spring or fall
2 inches to 4 feet
light to full shade
rich, evenly moist soil
generally hardy to zones 3-9
lavender, purple or white flowers on spikes; generally grown for foliage
blue, yellow, green, spotted, splashed or striped leaves
shade beds, borders, edging, and containers
Purchase plants in spring or fall and place in deep holes supplemented with nutrient compost to encourage roots to spread. Hostas take two to four years to reach their full size so make sure you give each plant enough room to spread. Certain varieties are known to grow at faster rates and tend to be less expensive. If division becomes necessary due to plants outgrowing their space, use a sharp spade or knife to cut off and relocate some of the small suckers around the plant's main clump.
Slugs are common pests to Hostas and can munch large, unsightly holes in their leaves. Creating a barrier of coarsely crushed eggshells around the base of plants will make slugs think twice about crossing. Varieties with thick textured leaves also tend to have fewer problems with slugs.
I have the blue broad leaf type and in full sun they grow quite large and very fast. In my deepest shade they grow slower and not as big. I have not tried this but am getting ready to since the slugs are very bad this year. Put a small (petrie size) dish of beer out in the middle of your plants. I understand the slugs cannot resist it and crawl in and drown. I may end up with a leaf or two left yet this summer!
beer for slugs does work.
I have a cheaper method I like to use sawdust shavings and perfect fix even if it rains. I started out about 5 or 6 years ago doing this and now sometime in the spring I have a problem and I get the saw dust out and sprinkle it around (actually I just sling it everywhere and it works beautifully for no cost). I have used cedar saw dust also or coarse cornmeal in a pinch.
Hosta Hint - if you want your plants to grow to a larger, fuller size, more quickly, remove the first flower scape (stem) that develops in the spring. This forces the plant to put its energy into vegetative growth. The hosta will put forth a second flower scape toward the end of the summer. Leave the second and enjoy the flower.
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