Hostas are undoubtedly the most reliable and rewarding foliage plant family in current popularity. Cold hardy and easy to grow, they are indispensable plants for the shady garden. Grown for their variety and pattern of their leaves, hostas provide a long season of interest to any shade garden. Some also do well in the sun, if it is moist deep soil, and many are very suitable to a morning or partials sun situation. Their flowers brighten up the summer border.
Can hostas grow in the sun?
The general rule is that morning sun is ok, as long as there is at least a semi-shade in the afternoon. Hostas expire a lot of water via their leaves. The hot afternoon sun will tax their ability to supply sufficient water to the leaf.
Typically bright green or gold varieties can tolerate more sun, but will require more watering. Some varieties of hostas that do better in sun are August Moon, Honeybells, Royal Standard, Sum & Substance, and Sun Power.
Blue hostas will keep their color the best if their are grown in the shade, with no direct sun. In too much sun they turn a green color.
Hostas require moist soil with good aeration. Posy Power, compost, or any other organic additive that improves water retention, and allows water to seep down to the roots easily is highly recommended. Dig the hole wider than the container and loosen up the roots before planting. Giving your investment the best start with preparing the site will enable the hosta to flourish to it's highest potential.
Prune off spent flowers and stem, as this will allow to plant to concentrate spending energy on the roots and leaves.
During hot and dry periods newly planted hostas will need watering. Keep the soil moist but not saturated. Without adequate moisture, leaves may burn, especially if planted in too much sun. After the hostas becomes established (usually after 1-2 growing seasons), you will not need to water regularly.
. In fact, over fertilizing can be detrimental to some of the variegated types, causing the colors to fade. If plants are slow to develop and multiply, you can add a teaspoon of 10-10-10, 12-12-12, or 15-15-15 fertilizer per clump to provide additional nutrients.
Generally, when hostas mature, there may be a few problems with weeds growing up through the plant. Typically they are dense enough that weeds are unable to grown, but if they do simple hand pulling will do the trick. Mulching around hostas will also help to control weeds from growing between the plants.
The pests that seem to go after hostas are the
. Since they feed mostly at night they usually escape your eye until you see the holes chewed in the leaves. to your hostas early in the growing season and repeat as needed. Copper is also a common solution to keeping away slugs. If you have a wall or bed edge around your hostas you can place a thin strip of copper flashing around the hostas to keep the slugs away. They do not like the feel of copper and will not pass over it, therefore protecting your hostas.
As the seasons change...
All hosta varieties go dormant in the winter. They collapse to almost nothing after a few cold nights, so do not be discourage if they turn brown and start dying back before the rest of your perennials. In cold winter areas, mulch may be beneficial but should be applied after the ground freezes. When spring rolls around, new leaves grow from the roots and the hosta quickly returns to its full leafy glory.