Hosta Plant: How To Grow, Care & Types Of Hosta

Hostas are hardy perennials that require absolutely no extra care and are ideal for a shade-tolerant landscape. Hostas are hardy and easy to cultivate, and they may outlive the grower! Learn more about how to cultivate and care for the hosta.

front yard hosta garden plan
front yard hosta garden plan

About Hostas

white feather hosta
white feather hosta

The beauty of hostas is that there are so many different sizes, heights, textures, and colors to choose from! They are cold-hardy and may be used in a variety of environments (patio, border, container, rock, shade).

The majority of types have a spread and height of 1 to 3 feet, however larger or smaller kinds are available. Variegated white, lime green, and blue-green are only a few of the leaf hues. Hosta leaves vary in texture and form, from smooth and narrow to ridged and heart-shaped.

Though the plants are most recognized for their gorgeous leaves, they also produce exquisite blooms in pink, lavender, light blue, or white from early summer to early fall. Hummingbirds and other pollinators enjoy the blossoms, which may be aromatic depending on the species.

Slugs, snails, rabbits, and especially deer enjoy hostas almost as much as humans. Bear this in mind if you have deer who come into your garden on a regular basis since they will nibble a hosta patch down to only the stems.


when to plant hosta bulbs
when to plant hosta bulbs

Hostas’ big leaves do not fare well in full sun; they prefer partial sun or dappled shade but will thrive in deep shadow as well. Once planted, they can tolerate summer heat and moderate droughts.

Hostas like well-draining, rich soil (amend the soil with compost or rotted manure if your soil is poor). They dislike sitting in damp soil, so plant on an elevated spot or where the soil does not remain soggy (especially in winter). Soil pH should range between mildly acidic and neutral (6.5 to 7.0), however hostas are tolerant in this regard.

When To Plant Hostas

how fast does hosta grow
how fast does hosta grow
  • Plant hostas in the spring or fall as dormant, bare-root divisions or potted plants.
  • Hostas can be planted throughout the summer growing season, but they will require extra care (mainly watering) to avoid succumbing to the heat.

How To Plant Hostas

how often to water hosta
how often to water hosta
  • Dig a hole that is double the breadth and depth of the plant’s root ball. Softening the soil in the planting area will help the hosta’s roots grow outward.
  • When planting many hostas, space them out according to their mature size. Hostas are great for filling in gaps!
  • Place the plants in the hole so that their crowns (bases) are even with the surrounding soil and any developing leaf tips are visible at the soil surface.
  • Plant potted hostas at the same soil level as they were in the container.
  • To settle the roots, gently dampen the earth around the plants and water until the soil is wet.

How To Care For Hostas

how to plant bare root hosta
how to plant bare root hosta
  • After planting or when new growth appears in the spring, use a well-balanced, slow-release fertilizer.
  • Maintain moist but not wet soil.
  • If the soil dries up rapidly, consider spreading mulch around the plants to help preserve moisture, but keep in mind that mulch can be a slug hiding spot.
  • Remove flower stems after they have bloomed to promote fresh growth.
  • Many hosta varieties have beautiful fall colors, so let them grow until they are damaged by frost.
  • Hostas will flatten out and become mushy in the late fall after a few touches of frost. We recommend pruning them to reduce slug and disease problems. Remove any brown leaves from around the plants. If you run out of time, you might perhaps wait until spring to prune them.
  • Transplanting and dividing are best done in the early spring when the leaves are just emerging.

Types Of Hostas

hosta in front of house
hosta in front of house

When you start investigating hostas, you’ll realize they’re rather addicting! There’s a hosta for every scenario, from broad borders to tiny rock gardens, ranging from 4-inch micro hostas to 6-foot-wide enormous hostas. Here are a few examples:

‘Aureomarginata’ Hosta

The glossy, tapering leaves of Hosta montana ‘Aureomarginata’ form large clumps with wavy, uneven golden borders. Early in the summer, mauve hosta flowers blossom.

‘Aztec Treasure’ Hosta

In the summer, Hosta ‘Aztec Treasure’ produces 1-foot mounds of heart-shaped chartreuse leaves and bell-shaped purple blooms. 

‘Blue Mouse Ears’ Hosta

Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ is a lovely dwarf variety with rounded blue foliage. It reaches a height of 5 inches and a width of 12 inches. This kind of blue hosta is unique for your garden.

‘Chartreuse Wiggles’ Hosta

The slender golden-green leaves of Hosta ‘Chartreuse Wiggles’ have wavy edges. It reaches a height of 6 inches and a width of 12 inches. 

‘Daybreak’ Hosta

The brilliant gold leaves of Hosta ‘Daybreak’ have a corrugated appearance. It bears lavender blooms and reaches a width of 3 feet. 

