How to - Gardening Resources

20 hot hosta cultivars

These hardy, shade-tolerant perennials are a versatile addition to any garden

Hostas 101

Cultivation: prefer rich, moist, well-drained soil, but very tolerant of various soil types, humidity and hot and cold temperature extremes

Location: full sun to part shade

Flowers: tubular or bell-shaped; white or shades of lavender; some fragrant. Cultivars bloom for several weeks from June to early fall

hostas-inset-ch2-400.jpgFertilize: with general purpose 10-10-10 granular fertilizer; top-dress with compost in fall; supplement with liquid feed if needed

Bare root plants
: should be soaked in tepid water for 30 minutes before planting. Spread roots over a mound of soil at bottom of planting hole; backfill with compost or rich garden soil; firm gently. Water well

Container plants: dig planting hole twice as wide as pot and 30 centimetres deep; loosen soil around hole to a size equal to mature plant width. If potbound, gently spread out roots and plant hosta at same depth as it was in the container; gently firm soil. Water well

Foliage: deciduous; some cultivars are late to emerge in spring. Fall colour varies from pale to bright gold, bronze and orange

Divide: hostas in spring, except for H. sieboldiana and H. 'Tokudama' cultivars and other less-vigorous hostas, which should be divided in early to midsummer. Keep divisions to a generous size for best growth (when dividing in summer, cut larger leaves in half to reduce moisture loss) 

Size 'em up
miniature types = less than 30 cm tall and wide
small types = 30 to 60 cm tall and wide
medium types = 60 to 100 cm tall and wide
large types = more than 100 cm tall and wide

Photos, from top: 'Risky Business' and 'English Sunrise,' courtesy of Margot Dargatz of Hosta Choice Gardens


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