| Hostas are shade tolerant, not shade loving. They will survive in full shade but do best in areas where they receive morning sun and are shaded during the hot afternoon. Till the soil to loosen it to a depth of 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45 cm). Amend the soil with compost, humus or sand if needed. Hostas prefer loose, well-drained soil. Varieties of Hostas that grow fast produce shorter plants. These have a wide-spreading shallow root network and work well as ground cover. Place these plants closer together and allow them to fill in and prevent weed growth.
Varieties that grow at least 12 inches tall (30 cm) and have more horizontal than vertical growth can be spaced closer together and used as border or edging plants. These types of Hostas are also commonly used around the base of trees. After Hosta plants are established, they don’t need much weeding. Use cocoa mulch or pine straw to mulch around Hostas. These products have the added benefit of also repelling slugs, the biggest pest problem that affects Hostas. Avoid using shredded leaves or other plant matter as mulch, because those products attract slugs.
Keep the layer of mulch to 2 inches (5 cm) thick or less. Over-mulching around Hostas encourages voles (field mice) that tunnel through the mulch and eat the Hosta leaves.
These large-leaved plants have a high water transpiration rate, so they require plenty of water. Although they can withstand drought, Hostas do best if given 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) of water weekly. For best results water the plants every 2 to 4 days.
Dividing a Hosta
You can divide Hostas at any time; but if you live in an area with harsh winters, it is best to divide and transplant your Hostas in the spring so they are well established before the first frost.
Dig the Hosta plant out of the ground and lay it on the surface of the soil.
Use a sharp shovel or knife to cut the plant into 2 or 3 pieces. Make sure there is at least one stem growth point (or eye) on each new plant.
Put one piece of the plant back in the original hole and transplant the other pieces to new spots.
Hostas can be paired with a variety of other plants for an exceptional look in your garden.
When planting a Hosta think about using perennials such as snow drops, tulips and daffodils. Annuals that work well with Hostas are Impatiens, Begonias and Coleus. Even fern such as Maidenhair and Japanese Painted Fern, work well in the same area. Using these suggestions you will be creating a beautiful look in your garden.