Hosta Highlights

Hostas are far more common in northern gardens than they are here in the South. But, that doesn’t mean that we can’t grow them. It may just take a little more attention to detail.

They must have shade. Grow them where you’d grow ferns. No direct sun. In fact, they’re wonderful companions to ferns, both in color and texture.

They must have highly organic soil. Just as ferns. Once again, they’re great side-by-side plants with ferns.

They require good drainage, but steady moisture. If you let them dry to the point of wilting, their lower leaves will start to yellow and wither.

Many hostas produce showy flower spikes in early summer – an added bonus.

They’re perennial plants, but like most perennials, hostas die back to the ground in the fall and are bare all winter long. New shoots will start emerging in March every spring.

Hostas are vulnerable to snails and slugs, so keep your eyes peeled. These pests work at night, and they can quickly render your plants ugly. Snail and slug baits work well. Some people place shallow pans of beer or dry dog food that is soaking in a water bath. The pests drown in the fluids.

Fertilize with the same materials you use for your other landscape and garden plants, probably a high-nitrogen or all-nitrogen food.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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