hosta heaven.

hosta heaven

My hostas are doing amazingly well this year.  This seems to be the year that many of them have started to ‘leap’.  I’m pretty excited about that because it also means that soon I’ll be able to divide and thus have more plants, possibly next spring.

Over the past several years I’ve been putting in some really gorgeous varieties.  Unfortunately I haven’t done a very good job of keeping track of all of the names.

I’m fairly certain that this one is Lakeside Dragonfly …

hosta lakeside dragonfly

And some of you may remember this favorite that I’ve shared here before called June.

hosta June

I’ve completely lost track of what this next variety is.

hosta

I think there are some gardening snobs out there who sort of turn their noses up at hostas.  Maybe because for so many years people used them in foundation plantings without much imagination at all.  They just plunked the standard dark green or variegated hostas in evenly spaced holes with rocks around them.  Yawn.

But the beauty of growing hostas is what also made them perfect for those foundation plantings, and that is that they don’t require much care.  You’ll want to avoid planting them in the full hot sun and you’ll want to watch for slugs, but otherwise they are pretty much care-free.  Unless you have hungry deer in your neighborhood, in which case you are pretty much hosed because deer love these things.

I used to think that when the plants started getting really huge you were supposed to divide them to maintain the health of the plant.  However, I recently learned that you don’t have to divide your hostas.  It’s perfectly fine to let them be huge.  The only reason to divide is to get more plants, but if you don’t care about that you can just leave them alone.  This was great news for me since I have quite a few really large plants that I don’t necessarily want to divide.

I think the trickiest part of growing hostas is figuring out where to place them in the garden for the best effect.  I’m still working on this skill.

hosta bed

Hostas come in all sizes from tiny mini’s, like the ones in my fairy garden …

fairy garden 2

To huge ones like Sum and Substance.

sum and substance leaf

I included my hand there so you could see how big that leaf really is.  And keep in mind, I have fairly large hands, not delicate lady-hands.

The colors can range from almost yellow like these May hostas that I’ve paired with a Purple Palace heuchera

hosta May

to blue, like this variety that I can’t remember the name of!

hosta blue

Hostas can be solid colored like the two examples above, or variegated like this hosta montana “Aureomarginata”.

hosta montana Aureomarginata

Some hostas have really puckered leaves, they remind me of seersucker fabric.

hosta with puckered leaves

Upright hostas like this next one grow … well … more upright.

hosta upright

You’ll want to plant something in front of a large upright hosta like this one.  I have found that these work beautifully for the center of the garden that is between my house and the driveway.  Since this garden is viewed from both sides, I have the taller upright plants in the center with lower plants on either side.

Hostas ‘bloom’ in mid-summer, but I usually cut the flower stalks off mine as soon as they appear.  Mostly of them are rather straggly and messy looking, although there are a few varieties that have a showier flower.  There is no need to allow the flowers to grow unless you plan to try harvesting seeds.  I’ve also read that removing the flowers allows the plant to focus all of its energy on growing more leaves.  So I say “off with their heads!”

How about you, do you grow hostas?  Do you mercilessly hack the flowers off like I do?

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “hosta heaven.

  1. Love all your hostas! Our yard is mainly shade. So yes! Hostas are a mainstay!
    And yes”off with their heads”. The bees and humming birds love them. So I do wait about a week. And then it is time to clean up! Thank you for your blog! Enjoy reading it!

    Like

    1. Laurie, you are so much more environmentally responsible than me! I never thought about the birds and the bees. Hopefully the rest of my flowering plants will keep them happy 😉

      Like

  2. If you’re ever looking for inspiration, take a drive over to Roselawn a few blocks west of Snelling in Falcon Hgts. There is the
    most spectacular hosta garden on the corner.
    The man that owns the property has a hosta business (I think it’s called hostas direct). Once a year he has a big sale. He has hundreds of varieties of all shapes and sizes. I think he has a web site that probably has more info about his business.

    Like

  3. Hostas were the first things that a planted when I moved into our current home. We have a shady sideyard that gets very wet – the hostas have done an incredible job of soaking up all that moisture. They are such a pleasure! Yours are beautiful – and I also did not know they had minis! So adorable!

    Like

    1. The mini’s are perfect for fairy gardens, as long as it’s outdoors. I bury my fairy garden under a pile of leaves for the winter and dig it out again each spring and the hostas comes back beautifully.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. We leave the flowers. We have so much shade that I am happy to see any flower in my yard and we have quite a few fragrant varieties too.

    Like

    1. I hear you Christopher. I don’t have a lot of blooming plants in my shade gardens either. Some of the hosta flowers do look good in floral arrangements too, so I could also see leaving them for that reason.

      Like

  5. What a great collection of hostas. I had no idea they came so small they would fit in a birdbath. That is charming. And then the ginormus one holy cow. I have three all the same have no idea what they are except they are variegated. I have hopes of doing a border around one of my beds. Now that my trees have created a shade for 2/3 of my back garden I should add more varieties. If you go to Roselawn
    do take some photos to share with us. Going over to take a look at that site now.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s