Hostas, also known as plantain lillies, are a flowering plant known for its tolerance for shade. Hostas are available in a variety of sizes and leaf colors and work well indoors or outside in your garden. Below are a few tricks to keep your indoor hostas healthy and growing strong.
Different hostas require different sized pots. Large hostas have beautiful, large leaves, but require large pots. Choose a pot that is at least as wide as the hosta leaf mound. The pot should be at least 18 inches deep. Hostas are shallow rooted plants, but allowing some room for downward growth is important. Remember, your hosta will continue to grow over the years, so pick a container that is larger than your hosta's current size.
Hostas like loose soil with lots of organics. Choose your potting soil accordingly. Consider adding additional organics like peat moss to maintain a loose soil and provide good water retention.
Do not place your hostas in direct sunlight. Choose locations that receive indirect light and remain cool during the day. Some direct light in the early morning is acceptable, but not all day.
Hostas developed in Asian environments that receive more than 60 inches of rainfall a year. Plants in pots require extra water as a normal course. Therefore, it is vital that you water your hosta regularly and deeply.
- Apply water until it runs from the bottom of the pot.
- Apply the water to the roots, not the leaves. Too much water on the leaves will make your hosta susceptible to illness and rot.
- Ceramic pots will require more water than plastic because the ceramic will absorb some of the water.
- Keep the soil moist, but not wet.
- If your hosta looks off color or wilted, try watering it.
Regularly watering a potted plant will rinse the nutrients from the soil. Hostas are heavy feeders by nature. Fertilize your hostas well. Slow release fertilizer granules are a good way to counteract the nutrient loss from watering.
Repot your hostas every two or three years to provide more room for the roots. You should also consider dividing your hostas when potting to decrease the size of the plant and provide another plant for different location. Provide fresh soil whenever you repot and disentangle the roots. The roots should be free to extend straight out from the crown without bending or folding.
Hostas prefer to have a period of dormancy during the winter months. To keep your plant in the best state of health, place it somewhere in the winter where the temperature drops to the range of 40 degrees. A basement or a garage works well. It is alright to let the leaves fall off. Cover the top of the soil with mulch and water lightly through the winter to keep the soil moist.