One of the most versatile and attractive perennials in the garden, the leafy green Hosta (Plantian Lily) is also one of the easiest plants to grow. Grown for their attractive leafy foliage, hostas grow in mounding cushions low to the ground. Bell-shaped flowers in white or shades of blue or lavender are produced on long thin stems from the center of each leafy clump in mid- to late summer, depending on variety.
Hostas are hardy plants with a wide growing range. They thrive in Zones 3 through 8, making them a standard in gardens throughout the U.S. For best display, hostas should be planted in early spring. These verdant green plants grow best in fertile, humus-rich soil that is well drained. During hot summer weather, hosta plants should be watered frequently. Application of a summer mulch will help the plants retain water. Leaves may start to droop or appear puckery-looking if insufficiently watered. Once established, hostas are amazingly hardy and will generally recover even if abused. To ensure continued showy displays over the years, the soil around hosta plants should be amended with organic matter each year. If divided every three years, hostas will continue to provide beautiful green garden displays for years.
Hostas are available in a large variety of shapes and colors from large, deeply-veined, heart-shaped August lilies to white-edged, narrow-leaved variegated specimens. A favorite choice for shade gardens and under mature trees, hostas require only 3 hours of sunlight a day and will provide an adequate display with less. Verdant shade gardens of startling beauty can be created by combining several varieties of hosta with the lacey leaves of Hardy Ferns (Multiple) an interesting counterpoint under trees when combined with ivy and other groundcovers.