Hosta Care

Shady Characters
Plants for the Woodland Garden

Light Conditions: Hostas are shade tolerant not shade loving plants. In the South, more shade will be needed than in northern climates, but total shade is not required. Some early morning or dappled sun is good. However, intense, mid-day sun should be avoided.

If you think your Hostas are getting too much sun, additional water may help. However, a sun-scorched hosta is not a pretty sight. If that happens, remember that Hostas are very tough plants that can tolerate transplanting throughout the growing season, so get them in the shade.

Soil: Hostas do best in rich, organic soils that are well aerated. The soil should be moist but well drained. The ideal pH for Hostas is around 6.0.

Most soils in our area can be modified to the liking of Hostas with the addition of copious amounts of organic matter. The key is to not be chintzy. A 4 to 6 inch layer should be added to the soil and well incorporated.

Watering: Keep the plants well watered (moist but not soggy) until established. During the hottest times of summer, provide adequate moisture to prevent leaf scorching. Water is especially critical in the late summer and early fall when the rhizome is storing energy for the following year.

Mulching: Lightly mulching your Hostas in the spring can be beneficial. It provides additional organic matter and helps retain soil moisture. However, do not over do it with mulch. Too much can suffocate the crown and lead to rot.