Hostas

Hosta is a genus of plants commonly known as hostas, plantain lilies and occasionally by the Japanese name gibōshi. Hostas are widely cultivated as shade-tolerant foliage plants. The genus is currently placed in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Agavoideae, and is native to northeast Asia. The genus was named by Austrian botanist Leopold Trattinnick in 1812, in honor of the Austrian botanist Nicholas Thomas Host.



Hosta is a clump-forming plant that grows from rhizomatous roots. It produces blooms on long stalks that extend well above the clumping foliage in late spring or summer, but the foliage is the main attraction. Among the hundreds of hosta cultivars, there are fast-, medium-. and slow-growing varieties. Smaller varieties tend to grow fastest and can reach their mature size in three to five years; larger types may take five to seven years. Hostas can be planted in early spring or as soon as the heat of summer ends in early fall.


Table of Contents


Height(Avg)

6 - 48 inches


Width-Circumference (Avg)

Upto 8 feet


Approximate pH

6.0 - 7.5


Types of Hosta


Hostas are low-growing, clump-forming perennial plants grown mostly for their lovely foliage, but beyond this, a single description is almost impossible, since there are over 2,000 varieties available in a wide range of sizes. The foliage colors can vary from pale yellow to the deepest of blue-greens, with many variegated forms also available. Leaf shapes can be anything from long and sword-like to huge and round with corrugated textures.


Growers generally categorize hostas by size:

  • Miniature: plants that mature to less than 9 inches tall

  • Small: plants that mature to 9 to 15 inches tall

  • Medium: plants that mature to 16 to 21 inches tall

  • Large: plants that mature to 22 to 29 inches tall

  • Giant: plants that mature to 30-plus inches tall; some grow as much as 48 inches in height


Some of the hosta varieties include:


Whirlwind



Growing up to 40 inches wide and 20 feet high, Whirlwind is unique because its leaves change in color throughout the season from lime green to creamy white and finally, light or dark green near the end of the summer. Its foliage is its biggest asset, which is likely why it has won so many international flower awards.


Komodo Dragon



Being one of the largest Hostas, these have impressive, vase-shaped mounds of leaves that are deeply ridged and blue-green in color. They have very pale lavender, funnel-shaped blooms and are resistant to slugs. In addition, Komodo Dragon spreads seven feet in width and does great as a specimen, or anywhere else in your shade garden.


Halcyon



The blue-green leaves of Hosta Halcyon will brighten up your shady space. The plant grows pale lavender flowers in late summer, supported by mauve-gray stalks. It grows 18 to 24 inches tall in clumps up to 3 feet wide.


Crispula



This Curled Hosta type is a low-care plant, which grows dark green foliage with off-white edges. These large and wavy leaves make excellent groundcovers, especially in dappled shade.


Wide Brim



With broad, dome-shaped leaves that are slightly puckered, this Hosta plant is very popular in arrangements because of its shape and unique wide margin. It has won several international flower awards, and it can grow up to 40 inches wide and two feet tall. Again, watching for snails and slugs is important with this plant.


Fire Island



With dense, heart-shaped leaves in pale yellow, they turn to chartreuse as the season progresses. Its bright red stems complement its leaves, and its lavender blooms come out in late summer. The winner of several international flower awards, Fire Islands look great as a small specimen and grow 14 inches tall and almost three feet in width.


Golden Tiara



With leaves that are oval- to heart-shaped, they are green in the center and chartreuse in the margins. Their summer blooms are deep purple in color and their scapes are two feet long. Unlike other Hostas, Golden Tiara can tolerate dry conditions and does very well in containers. It is also the recipient of many international flower awards and is a very popular type of Hosta.


Guacamole



This plant is easy to grow and has leaves that are chartreuse-gold and irregular margins that are dark green in color. They also contain chartreuse streaks that head towards their center, and they are about two feet high. Guacamole has received several international flower awards and grows to over four feet in width. It also grows white, funnel-shaped blooms that are both very large and very fragrant. This plant is great for containers and groundcover.


