Plant of the Week - June 7, 2012 Hostas

Hosta (Hostaceae) – Shade tolerant plants

These hardy herbaceous perennials are easy to grow and are popular in any garden space.  Hostas are beautiful plants that come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors.

They’re shade tolerant plants, which are more often grown for their foliage then their flowers.  In the summer, Hostas bloom spikes with lily like flowers in various shades of whites or purples.  Hosta leaves can have a blue, green, yellow or gold color with highlights, stripes or boarders of another color as well.

Even though hostas are considered shade tolerant plants some hostas actually do quite well with quite a bit of sun exposure.  Most grow best with sunlight in the morning (or 6 hours or less of sunlight) and shade in the afternoon.  In general the yellow, gold and white leafed hostas can tolerate more sun and the blue leafed hostas required shade.  The blue leaf is actually a green leaf coated in a wax that can be affected by the hot summer sun.

Hostas should be planted in rich organic soil with a slightly acidic pH level and will require approx. one inch of water on a weekly basis, early in the day. 

Hosta plants can go a long way in your garden because you can split them and plant the other half elsewhere.   The best time to divide your hostas is in early spring or late summer.

Shady, moist locations create the perfect environment for slugs, which can be a problem for hostas, but there are numerous varieties available that are considered slug resistant because the slug cannot penetrate the thicker foliage.  Slugs or no slugs there are so many varieties available you will have many options to find the best fit for your shade garden in your region.

Talk to your local garden center expert to find out which varieties will work best in your region and your specific needs.  Find a your nearest retailer here.

Watch this video to learn more about Hostas from our very own Andrew Hanson.

Some of the varieties Bylands grows:

First Frost Hosta

This durable hosta received its name because it looks great until autumn's "first frost". Stunning!  Read more...

Gold Standard Hosta

New leaves emerge light green and fade to bright gold with dark margins. The center almost becomes white by fall.  Read more...

Guacamole Hosta

2002 Hosta of the Year.  Great used as a shady groundcover or as a specimen... Read more...

Northern Exposure Hosta

This large specimen forms a sturdy mound of large, rounded blue-green leves with a wide white margin.  Read more...

Patriot Hosta

Striking perennial with mounding growth habit. Large cupped quilted leaves with irregular creamy yellow to white margins and lavender flowers in summer on arching stems.  Read more...

Praying Hands Hosta

This smaller interesting variety forms a sturdy mound of green leaves with white edges, each forming a ruffled tube shape.   Read more...

Stained Glass Hosta

2006 Hosta of the Year. Forms a sturdy mound of bright golden yellow foliage with a wide green margin.  Read more...

Striptease Hosta

This medium-sized variety forms a sturdy mound of leaves with a golden yellow center and wide, dark green border.  Read more...