Hosta Information and Growing Tips

Shades of Green

W4112 Schild Road, West Salem, WI 54669

(608) 786-0185


What Are Hostas?  

Hostas are reliable, low-maintenance perennials that are prized for their beautiful foliage. They come in a wide variety of attractive leaf colors and clump sizes and always add dramatic interest and texture to the garden. There are beautifully variegated varieties with striking combinations of green, blue, yellow, cream and pure white. Some even have very large, fragrant flowers. Hostas grow in USDA plant hardiness zones 2 in the north to 7 in the south. Species of hosta originate in Japan, China and Korea; however, U.S. hybridizers have introduced a large number of extremely attractive, new cultivars in recent years. Hostas prefer shade and should be protected from strong afternoon sun. Some varieties do tolerate higher amounts of sunlight.


Hostas have many uses in the landscape. They may be planted in groups, along borders or as specimen plants. Yellow and gold shades of hosta lighten darker areas of the garden and blues soften a gardenís look. Beautifully variegated varieties add great interest in the garden display. Hostas are a good investment as they are easy to maintain, grow well in most soils and have many uses in the landscape. Clumps increase in size and become more beautiful each year and may be divided and transplanted every three to five years. Take into consideration the mature clump size for the location your hosta will be planted.


Spring and early summer are preferred planting times for hostas, although they may be planted and transplanted in the fall. Soil preparation is important for good plant growth. Hostas prefer soil amended with organic matter such as compost, ideally three parts soil to one part compost, allowing for good drainage and root growth. They also prefer slightly acidic soil with a PH level of 6.0. Soil should be loosened to a depth of about 10 inches for medium-sized hostas. It is vital that hostas not be planted too deep or too shallow for plants to grow well. The crown, where the leaf stems join the roots, should be planted right at ground level. Water plants after planting.


Hostas are forgiving plants and will do well with little care. The ideal time of day to water hostas is in the morning and during dry spells one inch of water or more per week is recommended. Large-leaved varieties should be watered underneath leaves. Half strength all-purpose fertilizer may be applied in early spring as leaves emerge and again during mid-summer. Bloom scapes may be cut off after flowering to maintain attractiveness. A thin layer of mulch may be spread underneath hostas to maintain moisture, but should not be placed close to leaf stems. After frost, leaves may be trimmed a couple of inched from the ground, leaving some stems for locating clumps the following spring.


The main pests will be garden visitors asking for you to share your hostas. Slugs are the biggest threat to hostas as they affect a plantís appearance by eating small holes in the leaves at night. Ground areas around hostas should be kept clear of flat objects that provide damp places for slugs to hide underneath. Mature hosta clumps are less prone to slug damage as leaves and stems become thicker. Deer and rabbits may nibble on younger hostas. For more information on pest control, please feel free to call us.

If you have any questions, we will do our best to answer them.

Please e-mail us at

Thank You!

for your interest in hostas!

With our compliments...Tim and Bonnie