Elegans



Elegans is a much broader plant, growing as wide as 4-5 feet under the right conditions. The large, heart-shaped leaves are glossy, textured, and feature a blue-green hue.


Blue Angel



With beautiful, dark blue-green or blue-grey leaves, this plant consists of oval- to wedge-shaped leaves that are highly textured and have prominent veins. They grow up to three feet high and almost six feet wide, and they have won numerous international flower awards. A favorite of gardeners, Blue Angel makes the perfect background plant.


Blue Ivory



The deep blue leaves of this plant have creamy white margins and are very eye-catching. The margins turn bright white in the summertime, and summer also brings out its flowers, which are lavender in color and star-shaped, with scapes that are two feet high. A slow-growing but truly spectacular plant, the foliage can grow up to 30 inches wide and 16 inches high, and it makes a beautiful edging or groundcover.


Frances Williams



With heart-shaped, strong-veined leaves in blue-green and greenish-yellow with creamy white margins, this clump-forming perennial develops pale lilac blooms in the summer and grows over four feet wide and 32 inches tall. They are an award-winning plant that looks great in shady borders or in containers.


Paradigm



These beautiful chartreuse leaves with dark green margins turn golden-yellow as the season progresses, and the leaves are satiny and seer-suckered. Their funnel-shaped, pale lavender flowers come out in midsummer, and the plant itself grows up to three feet wide and 20 inches tall. The winner of several international flower awards, Paradigm makes a beautiful edging, and it is attractive to both songbirds and hummingbirds.


Geisha



With elongated, narrow leaves of golden-yellow and dark olive green, they twist slightly towards the tip and are quite elegant. In late summer they develop blooms of pale violet which are star-like and sit atop scapes over two feet high. The plant itself grows three feet wide and 18 inches in height. Perfect as groundcover or edging, Geisha does best in full- to partial shade and rich, moist soil.

Patriot



This Hosta plant has dark green leaves with creamy white margins, and their summer blooms are lavender-blue and rise well above the foliage itself. Patriot has a spread of over four feet wide and grows up to 20 inches in height. The winner of several international flower awards, this plant is great for shady borders and use in containers, and you need also to watch out for snails and slugs.


Paul’s Glory



This plant has dense, heart-shaped leaves that change from blue-green and chartreuse to bright golden-yellow with dark green edges. Its trumpet-shaped, pale lavender blooms show up in late summer and sit atop scapes that are 40 inches long. It has won numerous international flower awards, and it seems to be more slug-resistant than other Hostas. It is also attractive to songbirds and hummingbirds.


Alligator Alley



With a foliage mound that grows up to 18 inches high and scapes up to 28 inches high, this Hosta has heart-shaped leaves that are leathery in nature with a chartreuse center. The center turns to bright yellow in the summertime. It is a vigorous, sturdy plant that prefers part- to full shade and looks great in a mixed container.


Angel Falls



This perennial consists of a dense, round mound that has creamy white leaves and wide, dark-green margins. They have bell-shaped lavender flowers that bloom in the summer and are set on top of scapes that can grow up to 2 feet tall. With a spread of 38 inches, the mound can grow up to 16 inches tall and looks great in a landscape.


August Moon



These plants are easy to grow and can grow up to 20 inches tall. They have thick, asymmetrical leaves that are chartreuse in color, but they change to soft yellow or golden yellow according to how bright the sun is. August Moon grows quickly and vigorously, and its bell-shaped flowers appear in the summer in colors such as pale lavender and white.


Blue Mouse Ears



With thick, almost round, blue-green leaves, it is one of the smallest of the Hosta plants with leaves only three inches long. In summer, violet bell-shaped blooms appear that have lavender stripes. Because of its size, Blue Mouse Ears is a must for small gardens and has also won several international flower awards.


Bridal Falls



With pie crust-shaped edgings and deeply colored veins throughout, the leaves are green and hearty looking with creamy white edges. In midsummer it grows elegant, funnel-shaped flowers in lavender, and they are set on scapes that reach as tall as 44 inches. The plant itself is roughly four feet wide and looks beautiful in mixed containers or in a garden bed.


