If you have a shady garden, hostas are a hardy perennial that could be perfect for you.
They are easy to grow and reliable while being long-lived. Hostas are also great because they come in a range of sizes, textures, and colors.
They will also work in any kind of garden.
Hostas are most well-known for their foliage, but the plants will also have lovely flowers in the summer months. The flowers come in lavender, pink and white. They are also a favourite with Hummingbirds.
One issue is that snails, slugs, rabbits, and deer also love these plants. You will have to keep this in mind if you often have deer wandering through your garden.
In the spring, you should buy your hostas as potted plants or dormant and bare-root divisions. When planting, you need to set the plants with their crown even with the soil. The growing tips should be visible at the surface of the soil.
If you have purchased potted plants, you will need to plant them at the same soil level as they had in the pot. The soil will then need to be gently dampened. Water the soil until it is moist.
After planting or when you first see growth, you should apply a well-balanced fertilizer. Ideally, this should be a slow release fertilizer. The soil will also need to be kept moist, but do not overwater and allow the soil to become wet. To retain moisture, you should place mulch around the plant.
After the flowers have bloomed you should remove the flower stalks. This will encourage new growth. You also need to clean up around the plants and remove any brown leaves in the fall. This helps to control slugs and disease. Dividing and transplanting are best left to until the early spring when leaves start to come through.
Transplanting And Dividing
You do not have to divide the plants for their health. If the plant has less space, it will simply grow at a slower rate. However, if you want a neater appearance, you can divide your hostas.
You should leave this for the early spring. This will also be the best time to transplant the divided plants or move the plant to a new area. When dividing the plant, you should leave as much of the root attached as possible to each crown. The new plants will need to be planted at the same soil level as previously and watered until established.
Diseases And Pests
If you see any irregular holes on the edges of the leaves or an entire leave has been chewed off, nocturnal slugs are generally to blame. You will need to look for any slime trails leading to your plant. These trails may also be present on the other leaves of the plant.
Deer love hostas and you will need to discourage them from eating your plant.
To do this, you should use fencing or a sprinkler. You can also get deer repellents from your local garden center if you do not want to use fences.
If there are clean-cut chew mars on the stems and leaves of your young plants, a rabbit could be to blame. To determine if they are the cause, you need to look for dropped leaves and rabbit droppings.
Young leaves on your plant are edible. In Japan, the leaves are fried in tempura, but they can also be eaten raw. The flavor will be similar to asparagus or lettuce.