Grown primarily for their beautiful foliage, hostas come back year after year, survive bitter winters (to minus 40 degrees), make no special demands on the gardener’s time, and are widely available in nurseries and garden centers. The tremendous variety of sizes, silhouettes, and lush tones of white, gold, blue, and green that this leafy, shade-loving plant offers has made it a favorite among gardeners whose cherished beds lie in the shadows of their yards. To grow and care for hostas of your own, we offer the following tips and tricks.

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How to Care for Hostas

  • • Hostas grow best when planted in a rich, organic soil.

• When planting, dig a large wide hole, as hostas’ roots tend to grow and spread horizontally in the soil.

• Most hostas do not thrive in dark gardens and actually prefer light morning sun with afternoon shade. These conditions will help their blossoms develop. Generally, blue-toned hostas prefer more shade than their more sun-tolerant gold, white, and yellow-leafed counterparts. 

• Hostas like water and require a minimum of an inch of water each week to thrive. A thorough watering early each day is advisable. Droopy plants and leaf tips that appear burnt are a sign of insufficient water. 

• When dividing hostas during late summer, be sure to complete the task at least a month before autumn’s first frost. 

• Untangle and loosen tightly bound roots before planting a potted hosta. For bare root plants, soak the roots of the new plant in lukewarm water for about a half-hour before placing it in the ground.

• Plant hostas about two feet apart—smaller-leaved varieties about 18 to 24 inches apart and larger-leaved hostas 24 to 30 inches apart. This provides them with plenty of room to grow.

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