Brother Stefan



The thick, heavily seer-suckered green leaves have bright yellow-gold centers that resemble handprints. In late spring or early summer, blooms appear that are pure white in color and bell-shaped. The plant grows up to 20 inches tall and three feet wide, and makes a great highlight to a garden that has other green plants in it.


Captain Kirk



These plants grow quickly and hardily, and the oval-shaped leaves overlap and have dimples and distinct veins. They start out as bright green but turn to chartreuse, then golden-yellow, then ivory over time. Pale lavender flowers appear in summer on scapes that are 30 inches tall, and the plant grows to 20 inches in height and three feet in width.


Dancing Queen



With large mounds of satiny, bright yellow leaves, their edges look like pie crusts and they can grow up to 18 inches in height. With a width of 30 inches, the plant grows lighter in color as the season progresses and develops pale lavender flowers in mid- to late summer. The ever-changing color of the foliage is this plant’s biggest asset, and it can brighten up any garden or mixed container.


Designer Genes



With red stems and golden yellow leaves, this plant is shiny above and matte below. The leaves become more chartreuse the more the season progresses, and its summer blooms are lavender and funnel-shaped, and placed atop scapes that are two feet high. Designer Genes grows up to 18 inches tall and 12 inches wide and is perfect for small gardens and containers.


Earth Angel



With beautiful blue-green leaves and creamy white margins, their summer blooms are pale lavender or white and sit atop 40-inch-high scapes. The plant is fairly large and grows up to 30 inches high and 40 inches wide, and is popular in part because it makes a perfect specimen. There is little wonder it has won international flower awards in the past.


Empress Wu



These plants are very impressive due to their size. Their thick, dark blue-green leaves are 1 ½ feet long, and its early- to mid-summer blooms are funnel-shaped and bright red-violet in color. The plant spreads 5-6 feet in width and grows 3-4 feet high, which is quite impressive by any standard.


Enterprise



Growing almost four feet wide and 20 inches tall, the leaf mounds are heart-shaped and green with creamy white margins and chartreuse streaks. Its midsummer blooms are dainty and lavender in color, and the plant looks spectacular in mixed containers or in a garden bed. It is slug-resistant and cheerful-looking, and does best in partial shade and moist, well-drained soil.


Fire and Ice



An upright, clump-forming perennial, the leaves are oval-shaped and creamy to pure white in color with dark green margins. Its funnel-shaped lavender blooms come out in summer, and it grows eight inches tall and twelve inches wide. If you have a small garden, this is a perfect complement to it.


First Frost



These plants look great until the first frost, and their heart-shaped blue-green leaves have yellow-gold margins and are roughly seven inches long. The winner of several international flower awards, the plant has funnel-shaped pale lavender blooms that first appear in midsummer. It grows up to three feet wide and 16 inches tall, and its unique foliage allows you to place it anywhere.


First Mate



This plant’s leaves are dense, long, and narrow, and come with dark green margins and creamy yellow centers. In mid- to late summer, it grows lavender, star-shaped flowers that sit on two-foot-long scapes, and the plants grow up to two feet wide and ten inches in height. Because of their upright appearance, placing them in an area that shows off their foliage is a smart choice.


Francee



Arching in nature and with leaves that are dark green with narrow white margins, the plant grows up to 21 inches tall and over four feet in width. One of the reasons why they are so popular is because they grow rapidly, and their pale lavender blooms in the summer increase their attractiveness. The winner of several international flower awards, Francee is perfect for landscaping and for use in containers.


Gold Standard



This plant has dense, overlapping, slightly cupped chartreuse leaves with dark green margins. Their midsummer blooms are funnel-shaped and pink-lavender in color, and they grow up to 41 inches wide and 22 inches in height. The winner of several international flower awards, Gold Standard looks great in borders or containers.