‘Deja Blu’ Hosta

Hosta ‘Deja Blu’ has blue-green leaves with a golden border. It reaches a height of 14 inches and a width of 20 inches.

blue angel hosta
blue angel hosta

‘Formal Attire’ Hosta

The enormous blue-green leaves of Hosta ‘Formal Attire’ are bordered with creamy white. The leaves have a unique puckered feel. It can grow to be 30 inches tall and broad. 

‘Francee’ Hosta

Hosta ‘Francee’ forms broad mounds of big oval leaves with a cream rim. Summer brings funnel-shaped lavender blooms on 30-inch stalks. 

‘Golden Prayers’ Hosta

The cupped golden-yellow leaves of Hosta ‘Golden Prayers’ stand out. It’s a little plant that develops to be 10 inches tall and 16 inches broad.

‘Great American Expectations’ Hosta

The enormous chartreuse leaves of Hosta ‘Great American Expectations’ are bordered in blue. It reaches a height and width of 26 inches. 

‘Great Expectations’ Hosta

The puckered chartreuse leaves of Hosta ‘Great Expectations’ are irregularly bordered in blue. It reaches a height of 22 inches and a width of 40 inches. 

‘Heavenly Tiara’ Hosta

Hosta ‘Heavenly Tiara’ has gold-edged light green leaves. It reaches a height of 12 inches and a width of 36 inches.

hosta plantaginea
hosta plantaginea

‘June’ Hosta

Hosta ‘June’ is an award-winning variety with golden-yellow leaves that are extensively bordered with blue. It reaches a height of 15 inches and a width of 20 inches. It tolerates some sun.

How To Make Hostas Bloom

front yard hosta garden plan
front yard hosta garden plan

Most hostas are grown for the color and texture of their leaves rather than their flowers. Many individuals find the blossoms unappealing and cut the flower stems off before the blooms open. However, hosta blooms attract pollinators and can provide a mild, pleasant aroma in the yard.

Simple care—enough sunshine and water—is typically all that is required to guarantee that hostas blossom. While these plants are recognized as shade plants, they do not blossom well when planted in severe shadows with no sunshine. Some hosta cultivars do not blossom much until plants are extremely mature. Be patient; it might take up to six or seven years for your variety to blossom strongly.

Common Hosta Pests To Be Aware Of

how to prevent holes in hosta leaves
how to prevent holes in hosta leaves

The disadvantage of these adaptable perennials is that they are preyed on by a variety of pests. Deer and bunnies like nibbling on fragile hosta plants. If you have a unique plant, cage it early in the spring to prevent the new growth from becoming a salad lunch for these pests. Slugs and snails may also harm your hostas, so keep an eye out for any holes in the leaves and hunt down and eliminate the slimy perpetrators.

Hostas are vulnerable to a few less obvious pests in addition to conspicuous pests. Foliar nematodes are a new concern for hostas. These tiny worms, which are most numerous in the summer, eat through leaf veins, causing the foliage to yellow and finally brown. Sadly, there is no cure for foliar nematodes, and diseased plants should be discarded to avoid their spread.

Hosta Virus X is a more recent pest issue. This difficult virus generates a mottling of the leaf that might appear attractive at times. Indeed, prior to Hosta X being fully recognized, several kinds were marketed into the plant trade as having unique foliage, which was really attributable to the virus. If you notice mottled leaves, send samples to your local extension office for testing. If positive, the diseased plants should be discarded to avoid the virus from transmitting to other hostas.

Problems Appear When Planting Hostas

does hosta come back every year
does hosta come back every year

Most significant issues with hostas are aesthetic in nature, and they are rarely lethal. Here are some of the most frequent hosta concerns.

Holes In Leaves

When you observe ragged holes in leaves, it is frequently the result of slug and snail damage. Keeping the ground area surrounding plants clean will deter these damaging mollusks.

Shredded Leaves

Hail storms may severely injure hostas leaves, resulting in disease issues. Remove any affected leaves, and the plant should recover quickly.

Leaf Edges Burned

Too much sun, which burns the leaves, frequently causes brown, withered margins on hostas leaves. In the summer, keep the plant properly hydrated and, if possible, give some shade. Badly afflicted leaves can be clipped and removed; new leaves will grow in their place.

Leaves Have Spots

This is frequently the result of a fungal or bacterial infection. Prevent these diseases by leaving plenty of space between plants and watering with soaker hoses instead of aerial sprays.

Foliage Is Yellow, Growth Is Stunted

This is frequently an indication of crown rot; your plant is most likely a victim of excessive watering or rains. Plants that have been severely damaged will have to be removed and killed.


Gardeners love Hosta plants. They are great for a low-maintenance landscape because of their lush foliage and ease of upkeep. Hostas originated in the Orient and were introduced to Europe in the 1700s. Today, there are over 2,500 varieties with such a wide range in leaf form, size, and texture that an entire garden might be devoted to growing them alone. While Hostas maintenance is considered simple, knowing how to cultivate hostas may help the plants reach their full horticultural potential.


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