It can be difficult to find plants that will thrive under mature trees, along walls that lack sun exposure and in other shady spots in your garden. The beautiful Hosta (Plantain Lily) with its low-growing, lush green leaves is the perfect plant choice for shady garden areas.
Hostas grow in tufted clumps and are available at garden centers in many varieties and shades of green from large lily-pad shaped blue-green leaves to variegated white-edged deep green shoots to mottled yellow-green foliage. All produce slender stalks with blue bell or white lily-shaped flowerettes in early to late summer, depending on variety.
You'll find many uses for hostas. Mass plantings of a single variety are particularly effective. Mix a variety of multi-colored, thin and broad-leaf hostas to create a lush shade garden under trees or around a backyard pond. Add gatherings of shade-tolerant Impatiens to create bright pools of color amid the hostas' green leaves. Hostas are very effective as a foundation planting along sunless walls. They add color and texture to the usually dead area between buildings. Hostas can also be used to line garden walks or edge patios and decks. Use hostas to create a lovely natural border to differentiate different areas of your garden. Add beauty and elegance to parkway trees and shade trees by planting hostas in a ring around the tree about one foot from the trunk. As hostas grow and fill in, they will create a beautiful green "skirt" around your tree.
Hostas grow best in fertile, humus-rich, well-drained soil. Water well during dry weather and apply mulch to help plants retain moisture. An easy to grow perennial, hostas reach full maturity in 4 to 8 years. Hosta can be added to the garden in spring before leaves form or in the fall up to one month before frost to allow roots to become established.