Hosta are a wonderful group of plants. Although they do flower, they are generally grown for their unusual leaves which come in a wide range of colours, patterns and sizes. Colours range from light green to dark, even blue green or chartreuse. Some leaves are extremely large, some are waxy or wavy and others have attractive edgings and markings in white or cream.
Hosta flowers are white or lavender and some are extremely scented. They are like little bells hanging from a tall stalk. Some gardeners do not care for the tall stalks and cut the flowers off. This will not harm the plant, but personally I prefer to leave the blooms alone and enjoy them. When the blooms are spent I then cut the stalks down right off at the bottom.
HOW TO GROW HOSTA
Hostas are not difficult to grow but are site specific in that they require shade or at least part shade. They are vigorous growers but simply cannot handle the direct hot sun all day. Sun positions will burn the leaves in a very short time. They also require a good, rich, moist soil that is well draining during the winter. They really are an ideal plant for woodland gardens and shady corners. Depending on the cultivar used, they can be planted as edging or as specimen plants in the border. They are also effective when grown in large containers. Some of the newer yellow varieties can handle a bit more sun than others, but even they cannot handle the hot all day sun of mid summer.
HOW TO CARE FOR HOSTA
Hosta are virtually care free. They can grow for years without needing dividing and after a frost the leaves will mush down to nothing. The leaves will break away from the crown to be composted. I usually leave them alone until the spring when there is very little left to cart away before the new growth emerges. When you decide to divide your hosta it is best done in the spring, as soon as you can see the new growth emerging.
Depending where you live slugs and snails can be a problem, especially in the spring. Beer baits work quite well as does hand picking. Other than that they are pretty much pest and disease free.
TYPES OF HOSTA
There are far too many hosta to list them all but I’ve chosen a few and placed them in categories of size and leaf colour to help you choose what might work best for your garden.
Small Hosta: Amy Elizabeth / Baby Bunting / Blue Mouse / Cherry Berry / Coconut Custard / Fantasy Island / Fire and Ice / Gold Edger / Island Charm / Lemon Lime / Little Dart / Mighty Mouse / Royal Tiara / Thumbelina
Large Hosta: Elegans / Francis Williams / Drinking Gourd / Big Daddy / All That Jazz / Big Top / Blue Angel / Blue Legend / Blue Umbrella / Dream Weaver / Frost Giant / Gold Regal / Krossa Regal / Sagae / Sum and Substance / T. Rex / Millennium
Blue Hosta: Smokey Bear / Ulysses S. Grant / Millennium / Mississippi Delta / Powder Blue / Regal Splendor / Krossa Regal / Blue Angel / Blue Dome / Blue Hawaii / Blue Mammoth / Blue Umbrellas / Blueberry Waffles / Bressingham Blue
Chartreuse ( yellow-green) Hosta: Brother Stefan / Continental Divide / Day’s End / Garden Party / Gold Regal / Grand Canyon / Great Expectations / Key West / High Noon / Piecrust / Solar Flare / Stardust / Sum & Substsnce / Sun Power / Summer Warrior / Winter Snow / Blonde Impressions
Hosta with Margins (White/Cream): Victory / Sunshine Glory / Sagae / Leading Lady / Liberty / Mike Shadrack / Northern Exposure / Olive Baily / Regal Spremem / Great Arrival / Bridal Falls / Earth Angel / Frost Giant / All That Jazz / American Halo /
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