By Lisa R./ Annual & Perennial Buyer
It’s hard to beat the gorgeous tropical looking leaves of a Hosta (Plantain Lily) in the shade garden, but did you know they can also take a fair amount of sun in the Pacific Northwest? Some varieties even do well in full sun! The ideal sun exposure for all varieties is morning sun / afternoon shade. As a general rule of thumb, solid green / blue varieties do best with more shade, while variegated varieties will maintain their color and variegation better with more sun.
Hostas come in a wide variety of sizes, leaf shape and color. They also form lily-like bloom stalks that last 4-6 weeks, some of which are also fragrant. Large varieties create drama in the landscape and can fill a larger space, while smaller varieties can be tucked easily among other woodland perennials. Hostas pair beautifully with Astilbe, Ferns, Heuchera, and Japanese forest grass for a riot of color and texture in the part sun/shade garden. These plants all enjoy similar growing conditions and by choosing evergreen fern and heuchera varieties, you maintain year round interest even when the Hostas go dormant in the winter.
While Hostas are relatively easy to care for, follow these additional tips for the best results:
- They enjoy a rich organic well drained soil, so amend with our Soil Building Conditioner or aged compost when planting.
- Once established, they are quite drought tolerant, however 1 inch of water per week is a good rule of thumb to keep them looking their best.
- Slugs can devastate the new foliage as it emerges, so consider using a product like Slug Magic to prevent unsightly holes in the leaves.
- Feed with an all purpose slow release organic fertilizer in Spring.
- The best time to divide Hosta clumps if they get too large is in the fall.
Currently Shorty’s has a nice selection of variegated and solid leaf Hostas including the following varieties in a 2 or 3 gallon size for instant Hosta gratification:
Deja Blu, Stained Glass, Guacamole and Rosedale Golden Goose