There are around 2,500 cultivars of hostas (Hosta spp.) Available on the marketplace. This huge category of plants is wildly popular among gardeners. Their preference for shade makes those plants a good selection for filling semi-shady spots in the landscape. Hostas feature unusually complete, broad leaves that convey a feeling of near-tropical lushness at U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 4 through 8.
Hostas are primarily known for their complete leaves that come in blue, green, gold and white, depending on the variety. These leaves are what attract many home gardeners to hostas, but hostas also create flower stalks. Hosta flowers are trumpet shaped and small, and somewhat diminutive when compared with the large, striking leaves. You might find these flowers are an extra bonus on your landscape, however, since you opt for the wide range of hosta you would like to grow, foliage is going to be a larger consideration. Hosta’s foliage makes this plant a superb specimen for filling empty garden spaces between shrubs and flowering plants.
Hostas are known as shade tolerant plants, however, some varieties of hostas are more shade tolerant than many others. Hostas with white or gold leaves need a little morning sun with afternoon shade. Blue- and also green-leaved hostas will thrive in deeper colour, with less sun. Landscaping with hostas means selecting the right place for your chosen variety with the necessary lighting conditions.
Provide the right sort of soil conditions for successful hosta development. Hostas thrive in soils that are somewhat acidic and rich with organic matter. You can test the pH of the ground having a kit purchased from a nursery or garden center. If your soil is acidic, compost is a suitable amendment for your soil. If your land is somewhat alkaline, peat moss can be added to lessen the soil pH.
Deciding on the best companion plants for your hostas will enhance your landscape. Flowering plants will add cosmetic beauty to your landscape, while matching nicely with hosta leaf. Bulb flowers like tulips (Tulipa spp.) , hardy in USDA zones 4 through 10, will blossom in the early spring and fall following blooming. Hostas is used to hide these flowers during their fall. This can work with other perennial bulb, corm and rhizome blossoms like irises (Iris spp.) , hardy in USDA zones 3 through 10, and amaryllis (Hippeastrum x hybridum), hardy in USDA zones 8 through 10. Additionally, hostas pair well with non-flowering plants like ferns, because the differences in texture between the two plants provide visual interest in the landscape.
Proper care will keep your hostas looking good on your landscape for several years. Although easy to take care of, hostas typically cannot survive without supplemental water. Hostas need at least 1 inch of water each week. Establishing a regular watering program when natural rainfall doesn’t fulfill these needs will stop hostas from drying out. Water your hostas first in the morning or in the evening to allow your hosta to consume as much water as you can without competing with the sun’s evaporation. You can fertilize your hosta plants in the spring, late spring and center summer using a balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer.