Hosta spp: How To Grow And Care For Hosta Plant

Hosta Spp, or plantain lily as it is commonly known, is a hardy perennial herbaceous plant, meaning it can withstand extremely low temperatures and continue growing year after year. 

Hosta Plant

Hosta are long-lived plants that require very little care and maintenance, making them a great choice for balconies and gardens with limited access to sunlight.

The hosta plant is native to northeast Asia. It belongs to the Asparagaceae family, with about 45 different species.

Hostas cultivars come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. The color of their foliage, which is their selling point, comes in a range of colors, from deep green to creamy white. Blooming begins from early summer through early fall, producing pink, light blue, lavender, or white flowers.

Hostas are considered toxic to pets such as dogs, horses, and cats, as they can cause diarrhea and vomiting if ingested. However, deer, snails, and rabbits love to eat hosta leaves.

Scientific name Hosta spp.
Common name Plantain lily.
Origin Asia
Size 1 – 3 feet high and wide.
Lighting Partial sunlight to full shade.
Soil Moist but also well-draining soil.
Family Asparagaceae.
Fertilizer Well-balanced fertilizer.
Toxicity Toxic.
Propagation Division.

Hosta Plant Care

Hosta Plant Care
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Hostas require very little maintenance to grow healthily, making them a good starting plant for beginners. Under the right growing conditions, caring for the hosta plant is very easy.

Light Requirements

Depending on the variety of your hosta plant, most hostas can survive in partial or full shade. The variegated variety of the hosta plant can tolerate a little bit of sunlight in order for it to maintain its variegation.

Note that the lighter the leaves of your hosta plant, the more sunlight it will require. But do not expose it to direct, intense sunlight as it will not survive.

If growing indoors, consider placing the plant in the north-facing window where it will be shaded from direct sunlight. And for the variegated variety, the east-facing window should be enough.

Soil Requirements

The hosta plant is not picky when it comes to its soil needs. Hosta loves nutrient-rich soils that are moist, well-draining, and slightly acidic.

For potted hosta plants, use a standard potting mix consisting of part soil, part perlite, and coco peat (to increase aeration within the soil and water retention), and part organic compost materials to add nutrients to the soil.

Water Requirements

Water Requirements
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Hosta thrives better in moist soil. As a hardy perennial, hostas are drought tolerant and can go a while without water. Nonetheless, they still prefer to grow in moist soil.

Water the plant whenever you feel the soil is dry enough. Avoid overwatering as this can cause soil compaction, hindering the movement of air and nutrients within the soil.

Depending on how fast your soil dries, you should be watering the plant about 2 to 3 times per week. In colder months, stop watering the plant so as not to damage its roots.

Fertilizer Requirements

Hosta plants do not need any extra feed, provided the soil used is good. For potted plants, add organic compost or rotted manure to your potting mix before planting.

For hostas grown directly in the soil, you can add organic fertilizer to help boost growth. Fertilizer should be applied to the soil rather than the plant, as fertilizer on the plant can cause it to burn.

Temperature And Humidity

One of the advantages of growing a hosta plant is that it requires little maintenance. Hostas can grow under most climate conditions provided they are shielded away from direct sunlight.

Hostas can survive cold temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit when grown outside. Indoors, the room temperature of most homes is enough for the Hosta spp. to thrive.

Pruning

For a fuller plant, carry out deadheading by pruning off new flower growth so as to prevent blooming. This will enable the plant to focus more on growing more leaves.

Also, old, dead, and faded leaves should be pruned off to allow the plant to look neat and grow without hitches. Pruning can also be used to shape and control the size of the plant.

Propagation

Propagation

Hosta spp. can be propagated through division by following these simple steps.

Select the plant you want to use for propagation. Using a shovel, uproot the whole plant from the ground. Dust off any bit of soil on the roots. Separate the root ball either using your hands or a trowel. Each separated root ball should have at least one leaf.

Plant each root ball in its new location. Keep the soil damp and in a shaded location. It should start producing young hosta plants in a few weeks’ time.

Common Health Problems/Pests And Diseases

Pests that can cause damage to the hosta plant include snails, rabbits, slugs, deer, and field mice. All these pests attack by chewing or nibbling on the leaves of the plant, leaving behind perforated foliages.

You can set traps to catch the smaller pests and create a fence around your garden to prevent deer and rabbits from attacking your plants.

A common health problem of the hosta spp. is brown leaves caused by foliar nematodes. Affected leaves should be removed immediately.

FAQs

Is hosta spp. toxic to pets?

Yes. Hosta spp. is toxic to dogs, cats, and horses.

Can hosta plants withstand extreme cold?

Hosta can tolerate cold temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit.

What is the best method for propagating Hosta spp.?

The best and easiest method is through root division.

How often should I water my hosta plant?

Water your hosta plant when the soil feels dry.

Is Hosta spp. a hardy plant?

Yes. The hosta plant can withstand the cold temperatures of winter.

Marijke Puts
About Marijke Puts
Marijke Puts has Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Science and is from The Netherlands. She has a certified master gardener and loves everything about houseplants and gardening.

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