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Hosta spp.

Pronunciation: Hoss-tuh
Family: Liliaceae (lily family)
Common Name: Hosta, plantain lily, funkia
Plant Type:
  • perennial
Height to: 6"-3'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • -30 to -40ºF ZONE 3
  • -20 to -30ºF ZONE 4
  • -10 to -20ºF ZONE 5
  • 0 to -10ºF ZONE 6
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
Sun Exposure:
  • full shade
  • part sun
Bloom Description: Like other lilies, the leaves have distinctive parallel veins. In summer, lily-like flowers are held on slender stalks that stand above the foliage, and their colors range from blue to lilac to violet to green to white. Some hostas produce very showy floral displays and some are fragrant. However, many gardeners remove flower stalks as they appear in order to encourage the foliage. In autumn the leaves turn yellow before wilting completely for their winter rest period. Hostas have fleshy roots and short rhizomes (underground stems) by which they spread to form larger clumps.
Plant Perks:
  • Container Gardening
  • Cut Flower
Pests and Diseases: The very young leaves of hostas are prized by snails and slugs, and the older leaves are sought out by gourmet deer.
Propagation: Hostas are propagated by dividing the root clumps. In early spring, just as the plant's little "bullets" are beginning to emerge from the ground, you should be able to identify the individual crowns that have developed around the original. Use a sharp spade to separate one or more out from the rest. Hostas should not be divided more often than every 3-5 years. Commercial producers propagate hostas by the millions by culturing a few cells in glass test tubes
Native to: Most of the wild species of hosta grow in korea, china and japan. Hostas have been cultivated, hybridized and selected in japan for centuries, and more recently european and american fanciers have gotten into the act.
Notes for Identification: Source: floridata care: hostas are easy to cultivate in fertile, moist soil with a ph near neutrality. If you aren't interested in the flowers, or if your hosta is less than a couple years old, you might want to cut the flower stalks off so the plant can devote more energy to foliage development. Hostas do best in shade or partial shade. They like some morning sun, but never plant hostas where they will be subjected to afternoon sun. In the north, hostas do best with full sun in the morning. The green and gold-leaved types may be able to tolerate a little more sun than those with gray or bluish leaves. Hostas produce the best foliage with regular water during their growing season, but they can tolerate drought if they have to. Mulch in summer to retain soil moisture. Hostas are a mainstay in shady gardens. They thrive where the grass won't grow. Hostas do so well and are so easy to divide, that they can be used as ground covers under trees and shrubs. In autumn, the yellowing leaves last long enough to be worthwhile fall color, and the persistent flower stalks and seed heads of some types are a strange and ghostly sight in winter. A clump of large-leaved hostas looks great at the base of a large tree or stump. Use hostas in shady herbaceous borders and in woodland gardens. They often are used in the background behind more sun-loving plants. Line a shady path with medium size hostas. The smaller types are effective in rock gardens, as edging and in containers. Cut leaves are prized in floral arrangements.
Located in: Perennials
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