Regarded as a shade loving plant Hosta plants or ‘Plantain lilies’ do in fact like shade, but to grow well they also need a little sun. These great foliage plants are easy care, perfect for a shady border and with around 30 species and countless cultivars available for sale the variety is incredible.
Hostas do flower, however they are mainly grown for the foliage. Species and cultivars include, plantaginea, halcyon, blue vision, and Mr Big.
Care and Growing Hints
Easy to grow and with outstanding foliage, they are originally from Japan, China, and Korea, they grow best in morning sun and afternoon shade.
They also grow very well in pots or containers and for many growers this is the preferred method.
Planting hostas in a well drained humus rich moist soil in part shade will ensure they will thrive.
Protection from the hot afternoon sun is essential. They are best divided every 3-4 years and require fertilising with a liquid seaweed based fertilizer or a slow release fertilizer.
Snails and slugs can be a problem, so keep the area around the plants clear. Try some wood ash, dry mulch or sawdust around the plants to deter snails and slugs.
Large established clumps of hostas in the garden look fantastic from spring to summer, and when the clumps get real big they can be propagated by division, best carried out during winter dormancy, or late autumn.
The best time to buy hostas is in late winter when dormant, ready for planting and making the most of spring growth.
Remember that flower colour is almost always a pale lilac to white, and although they are pretty and have a nice scent, remember that you are growing them for the foliage rather than the flowers
These plants vary greatly in size as well in colour and texture if you have the room you can buy the giant cultivars such as ‘Hosta Princess Wu’ when it becomes available in Australia look for the following types
- ‘Hosta sieboldiana’ is always popular.
- Minuteman is another popular variety with a medium green foliage with cream margins, from the species Hosta Fortunei.
- ‘Sum and Substance’ has large green textured heart shaped leaves, an outstanding plant.
- Hosta ‘White Feather’ is the only white cultivar we have heard about, said to be a Hosta ‘Undulata’ sport, foliage opens white and turns to a yellow / green
- Hosta Halcyon is another favourite.
Hosta Care – Summary Information and notes
- They need protection from snails, especially the finer leafed species, try copper tape around the pots as a means of deterring snails and slugs
- Hostas do not actually need lots of water, they need a humus rich moist but well drained soil, overwatering can cause problems
- They do need regular fertiliser, a slow release general purpose fertiliser in spring and some regular watering with a liquid seaweed fertiliser seems to do the trick
- Hostas do not like hot afternoon sun, nor do they like really deep shade. Filtered light or morning sun, afternoon shade is best for most species.
- As foliage dies back it is a good idea to ‘clean up’ clumps, remove spent flower heads and old foliage to allow air flow, and to get rid of the hiding places for slugs and snails.
- Hostas can be divided in early spring, larger clumps can become congested, and in pots they will exhaust the potting mix.
- They do flower, however it is usually the foliage that they are grown for.
Hosta plants are available for sale from the following nurseries
PO Box 29 Bowral 2576
Large range of rare plants, bulbs, trees and shrubs for sale online from our Southern Highlands NSW nurseries.
'Umbango' 750 Humula Rd, Humula NSW 2652
Phone 0408692773 Great Range of Perennial plants available for sale by mail order.
Large variety of Epimediums, Woodland plants and Herbaceous perennials
Mail order or nursery. We do not send to Tasmania or WA
P O Box 398 Creswick Vic 3363
Retail & Mail Order Specialist Growers of Heritage Roses, Unusual Perennials, Tree & Herbaceous Peonies. Mail order and Nursery Sales.
470 Monbulk-Silvan Road Monbulk VIC 3793
"Guaranteed mail order flowering bulbs, perennials, roses, trees, landscaping plants, garden accessories and community fundraising Austra lia-wide."
1070 Jacksons Track, Jindivick 3818
Specialising in growing and selling Rare and Unusual Trees, shrubs Perennials Bulbs and Climbers, a unique nursery with amazing stock.
357 Monbulk Road SILVAN VIC 3795
Guaranteed "garden worthy" bulbs, plants and perennials. Visit the website to browse our large range of daffodils or request the latest free catalogue.
1044 Sheffield Road Lower Barrington Tasmania 7306 – phone: 03 64923146
Specialised hosta nursery. Over 400 different varieties in shade-houses. All states except WA and NT
PO Box 90 Woodbridge TAS 7162
Over 350 species & cultivars includes bulbs, perennials, and succulents all available via mail order.