Named after Dr. Nicholaus Host, physician to the emperor of Austria (1761–1834). Countless hybrids have been raised, mainly in the United States in recent years. They are all clump forming and can become quite large with time, hence need to be divided every 3-5 years once established. The leaves can be large or small in different shades of green, yellow, greyish blue, or variegated. In high summer they bear one-sided racemes of funnel-shaped flowers that can range in colour from lilac to white.
All are hardy and prefer fertile, moist, well-drained soil in full to partial shade, making a good ground cover under deep-rooted deciduous trees, although they will take full sun if watered regularly. They can be used as ground cover under deep-rooted deciduous trees.
Hosta’s evoke the lush look of many tropical plants, with their luxuriant foliage, the only draw back is that slugs and snails absolutely adore them! I grow mine in large containers with about 2ins of Vaseline smeared around the base of the pot to stop slugs and snails slithering up! There are far too many forms to mention here, so I will only cover only a few of the largest.
All Hosta like to be well fed and especially if you want the largest leaves! Use well rotted garden compost, blood-fish and bone or pelleted chicken manure around the base of each clump as they start to emerge in the spring. They also like regular moisture especial when grown in pots where they should be watered daily.
If you would like to read more information on Hosta’s, have a look at some of the specific Hosta’s we review here. We also have a great video on How to protect Hosta’s from Slugs & Snails here….