How To Grow Hostas
Posted by Landscaping Ideas on 19th January 2012
Hostas are one of the most frequently used landscaping elements. These attractive plants are available in a variety of sizes and colors. In addition to their unparalleled aesthetic appeal, they are also notoriously hearty, making them a fine choice for landscaping projects of all sorts in a wide variety of locations.
However, the strong hosta is not invincible. If you fail to treat your hostas properly, you can experience disappointing results. Hostas can become one of the most attractive parts of your overall plan if they are treated correctly. Let us look at a few tips for growing the best possible hostas for your landscaping needs. We will consider three general areas of hosta plant care: sunlight issues, planting considerations and pest control.
The hosta plant is tolerant of shade, but will grow better when sunlight is available. If you place your hostas in a deeply shaded area, they may survive. However, they will not thrive. Ideally, you will find a hosta location that provides sunshine in the morning and shade during the hotter afternoon hours. The plants are quite receptive to that arrangement.
When hostas are placed in full afternoon sun, they can burn. This decreases their attractiveness and limits their potential for growth. Although hosta plants will handle up to six hours of sunlight per day, you should try to limit that exposure to earlier time periods.
When planting your hostas, make sure they have adequate room to grow. One of the most common errors in handling hosta plants is failing to consider the eventual size of the mature plant. You should plant your hostas in holes that are at least a full foot in depth. The hole should be approximately two times the anticipated width of the fully grown plant. If you keep quarters too tight, the plant will not thrive.
The soil itself is important, too. Hostas grow best in well-drained, nutrient-rich soils with a slightly elevated pH level. They do require regular watering and application of a good balanced fertilizer (preferably in granular form) is recommended on a regular basis. Hostas will grow without the added nutrients in many cases, but they are far more likely to reach their full potential when the landscaper optimizes conditions for them. Different varieties of hostas may have slightly different needs. Thus, it is a good idea to do some specific research regarding the varieties you are considering for your landscape in order to handle planting as effectively as possible.
Hostas are tough, but they are not invulnerable to attack. Hostas can fall prey to pests. They seem to be particularly attractive to snails and slugs. These pests often avoid detection until signs of damage emerge. It is a good idea to use special bait/pesticides around the base of your hostas to keep them safe from these predators. These products are widely available at most hardware, garden and home stores. There are organic products and deterrents available, too, for those who prefer to pursue other options. Those products tend to be slightly less effective, but if used correctly can deter attacks from snails and slugs.
In more rural areas, slightly bigger predators may also victimize hostas. Deer and other wildlife have a distinct appreciation for hosta plants and can also be a problem. There is little you can reasonably do at the point of the actual plant to prevent these intrusions, but if wildlife is disrupting your landscape, you will want to consider appropriate fencing and protection for the area.
Hostas make a perfect addition to many landscapes. Their beauty and resilience make them an attractive part of many plans. Following these tips for hosta growth will help you get the most out of these wonderful plants.