09 Jun Hosta
I seldom see a hosta (“hoss-ta”) that I don’t like and this is their time of year. With hundreds of varieties of these special plants available, your choices are endless. Someday, I will plant an entire bed of them but in the meantime, I nurture the one that I do have and keep my eye out at this time of years for ones that other people have cultivated.
One of the things I enjoy the most: they don’t need much. In fact, mine has never needed anything (except keeping the weeds away) that nature hasn’t already provided. So these beautiful, lush green plants that make one think of a tropical paradise are perfect for non-gardeners, beginning gardeners or anyone else.
Hostas, which are native to Japan, China, and Korea and hail from the lily family often have dark green leaves. But some are light green and others have contrasting dark or light edges around their leaves. Others range from chartreuse, yellow and gold, to blue. Many have leaves variously edged, striped, or irregularly patterned with white, cream, yellow, or sea green. Each leaf has a long furrowed or cupped leafstalk with a broad heart or lance-shaped blade with deep distinctive venation.
They send up beautiful, scented flowers on tall stems when they bloom. The plants appear, seemingly from nowhere, in the spring and stay green all summer into fall. When winter hits, the leaves brown and they hide in the ground until the following spring, when the plant appears again.
They enjoy evenly moist, humus rich soil and light to full shade. They are tough-which makes them perfect for our climate-as well as versatile and adaptable. Most species need protection from direct sunshine to prevent leaf browning. They can be divided in the spring or fall if too large.
Be aware, I am not the only one who loves them. Slugs love them too! So you will need to protect them from the slimy creatures who will eat them to the ground.