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How To Grow Hostas

Hosta plants are clump forming, herbaceous perennial that are renowned for their hardy resilience. They are easy to grow and, as such, are a good beginner level plant. They are available in a wide range of foliage colours, sizes and shapes. Glossy, oval or lance-shaped foliage will brighten up a shady area of the garden and they can be found with single colour or variegated patterns to suit your requirements. In addition, they put up flower spikes in Spring/Summer which mostly vary in colour from white to pale blue and lilac shades. Whether you choose to keep these flower spikes or not is a personal choice as there are gardeners who remove the flower spikes (preferring to grow Hosta as foliage only plants) but others will keep the flowers and enjoy their sweet, but fleeting scent – removing the stems after this brief luxury has subsided by cutting the flower stem back to its base. The choice is yours but if you are not familiar with the plant perhaps try both ways before you decide?

Hostas are well suited to flower beds and borders and can be used as underplanting beneath roses and shrubs within cottage or informal garden settings. They are also great grown in jungle style planting to enhance the lower levels or as part of the border to a woodland area, along with ferns and hellebores. As you can tell, they are incredibly versatile and there is a variety for almost any setting. You should expect to see Hostas grow to a height of between 50-90cm (20-35”) and a spread of 20cm-1.5m (8”-5’). ‘Mouse Ears’ type are the smaller and ‘Elephant’ the larger of these varieties.

Key Information

Position: Part/full shade (will tolerate sun with additional maintenance to aid moisture retention)

Soil: Moist but well-drained

Flowering Period: Spring/Summer depending on variety (foliage throughout the growing season)

Hardiness: Fully hardy (leaves die back during winter)

Where & When to Plant Hostas

Hostas are best planted in moist, well-drained soil of loam and clay within an acidic, neutral or alkaline PH balance. They love dappled shade but, where shade is absent, ensure you incorporate a generous amount of organic matter such as compost or leaf mould as this will retain moisture in the soil. It is worth noting that the yellow-leaved varieties are more tolerant of sun so choose your Hosta variety wisely.

Ideally, you should choose a site that attracts the right amount of shade and is protected from adverse weather conditions such as strong winds and full sunlight.

How To Plant Hostas

1.

Once you’ve chosen your site dig a hole that is deep and wide enough to accommodate your plant and ensure it is at the same level in the ground as it was in the pot.

2.

Gently tease out the roots and plant with added organic matter to help it establish.

3.

Firm in the Hosta and water thoroughly to settle the soil into place.

4.

Hostas are best planted out in Spring or Autumn but can be grown on in pots at any time of year given the right conditions.

What To Plant With Hostas

The list here would be almost endless as Hostas are such versatile plants and there are so many different varieties but here are a few suggestions to get you started - do contact us if you need more detailed advice and suggestions – we would love to help.

Cottage: Hollyhocks


Jungle: Phormium


Woodland: Snowdrops


How To Care For Hostas

 Pruning & Deadheading

 

Flower stalks can be detached at ground level once the flowering period is over (if you choose to keep them) this will neaten up the overall appearance of your plant. Once flower stalks are cut back, the main plant will benefit from a good multi-purpose plant food as the process of flowering can deplete the plant’s nutrient reserves quite significantly.

 Watering

 

Hostas require moist soil so ensure that you water your plants regularly; be especially diligent during periods of drought.

 Cold Protection

 

The foliage on your plant will die away during winter and can be removed. A general-purpose mulch in early Spring will help provide vital nutrients to the soil surrounding your growing Hosta and help to retain moisture, as well as suppressing weeds.

 Pests & Diseases

 

If slugs or snails are an issue (not all gardens or Hostas are susceptible) then a copper collar, beer trap, eggshells or other gritty materials can act as a good repellent. Slug pellets should be avoided as they are harmful to wildlife. Look for the thicker leaved cultivars if you have concerns about slugs or snails in your garden.

How To Propagate Hostas

1.

Lift the clump from the planting site with a fork, or tip it out of its container, making sure that you do not damage the growing tips at the top.

2.

Place the clump on a sufficiently hard surface for you to be able to chop through it

3.

Divide the clump up by cutting between the shoots with either a sharp spade or an old kitchen knife.

4.

Ensure each divided piece has at least one good bud to it (ideally 2 or 3) and trim away any damaged roots.

Replant the divisions into pots (or directly into the ground if preferred) at the same soil level as they were originally, place in a sheltered spot and water well. As with the parent plant they will need checking for appropriate moisture levels and not allowed to dry out.

Plants grown from divisions will be identical to the parent plant and should flower from their second year.

Common Hosta Questions

How long do freesias take to germinate?

It should take Freesia bulbs 2-3 weeks to germinate, sometimes a little longer if they are too cold.

Can you grow freesias indoors?

For growing Freesias indoors, corms can be planted between August and December to flower January- April. Alternatively, you can plant your corms in October to flower in March for roughly four weeks, sometimes a little longer if they are kept cool and well-watered. Compost should be a mix of 1 part sand, 1 part grit and 2 parts compost for best results.

Are freesias hard to grow?

Freesias can sometimes be a little tricky to get going. They typically require a cool period of 5®C for 3 to 4 weeks in a frost-free spot to break their dormancy. After that, it is best to keep them in a cool greenhouse for the winter where temperatures should average between 10®C and 15®C.

Try to give them as much light as possible to ensure the leaves and flower stalks do not become soft and spindly. Compost should be a mix of 1 part sand, 1 part grit and 2 parts compost for best results.
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If, for any reason you are not delighted with your purchase, just return it to us within 21 days.

We promise to exchange the item or return the price you paid for the item in full. This is in addition to your statutory rights.

Hayloft Plants will not agree to refunding the costs of returning the parcel to us.

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