Saturday, June 9, 2012

Growing Hosta in Shade Gardens


Shady areas in your yard are the perfect location for a hosta garden. They grow well under shade trees, in containers and in woodland gardens.  Hostas are Plantain Lilies and are native to China, Japan and Korea. Gardeners grow Hosta for the unusual leaf, the variety of colors, and the texture. The plants are very attractive mid spring through frost. 

Photographs of my hosta shade gardens:


I have been growing hosta plants since 1994.  Presently I have 40 plants.  It is safe to say that I love my shade garden.  Every year I look for a new plant to add to my collection. If you would like to add hosta plants to your garden I would suggest that you buy a plant from a reliable nursery, buy healthy plants in a container.  

Most plants grow 1-3 feet tall with similar spread.  There are a few varieties that will grow 3-5 feet tall and wide, I have a giant blue hosta, the leaves are very large.  It took three seasons for the plant to mature and grow to four feet wide.

Growing tips for Hosta

Rich organic soil is needed to be successful in growing Hosta. The bed also needs to be moist and well drained. Hosta will tolerate humid hot summers as long as the soil never dries out. You will need to be water 1 1/2 inches per week throughout the growing season. 

Fertilize the 3-4 times during growing season. Use very light mulch or pine needles to control slugs, to retain moisture, and to control weeds. Don’t mulch over 2 inches as it may increase the garden pests; vole, slug and snail.  

Remove pests by hand daily and repel pests naturally with coffee grounds. Scatter the spent coffee grounds around the plants. Coffee will also deter cats from your hosta garden.

After the first frost the plant will die back. Cut back the leaves to the soil line. Weed the bed and then cover with 2-3 inches of organic mulch. 

In the spring after the danger of frost has passed. Fertilize your hostas to encourage the plants to awaken from their winter sleep. I use spray n grow  once a month during the growing season and I am pleased at how healthy my hosta plants are.

Tips:


Hosta can be grown with Astilbe, Fern, Ajuga, and Lily of the Valley and toad lilies.

Deer are attracted to hosta foliage.

Hosta will grow and multiply but never become invasive.  Divide  clumps every 3-4 years in spring.

Do not plant  in an area of dense shade as they do need some light from the sun to grow well.  My hosta garden gets part sun in the morning and all are very healthy. 

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