Hostas – Grow, learn and find best places to buy

Hosta Empress Wu - Garden Plants

Hosta Empress Wu

Hostas look excellent in the exotic garden with their often enormous leaves with the added bonus of being totally hardy! They are unparalleled in their aesthetic appeal with their differing architectural shapes and leaf textures. Hostas are an ideal choice for underplanting with. There are also hundreds of magnificent Hosta’s that that are available in variegated forms with countless combinations of green, blue, gold, lime, cream, yellow, white and every subtle shade in between…we love Hosta devon green.
BUY: Hostas plants here from UK Sellers

Hosta plants are a genus of herbaceous perennial plants that are commonly known as Funkia, hostas and plantain lilies. They belong to the Agavoideae subfamily of the bigger Asparagaceae family. It is indigenous to Northeast Asia and was introduced to Europe in the 1700s.

The plant was named in honour of Austrian botanist Nicholas Thomas Host by his fellow Austrian botanist Leopold Trattinnick in 1812. In Japan, it is called Giboshi and regarded as not invasive.

Hosta plants are clusters of beautiful, low growing plants that can be grown in most gardens and vary in size and can grow up to 4 feet tall and 6 feet wide. These plants are grown from creeping rhizomatous stems and mature fully in 4 to 8 years.

Description of Hostas

Their leaves can be oval, elliptical, round or heart shaped. The leaf colour is typically green but can be bright green, dark green, bluish-green, yellow, and even creamy, or white. Some cultivars are variegated with differing colours at different parts of the leaves. 

The deciduous leaves also come in various sizes and textures. They can be small, medium-sized, or large with a smooth, crumpled, rough or wavy texture. The leaves are arranged in a basal rosette clump of foliage.

Hosta plants produce small, bell-shaped, white, or purple flowers that are 2 inches long and usually towers over the leafy mound. They are produced on upright, long, woody scapes and are generally scentless with the exception of Hosta plantaginea which bears large, scented, white flowers. Hosta flowers bloom in summer and add to the visual appeal of the already beautiful plant.

Growing and Caring For Hostas

Propagation of Hostas

Hostas are best propagated in spring. This can be achieved by carefully uprooting the plant, cutting it into two and immediately replanting the parent plant and the divided plant. 

Cultivation of Hostas

The best season for division and planting of hostas is in spring. They are tough and hardy perennial plants, low maintenance and easy to grow. Remember that hosta needs sufficient space to grow, so ensure that you sow your plant in ample space that will allow the roots of your plant to spread properly. 

Where to buy Hostas in the UK?

Here are a few things to watch out for when growing your plant.

Soil: Hostas should be planted in moist, well-draining, fertile soil with a pH that is neutral to slightly acidic and they can even survive in sandy and clay soil with enough care.

Light: Most Hosta plants do well in partial to deep shade and don’t tolerate full sun well but many of them have different light requirements which will depend on the variety that you will be planting. Some varieties with lighter leaves require brighter sun whereas others with darker leaves maintain their colour best in moderate shade.

Water: They need to be watered regularly to keep the soil moist but not wet as overwatering can rot your plant. They will tolerate the occasional dry soil when well established but will not survive long periods of drought.

Pruning: Pruning of Hosta is best established after the first frost by cutting off any yellow, damaged or dead leaves, cutting off the flower stalk before or after blooming.

Fertiliser: The best time to fertilise your plant is in spring when new growth emerges. You should fertilize your plant continuously every 4 to 6 weeks for optimal growth.

Pests and diseases: Hostas can fall prey to snails and slugs that can destroy your plants if left untreated. Rabbits and deer can also plague your plants. Diseases like anthracnose, crown rot and leaf spots can damage your plant.