Humpback Whale



These are among the largest of the Hostas, with a dome-shaped mound of leaves that are blue-green in color. During the summer, their blooms are bell-shaped and almost perfectly white, and the plant can grow up to three feet in height. At approximately seven feet in width, they are difficult not to notice, and they look great as a specimen.


June



Compact with variegations of blue-green leaves and splashes of bright yellow and greenish-yellow, their blooms are lavender and bell-shaped, and the plant grows up to 25 inches tall and 28 inches wide. The winner of several international flower awards, June looks great in cottage gardens or coastal gardens.


Liberty



These plants have heart-shaped, broad leaves that are 12 inches long and have golden yellow margins which turn to ivory later in the season. The winner of several international flower awards, Liberty grows to 26 inches tall and 39 inches wide, and its summer blooms are lavender and funnel-shaped, sitting atop scapes that are 40 inches long. It is best known for its foliage, which is eye-catching to say the least.


Mama Mia



With broad, heart-shaped leaves that are dark green with golden-yellow margins that turn to creamy white later on, Mama Mia is perfect for edging or groundcover. They are not resistant to snails and slugs, so you’ll need to keep an eye out for those, but the plant is easy to grow and quite striking in appearance.


Maui Buttercups



Very popular with gardeners who love small Hostas, these plants have cupped, golden-yellow leaves that are thick and heavy, and which are resistant to slugs. Their nearly lily-white blooms appear in summer, and they look beautiful in containers. They also grow 14 inches wide and a little under one foot tall.


Mini Skirt



A beautiful miniature Hosta, its thick blue-green leaves with creamy yellow margins come in groups that are barely a foot in width and only five inches high. Perfect for edging or growing in containers, Mini Skirt has summer blooms that are lavender with dark purple stripes, making them truly eye-catching.


Minuteman



A clump-forming perennial with dark green leaves and pure white margins, this plant has pale lavender blooms that are unusually large and sit atop two-foot-tall scapes. The plant is 18 inches tall, 30 inches wide, and has won several international flower awards and looks great as an underplanting shrub and in containers.


Orange Marmalade



This plant’s lush foliage consists of eight-inch-long leaves that start out as blue-green then turn to orange-gold and finally to creamy white. They have funnel-shaped lavender blooms and grow up to 33 inches wide and 18 inches tall. They have won several international flower awards and are perfect for use in containers or as groundcover.


Prairie Sky



With a compact mound of heart-shaped, slightly cupped leaves which are powdery blue in color, this plant grows pale lavender blooms in mid- to late summer and looks great in beds and borders. Its spread is roughly three feet wide and it grows up to 14 inches high, and it is also one of the most popular blue Hostas available.


Praying Hands



This variety has tightly folded, narrow leaves that look like hands that are praying, and their color is a dark olive green. The leaves are rippled in nature, and the plant grows blooms that are lavender-colored in late summer. Praying Hands has won several international flower awards, and songbirds and hummingbirds love this plant.


Rainforest Sunrise



With chartreuse or yellow leaves and dark green margins, these plants are thick, glossy, and slug-resistant. The pale lavender flowers appear in midsummer, and these plants are perfect for containers and small gardens. This is a low-maintenance, hardy plant that reaches up to eight inches high and 16 inches wide, and it makes great groundcover or edging.


Stiletto



A compact plant with narrow, rippled, olive green leaves and narrow creamy white margins, Stiletto produces bell-shaped purple flowers that are striped and which sit atop 25-inch-long scapes. The plant grows up to 32 inches wide and looks great as groundcover or in containers. Stiletto also makes a perfect accent to any walkway or pathway.


Sum and Substance



This plant has thick, ridged, light green leaves which can turn either chartreuse or gold if it gets warm enough. The leaves are very large and look tropical, and the plant can grow up to three feet tall and five feet wide. The winner of several international flower awards, Sum and Substance is an eye-catching specimen which also looks great as groundcover or as an underplanting shrub.


Undulata



An unusual-looking Hosta, this plant consists of very wavy, showy creamy white leaves with medium green margins, and its summer blooms are funnel-shaped and mauve in color. It can tolerate most types of soil, and looks great in containers or used as groundcover.


