Tips for Planting Hostas in Your Shade Garden

Article by: Sandra O’Hare

Hosta plants make a wonderful addition to a shade garden. They come in a wide variety of shades of green and their leaf sizes vary from rather small to nearly elephant ear size. Plus, they are a nearly care free plant once they become established. Let’s look at how to plant, care for and propagate these fantastic plants.

Planting Your Hostas

Follow these simple instructions to plant your hostas:
  1. Prepare the soil as needed, adding fertilizer if need be. Did a hole about twice the size of the pot.
  2. Slide the hosta out of the pot and put it in the hole, making sure you are planting the hosta about 1 inch deeper than it was in the container. Set the crowns below the soil surface when you set them in the ground. This will minimize the risk of the roots drying out.
  3. Fill the hole up with soil and firm the plant up with your hands. Water it thoroughly.
  4. Make sure to apply slug pellets at the rate recommended. All hostas are subject to damage from slugs, especially when they’re young.
  5. Mulch the area with organic matter making sure the mulch doesn’t touch the leaves of the plant.
Hostas are best planted in the spring or fall. They can also be planted when they are fully grown so long as you keep them watered well after you plant them. If you decide to plant your hostas in the summer, cut down the leaves by at least half. This will stop any excess moisture loss from the surface of the leaves. All you have to do is spread the leaves with your hand and use a sharp knife and cut them back to the crown. This will help your hosta plant establish itself better in hot weather. Fresh leaves will soon regrow.

Caring For Your Hostas

After planting, keep your hostas well watered for about a month. After this, they should be well established and will only need to be watered during drought conditions.

Hostas will also benefit from a yearly application of balanced fertilizer.

How to Propagate Your Hostas

Propagating hostas is a straight-forward procedure. Once the plant starts encroaching on it’s neighboring plants, you can lift the whole clump using a gardening fork and take the plant to wherever you want to plant it. Use a sharp garden knife and cut the clump up into pieces. You want to be sure to make clean cuts so that the division has a good root system in place. You want to do this until you’ve split up the whole clump into even-size pieces.

Now that you’ve separated them, replant the best pieces and fill in around them with fresh soil from another part of your garden. Firm the plants into the soil with your hands and water them thoroughly.

Planting and growing hostas is nearly as easy as enjoying them. Plant these beauties in the shady corners of your harden and you will be rewarded with years of lush foliage.

Find the answers to your gardening questions at Gardening Know How (http://www.gardeningknowhow.com).