Hostas are hardy in zones 3 to 9, or from Canada to northern Florida.
To survive, hostas must go dormant and experience temperatures near freezing. They need
over 600 hours (about 28 days) of temperatures below 40F to satisfy their dormancy
requirements. In zones where unable to go dormant, they will survive for a period
of time, but eventually die. Refrigerating through the winter is not
recommended unless your refrigerator is not a frost free. Frost free
refrigerators removes the moisture from plants.
Hostas prefer rich (nutrients and organic matter), moist, well drained soil, but once established they can survive
dry spells and require little care. To support the maximum growth of
their large, soft leaves, hostas need
plenty of moisture during the growing season . If the weather is very hot, the plants are in sun, or
subject to root competition from trees and shrubs, deep
watering will ensure good root development and leaf growth.
Burnt leaf tips or drooping leaves may be symptoms of inadequate water.
Dig a hole about twice as wide as the plant roots and set aside that dirt
in a wheelbarrow or on a plastic tarp. Check the depth of the planting
hole from time to time as you dig, the crown or base of the plant
should lie at or just below the soil line. When you have reached the appropriate depth, place the hosta in the hole and fill the hole. Tamp
the soil down gently, mulch
and water. For more planting information, click
Eyes or shoots emerge from the crown.
The amount and type of shade, placement and
your geographical area will affect the performance of hostas. Hostas are rather hardy and finding the best habitat for your hostas -
the right combination of shade and sun, without making them compete with your
trees for water and nutrients can be achieved. Just remember - if the first choice is not the right
place, try moving them to a new location. Hostas are successfully grown in all but the
semitropical and extremely frigid regions, so do not be afraid to
experiment in placing your hostas.
A common problem is planting young hostas too close together. Anticipate that
most hostas need five years to reach their mature sizes, and they prefer not to
be crowded. Unless you are using them for borders, allow enough room for their
Hostas can out-live their owners and increase fairly
rapidly. Anticipate a few years for new hostas to
reach full size, depending on the variety and growing conditions. Hostas
prefer areas that are partly shaded or shaded. Some cultivars are sun-tolerant,
but all do best if they receive shade in the afternoon.
Sun grown hosta eyes will
multiply faster, however leaves will be lighter and may scorch (this is not
detrimental except to appearance). With more shade, leaves will be more
luxuriant, but fewer leaves will be produced.
Northern zone hostas should be mulched
with a layer of finely shredded organic material to prevent winter heaving.
Mulch retains moisture and adds nutrients, but provides a hiding place for slugs
If the leaf centers have holes, slugs may be present. Applying a slug
bait in early spring will help reduce the slug population. When plants are
firmly established, removing the mulch helps eliminate the slug problem.In
early winter, after hostas enter dormancy, cut
old foliage to reduce insect and health issues. Especially in southern zones, too much water in the winter may lead to
rot. If planted in poorly drained soils, fungal pathogens may cause either crown
or root rot. Removing all of the mulch around hostas, leaving the ground bare
for the winter months reduces the chance of fungal pathogens and slugs, plus
decreases the ground temperature. Remulching is often recommended in early
spring, except when voles are a common problem.