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Hilltop's Variety Spotlight

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The (Not Just for) Shade Plant

Hostas are among the easiest perennials to grow, requiring very little fussing or deadheading. (Cut back flower scapes when finished and remove dead leaves when they die back in the fall.)

Foliage comes in such an array of colors (green, blue-green, white, gold, and chartreuse, some with red in the stems), patterns, sizes (4” tall minis to 7’ diameter giants), textures, and shapes.

Tubular blooms on tall scapes range from pure white to deep purple with every shade in between. All hosta blooms are attractive to hummingbirds! Some hostas are fragrant (from the species plantaginea); these tend to take more sun. Some hostas have double flowers.

Hostas grow in bright shade to sun:

  • Dark shade = poor growth
  • Full sun = rapid growth but burned leaves in summer
  • Dapple shade or morning sun = :-) happy plants

Hostas must be watered during dry periods to ensure their return the next spring. Keep moist during the summer, but don’t let the hostas get “wet feet” during the winter.

Hostas can be divided in the spring to make more plants, but is not required for plant health unless the center of the crown has died out.

Pests are few:

  • Slugs/snails – see today’s Wisdom
  • Cut worms – Use Dipel or Sevin on the plants.
  • Deer – Use Liquid Fence (or relocate)

Excellent companion plants for hostas are:

  • More hostas!
  • Ferns
  • Bleeding hearts
  • Clematis
  • Spring bulbs

Variety Spotlight #7, 2/8/2014 © Hilltop Farm

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