Saturday, July 18, 2015

All About Hostas

The ease of care and minimal maintenance needed to successfully grow this group makes it one of the most popular selections for a shady garden. Their leaves, which vary greatly in shape, texture, color and size, are their number-one feature. Dwarf varieties under 4” tall are easy to grow, as are their 3’ tall siblings. Leaf colors include variegated green, gold, blue-green, chartreuse, and yellow. Fantastic variegation patterns of white or gold are quite common. Most will bloom with tubular white or lavender flowers in the summer months.

Site requirements
• Hostas prefer shady gardens, though some varieties have been developed for full sun exposure.
• Hostas tend to be heavy feeders. Best growth occurs in well-drained soils high in organic matter.
• Consistent moisture will enable the plant to reach their fullest potential. Wet conditions should be avoided. Likewise, extremely dry conditions will have a stunting effect on the plant. 
• An annual spring
feeding with a slow-release fertilizer is recommended. Do not fertilize the plant after August.

• Mulching will help to retain soil moisture, but it should be kept slightly away from the base stalks of the plan. Mulching may in- crease snail and slug populations, a common pest, so try using cocoa shell mulch or pine bark nuggets instead of ground mulches.
“Let’s Grow Green Together”

• Dig a hole large enough to accommodate the entire root structure without crowding.
• If planting bare-rooted plants, spread roots evenly around the hole.
• For container-grown plants, lightly loosen the root ball before placing it in the hole.
• Set plants so that the top/root junction is at the soil level. Lightly tamp down the soil to eliminate any air pockets.
• Finally, provide a deep, slow watering. Watering should be done so as to be sure it reaches the bottom of the root zone.

• While not usually needing a division, Hostas may be easily divided for additional plants.
• Collect divisions by cutting or pulling clumps into small clusters in early spring.
• Be sure each cluster has several shoots and plenty of roots.
• Wait at least three years for new plants to establish themselves before dividing.

• Spent flowers can be clipped off. 
• Both leaves and flower stalks are suitable for cut decorative uses. 
• Remove foliage to ground after a killing frost.

Insect & Disease
Hostas have very few insect and disease issues. Ask a respected Garden Center Professional for more information.

Hostas that Tolerate Sun
August Moon 
Albo Picta 
Chinese Sunrise 
Fragrant Bouquet 
Frosted Jade 
Ginko Craig 
Gold Drip 
Gold Standard 
Royal Standard 
So Sweet
Sum and Substance 
Sun Power 
Wide Brim 
Undulata Albomarginata

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