Victory



The winner of several international flower awards, this type of Hosta grows to almost four feet wide and 32 inches tall, and its leaves are blue-green with narrow yellow or cream-colored margins. They make beautiful groundcovers and specimens, and are mostly used in shade gardens.


Vulcan



The Vulcan plant has broad, heart-shaped leaves that are bright white and have dark green margins and yellow streaks. It is a vigorous plant that grows up to three feet wide, and its summer blossoms are lavender and shaped like stars. The plant is beautiful when used as edging or in containers, and it is very hardy and low-maintenance.


Rhino Hide



With very thick and deeply cupped leaves of bright chartreuse that change to yellow and have beautiful blue margins, Rhino Hide is both hardy and low-maintenance, and can grow up to 20 inches high and 30 inches wide. It is pest-resistant and has thicker leaves than many other Hosta plants.


Planting Hostas


Hostas large leaves do not lend themselves well to full sun; they do best in partial sun or dappled shade, but will grow in deep shade, too. Once established, they can take the summer heat and withstand mild droughts.


Hostas prefer soil that is well-draining and fertile (amend soil with compost or rotted manure if your soil is poor). They do not like to sit in wet soil, so plant in a raised area or where soil doesn’t stay saturated (especially in winter). Ideally, soil should have a pH between slightly acidic and neutral, although hostas are forgiving in this regard.


When to Plant Hostas

  • Buy hostas as dormant, bare-root divisions or potted plants and plant them in the spring or in the fall.

  • Hostas can be planted during the summer growing season, but will need extra attention (mostly watering) to ensure that they do not succumb to the heat of summer.

How to Plant Hostas

  • Dig a hole that’s about twice the width and depth of the root ball of the plant. Loosening the soil in the planting area will benefit the hosta’s roots as they expand outward.

  • If planting multiple hostas, space them out according to their expected size at maturity. Hostas are adept at filling empty space!

  • Set the plants in the hole so that the crown (base) of the plant is even with the surrounding soil and any emerging leaf tips are visible at the soil surface.

  • If buying potted hostas, plant them at the same soil level as in the pot.

  • Gently dampen the soil around the plants and water until soil is moist to settle the roots.


Growing Hostas


How to Grow Hostas From Seed


Many hostas are hybrids that do not "come true" if you collect and plant their seeds. Some varieties are entirely sterile and don't produce seeds at all. If you do collect and plant seeds from hybrid varieties, you should not be surprised if the resulting plants are different in appearance from the parent plant. Seeds from hybrid plants usually produce offspring that revert to the characteristics of one of the genetic ancestors. A hosta with variegated, ruffled leaves, for example, may produce offspring with plain green leaves.


But plant enthusiasts may still want to try this exercise, and it's not hard to do. After the flowers have faded, pick off the seed pods and let them dry for a few days before breaking them open and looking for the seeds inside. The seeds can be stored until midwinter, then sown in containers filled with commercial potting mix. Barely cover the seeds with additional potting mix, moisten them, and place them in a fairly warm, bright location. Mist the soil daily until the seeds germinate, which usually happens within about three weeks. Once the seeds sprout, place the plants in a slightly cooler location where they get indirect sunlight, and continue to grow them until it's time to plant them outside.


How to Get Hosta to Bloom


Most people grow hostas for the color and texture of their foliage, not their blooms. Many people even find the blooms unattractive and clip off the flower stalks before the blooms open. But hostas flowers do appeal to pollinators and they can offer a subtle, pleasant scent in the garden.


Basic care—just enough sunlight, ample water—is usually all that's needed to ensure that hostas flower. While these plants are known as shade plants, they do not flower much if planted in dense shade that receives no sunlight at all. Some varieties of hostas do not flower much until they are quite mature. Be patient; your variety could take as much as six or seven years before it blooms vigorously.


