Did You Know That…..
There are over 8,000 varieties of these hardy perennial plants? Their heritage can be traced to Japan, China and Korea.
Hostas can be grown in all areas of the U.S., except the tropical zones.
Hostas can be large, growing anywhere from 2 feet to 5 feet. But there are also small and mini-size hostas that can be planted in over-sized coffee cups.
These plants love plenty of water, good drainage and well-built soil.
The leaves come in shades of green, gold and blue; some are with splashes of cream or white. And the leaves can also be twisted, ruffled, twisted, cupped, striped and more.
Wonderful-looking spikes of white to purple blooms are a bonus from a plant that’s known for its leaves and often variegated foliage. After the summer bloom, snip off the stalks.
Already got a potted hosta? Or several of them? (Lucky you!) Plant it in the ground in fall before the first freeze.
Putting a pine-needle mulch around hostas will stop slugs from bothering it (bear in mind that deer love hosta plants too) and will make the plant look nice.
Hostas can be combined with other hostas or with ferns and azaleas.
All hostas will bloom, but here are two hybrids that will totally immerse your home (or garden) and senses with fabulous, intense fragrance during the late summer season:
Honeybells-This 22-inch-tall hybrid can take full sun (most light-color hostas can not). The blooms are lavender.
Fragrant Bouquet-The white blooms of this plant are enticingly set off by light green leaves with pale yellow margins. These plants grow 20 inches tall.
A Few Varieties
Fire Island-The leaves are a luminous yellow-green on a vivid red stem. This type grows from 10-14 inches tall.
Love Pat (no kidding; this is the actual name!) has large, lovely blue-green leaves that are puckered and cupped. ‘Pat’ grows to 14 inches tall.
First Frost’s leaves come out with gold margins that turn white. This plant reaches a height of 16 inches.
Hadspen Blue has distinct heart-shaped foliage, that grows in clumps of blue-green. Hadspen Blue grows 14 inches tall.
For more hosta info, go to www.go.osu.edu/hostas.
Sources: “Choose hostas” by Hugh Earnhart, OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteer-The Vindicator, Aug. 15, 2013 and “Made for the Shade” by Marty Ross-Better Homes and Gardens, Aug. 2012