lover Annuals Bulbs Container Gardener Critters Allowed
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Houseplants Foliage Fan Butterflies Bee Lover Native Plants and Wildflowers
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DebbieC
Jan 22, 2016 8:11 PM CST
Paul,
Fantastic specimens! What is the variety front and centre in your first pick? It is absolutely stunning. And, your Corydalis and Hakonechloa are lovely companions. Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
Grandchildren are my greatest joy.
Charter ATP Member Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Echinacea Vegetable Grower Hybridizer
Tomato Heads Garden Photography Birds Cut Flowers Foliage Fan Plays in the sandbox
Image
Paul2032
Jan 23, 2016 7:04 AM CST
Good morning ......Debbie, in the first picture there are two plants of Great Expectations. Thanks for the kind comments everyone.......
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Susie
Leonard, Minnesota (Zone 3b)
Composter Hellebores Garden Art Irises Xeriscape Echinacea
Sedums Foliage Fan Herbs Dahlias Frogs and Toads Bee Lover
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4susiesjoy
Jan 23, 2016 9:13 AM CST
I think, for me, it would be a sad shade garden without hosta. The spears when they are coming up, the leaves as they are unfolding, the variety of leaf colors and shapes, then the flowers toward fall, all are fascinating to watch. They are, as Paul said, the backbone of my shade gardens.




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Name: Debbie
Manitoba, Canada (Zone 3a)
Hostas Cat Lover Annuals Bulbs Container Gardener Critters Allowed
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Houseplants Foliage Fan Butterflies Bee Lover Native Plants and Wildflowers
Image
DebbieC
Jan 23, 2016 10:12 AM CST
Oh my Paul, Great Expectations, I'm even more impressed as I know it can be a difficult Hosta to grow. Wonderful.
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
Grandchildren are my greatest joy.
Charter ATP Member Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Echinacea Vegetable Grower Hybridizer
Tomato Heads Garden Photography Birds Cut Flowers Foliage Fan Plays in the sandbox
Image
Paul2032
Jan 23, 2016 10:29 AM CST
I think Great Expectations might have a reputation that is doesn't fully deserve. It is a somewhat slow grower but is attractive as a small plant so has garden value each year as it matures. I have 4 in my garden and a friend here has several mature specimens.
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
Grandchildren are my greatest joy.
Charter ATP Member Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Echinacea Vegetable Grower Hybridizer
Tomato Heads Garden Photography Birds Cut Flowers Foliage Fan Plays in the sandbox
Image
Paul2032
Jan 23, 2016 10:33 AM CST
Here are a few more Hosta combos with other plants....some Mouse Ears Hosta and Corydalis lutea.........



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Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Marilyn
Greenwood Village, CO (Zone 5b)
Garden today. Clean next week.
Garden Procrastinator Region: Colorado Heucheras Region: Southwest Gardening Container Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Sempervivums Annuals Foliage Fan Herbs Garden Ideas: Level 2
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CDsSister
Jan 23, 2016 2:51 PM CST
Paul I love your Hosta garden photos. Until I got tired of planting annuals, which were for me, impatiens, coleus, geraniums (in the least shady spots) and a few others, I needed something perennial and it was through the discussion of shade plants and your pictures that I was inspired to grow hostas. Now I am a true convert to these wonderful plants and aspire to have a garden full of them.

Thank You! Thank You!
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
Grandchildren are my greatest joy.
Charter ATP Member Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Echinacea Vegetable Grower Hybridizer
Tomato Heads Garden Photography Birds Cut Flowers Foliage Fan Plays in the sandbox
Image
Paul2032
Jan 23, 2016 3:04 PM CST
I have several beds of Hostas in my yard. One runs along the north side of my House. For many years the bed was my growing area for Tuberous Begonias which I so dearly love but one year My tubers weren't taken care of properly and I couldn't find a source for those wonderful American Hybrid tubers so I planted Hostas. I dearly miss my begonias but the Hostas are a nice replacement and require less attention.
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Cayuga
Massachusetts (Zone 6a)
Cayuga
Jan 24, 2016 7:23 PM CST
Paul, Your hostas are lovely. I like how healthy they all look & how you have interspersed them with other perennials.

I have one hosta that I like in particular: Hosta montana 'Aureomarginata'. I like it because it is relatively deer resistent, the leaves stand up high in the garden & you can grow other plants beneath it, and it has variegated foliage so it makes a nice show.

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Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
Grandchildren are my greatest joy.
Charter ATP Member Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Echinacea Vegetable Grower Hybridizer
Tomato Heads Garden Photography Birds Cut Flowers Foliage Fan Plays in the sandbox
Image
Paul2032
Jan 24, 2016 7:31 PM CST
Montana Aureomarginata is one of my favorites also.....
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah

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