Hosta Care


Hostas are normally planted as potted transplants or bare root divisions. They are commonly considered shade plants, but hostas are more appropriately regarded as partial sun plants, as some light is necessary for them to thrive. Yellow-leaved varieties are somewhat more tolerant of sun, but no hostas will thrive in perpetually hot, sunny areas.


Hostas need a minimum of six weeks of weather below 42 degrees Fahrenheit to enter a dormancy phase and reset their growth cycle. Outdoors, this occurs naturally in most regions, but it's a notable challenge if you try to grow hostas indoors. Indoor pots can be stored in a garage, basement, or crawlspace (even in a refrigerator) for the winter to ensure dormancy. Temperatures must be between 33 and 41 degrees Fahrenheit so the plants do not freeze.


Light


Hostas can survive in full shade, but most varieties grow best when they receive dappled sun for a few hours each day. When plants have green and yellow variegated leaves, exposure to the morning sun helps enhance the yellow coloring. Check the specific light requirements of your hosta variety. If the leaves develop brown tips, if they have faded areas, or if their color is dull, the plant may be getting too much sun.


Soil


Hostas are tolerant of most types of soil, provided it is well-drained. They do not do well in clay soil, which holds too much moisture. They also like their soil rich and fertile, full of organic matter. For container plants, use a standard commercial potting soil that is well-drained.


Water


Water hostas as needed to keep the soil moist but not wet. Once established, hostas will tolerate occasional dry soil, but they will not survive long periods of drought. Deeper, infrequent watering is better than frequent shallow applications.


When growing hostas indoors, maintain a regular watering schedule to keep the soil moist.


Temperature and Humidity


Hostas are not fussy about temperature or humidity and can grow in a wide range of climates. It's best to plant them in a location that is protected from strong winds. Normal indoor temperatures are good for hosta houseplants, provided they are getting a cool period for winter dormancy.


Fertilizer


The best and easiest way to feed hostas is by adding a healthy layer of compost to the soil in the spring. This feeds nutrients into the soil and helps promote the soil food web. You can also feed hostas with a well-balanced organic fertilizer, applied after planting or when plants begin to come up in spring. But be careful not to get fertilizer granules trapped in the leaves, which can burn them.


Fertilizing hostas in containers is a bit more involved since the higher frequency of watering strips the soil of nutrients relatively quickly. Feed potted plants at the start of the growing season with a slow-release fertilizer. Feed biweekly (once every two weeks) with water-soluble fertilizer throughout the growing season. Stop feeding four months prior to the winter dormancy period to gradually harden off the plant.


Pruning and Propagating Hostas


Pruning


Some gardeners clip off the flower stalks when they appear, although more savvy growers recognize the value of the white or purple flowers to bees and other pollinators. If you do allow the flowers to bloom, clip off the stalks after the flowers have faded.

Propagating Hostas


Unlike many perennials that must be laboriously lifted and divided every few years, hostas are content to simply grow in place without much interference at all. If you do want to propagate them, hostas are among the very easiest of plants to split up and share with others. A very small piece of root is all it takes to create a new plant. Here's how to do it:

  1. In fall or early spring, use a sharp shovel or spade to dig up the entire plant, freeing it from the soil.

  2. Break the root ball into segments, using your hands, if possible, or use a trowel or shovel if the clump is too tough. Each segment should have some leaves attached, but even a small bare piece of root will usually survive and send up new shoots.

  3. Plant the pieces in the desired location. If you keep the pieces damp, they will keep for several weeks before replanting.


Potting and Repotting Hostas


Hostas grow quite well in containers filled with ordinary commercial potting mix. There are no special potting requirements, but the container should be at least as wide as the mature plant's foliage spread. Remember that container plants are subject to temperature extremes, so you may need to shelter outdoor pots in cold frames or an unheated garage (or dig them down into garden soil) for the winter in cold-weather regions.


If growing potted hostas indoors, give them a spot with bright indirect light and water them frequently—indoor winter air is usually quite dry. Remember that they will need a six-week chilling period at some point during the winter.


If desired, you can repot container-grown hostas at the start of the growing season in spring. This may be necessary as the plant spreads over time, but many varieties can remain in the same pot for many years.


