THE BLOG: let's talk gardening

JULY
26
2012

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Got Shade? Think Hostas!

With all this hot weather, we’ve been thinking about all the shady spots that we go to for a little relief! And... shady spots brings us to Hostas.

Hostas are one of the most popular shade perennials that provide brilliant foliage to a garden. Members of the lily family, they are hardy, easy-to-grow and care for and aren't troubled by pests. Leaf colors can be found from green, gold and blue to variegated, and sizes from miniature to mammoth. They are mostly grown for their attractive leaves, but they do flower is shades from white to mauve. Smaller varieties (up to 12 inches tall) make great edgers along paths or the front of a bed, medium-sized ones make excellent ground-covers, and large varieties are terrific in the background or as dramatic accent plants. The possibilities are endless!

And, these shade-loving perennials even get better with age. Each season, the clumps get larger and margins on variegated leaves become wider; puckering or seer-suckering in leaves becomes more prominent; and their coloring becomes more intense ~ especially in the blue or gold-toned varieties. The best part is that you can divide them to fill other spots in your garden. You'll know your Hostas should be divided when they get too crowded and the center of a clump begins to turn brown or die out. As a general rule, count on dividing them every three to four years. Some slower-growing varieties may need longer before they're ready for division. And, you may be able to divide faster-growing varieties every two or three years. However, there is not a hard and fast rule and the choice is up to you. The beauty is that you can divide them when you need a few more plants to fill your garden. You can divide Hostas almost anytime, from spring to fall. If you decide to divide them now, just be sure to keep them well watered. We recommend, every day for a few weeks depending on the rainfall. Happy Gardening!