Sunday , June 25 2017
Hosta Image

Hostas

Hosta Image Hosta Image Hosta Image

Hostas are suitable for any kind of display. Planted as a mass they are a great ground cover, several hostas planted together may be used as a low summer hedge that don’t need clipping, grown in containers they are great for a shaded patio, they also look great as a frame for a pond and the examples may continue.

Hostas can tolerate a wide range of soils except for unimproved heavy clay or pure sand. They grow well in good, moist loam, rich in organic matter with a pH between 6.5 and 7.3. Planting time differs, if you want to plant bare-root hostas you should consider doing this in spring or autumn, container-grown hostas may be planted at any time of the year but you have to take care to not disturb the roots if the plant is in its active growth period. Plant with crown at soil level and do not allow any manure to come in direct contact with the roots as it may cause discolored foliage in the first year.

Hosta Image Hosta Image Hosta Image

To reach maturity hostas need about five years so in this period it is better to let the plant undisturbed. They do best if the soil is moist all the time and if you top-dress them with well-rotted manure or compost and apply a well-balanced fertilizer in spring if the soil is poor.

Hostas propagation is easy made by division or by cutting a slice out of the crown with a sharp spade. Divide the crown so that each part should contain several developing buds. Small plants or those with a loose rootstock you can divide them by pulling the clump apart by hand. You can also propagate hostas by seeds that are collected when capsules turn brown and sown in autumn or winter, but this may not always give you plants with the same properties as the mother plant.

Hosta Image Hosta Flower Image Hosta White Flower Image

An other propagating method for hostas is ‘topping’. In spring, when the buds have started to grow carefully scrape away the soil from around the base of a young plant to expose the crown, wipe the surface of the rootstock clean with a soft, moistened cloth and take care to not disturb the roots. Make a vertical cut through the crown with a sharp knife then dust each cut with hormone rooting powder and insert a toothpick to hold the cut open. Put back the soil around the plant, firm and water well. By autumn, the cuts will have callused and developed new roots and dormant buds. You can then lift and divide the clump in autumn or in the following spring when the new shoots emerge. Let the plant to rest for at least one year before you repeat the process.

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