Overwintering


These hardy plants usually require no special winter protection in most regions. As winter approaches, keep watering but pull back on fertilizing the plants. As the foliage dies back, remove it to prevent fungus spores and pest larvae from overwintering. It's best to discard the foliage rather than adding it to compost heaps. In far northern regions, it can help to mulch over the root crowns with a dry mulch, such as pine needles, straw, or dry leaves.


Potted hostas that will remain outdoors for the winter are best buried in the garden up to the rim of their containers, then covered with mulch.


Pests and Plant Diseases


Hostas are fairly low-maintenance plants, but there are a variety of pest and disease issues to watch for:

  • Hostas can fall prey to slugs and snails that chew ragged holes in the leaves and can kill the plants if left untreated. A variety of baits are available to trap and kill these pests.

  • Foliar nematodes can cause the leaves to brown between the veins. Affected plants are best removed and destroyed, as the chemical controls are extremely toxic to wildlife and fish.

  • Several viruses are known to attack hostas; when stricken, afflicted plants must be removed and destroyed.

Anthracnose is one of the common fungal diseases affecting hostas, and one of the most serious. It is most common in warm, wet weather. Affected plants will show leaves with large irregular spots surrounded by dark borders. Fungicide spray preemptively applied in the spring may prevent the disease, but once it takes hold, plants usually need to be removed and destroyed.


Leaf spots and crown rot also occasionally are seen. Fungicides and good hygiene can help prevent these, but badly affected plants may need to be removed.


Common Problems With Hosta


Hostas are free of most serious problems, and those that do occur are usually cosmetic and rarely fatal. Here are some common problems noted with hostas:


Holes in Leaves


When you see ragged holes in leaves, you are usually witnessing the damage of slugs and snails. Keeping the ground area around plants free of debris will discourage these destructive mollusks.


Shredded Leaves


Hail storms can severely damage hosta leaves, which sometimes leads to disease problems.3 Affected leaves should be removed and the plant will soon recover.


Leaf Edges Burned


Brown, shriveled edges on hosta leaves are usually caused by too much sun, which burns the leaves. Keep the plant well watered in the summer, and provide some shade if possible. Badly affected leaves can be trimmed away and discarded; new leaves will replace them.


Leaves Have Spots


This is usually a sign of some kind of fungal or bacterial disease. Prevent these diseases by giving good space between plants and watering with soaker hoses rather than overhead spraying.


Foliage Is Yellow, Growth Is Stunted


This is often a sign of crown rot; your plant is probably a victim of too much watering or rainfall. Badly affected plants will need to be removed and destroyed.


Benefits of Planting Hostas


How They Look


Hostas come in a wide range of sizes and colors. For instance, the Hosta ‘Patriot’ (Plantain Lily) features lavender flowers in late summer while ‘Elegans’ hosta boasts heart-shaped blue-green leaves. Many variances of hostas are also great at accentuating other plants in your garden.


Hostas aren’t just attractive to humans, though. They’re also popular foods for rabbits, deer and hummingbirds.


Low Maintenance


Hostas are great at surviving cold winters and require very little maintenance. Make sure not to overcrowd your garden so the hostas have room to grow.


Divide and Propagate


Dividing or splitting hostas is a great way to not only make the plant healthier, but also continue to grow the plant in more places.


How They Smell


Some hostas boast fragrant flowers, which is most notable in the summer. “Their fragrance is sweet and light, making them excellent choices to plant along pathways, patios, or decks where you’re close enough to enjoy the sweet scent,” according to Costa Farms.


Hostas Are Shade Loving


We mentioned earlier how hostas do not require a lot of maintenance. Another benefit is they don’t require an overabundance of sun, either. Hostas are a great option to plant along shady pathways or in another pocket of the outdoors where other plants might not thrive.


Uses


Hostas also are widely used for background planting because they fade to all green and show off more colorful varieties of plants. They are great plants to control weeds because they leave no room or light for them.

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