One of my favorite shade plants is the Hosta. I love the idea of adding texture, and variety to my shade garden.
The Hosta is in the Lily Family, (Plantain lily) and yes it will get a flower although I would consider it insignificant really. I have seen pictures of really amazing Hosta Lily flowers but mine never look like that. Maybe its a Utah thing. A Zone thing... I would love to see what you have, if you know something different.
Propagation is only achieved by Dividing, and shouldn't be attempted until the Hosta is at least 3 years old. Like most all perennials 1st year they sleep, 2nd year they creep, 3rd year they leap. This seems very true of the Hosta. At least that has been my experience.
Growing Guide- Part to Full Shade To much sun, this plant will either die or be small & weak. I have heard of some sun tolerant varities. But I feel unable to comment on those, as I have not seen them yet. You will love the fact that this plant is easy to grow, and has very few maintenance requirements. I use a simple time release fertilizer at the beggining of the summer. Hosta's love well drained soil, and hate sitting in standing water. If your Hosta sits in water, undrained, it will rot. Slugs & snails can be a pest if not kept in check. But grasshoppers and rolly poleys love mine in the late summer. I use snail bait for the slugs and snails. The other two pests so far havent done a ton of damage, yet. The Hosta is a relatively quick grower, after it has been established.
I am partial to the White and Green variegated variety. I think the combination adds tons of interest to your shade garden when the other perennials have stopped blooming. But there are several other fun Hosta's that either are all green, other variegated colors, or even some blue green varieties. Some Hosta's have small leaves. Still other's have large leaves, they seem to be the most popular in this area. I am going to refrain from giving you the long Hosta albo-picta or "fancy" names for these plants. So many nursery's use so many different names. It can be so confusing. Besides the fact that most nursery's will know what you are talking about when you ask for a Hosta. If they dont, run away!
Hostas can be purchased through mail order catalogues. I have always purchased them from the nursery, I like to see something growing before I purchase it. This is what the Hosta's look like when they first start to peer out of the ground.
This is called unfurling. Each new leaf that grows throughout the summer has that same look of unfurling. How cool is that?Some of the best plants to partner up with Hosta's in the shade are Ferns. Yes, you can grow ferns in Utah. The Japanese Painted fern is one of my favorites. *It will survive the winter. (more on the ferns next week) Another favorite of mine is the Elephant Ear. *These will not survive the winter. Don't forget the Columbine, Corral Bells, *both are perennials And the simple but beautiful viola's. (also called Jonny Jump Ups) these are not perennials truly. But they re-seed themselves. So usually you will see them next year as well. Last but not least, I love the Bleeding heart with Hosta. They make a great pair.I hope this information about Hosta's gets you excited to plant one. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment. I will try to answer any questions you have. Please come back and visit this blog. I am looking for idea's, questions and whatever as I try to get established. Happy Planting!