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Heavenly Hostas

Hostas, commonly known as plantain lilies, are a popular group of perennial plants known for their attractive foliage and shade tolerance. They are native to northeast Asia, including Japan, Korea, and China. Here are some key points about Hostas:
Foliage: The primary appeal of Hostas lies in their leaves, which come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and colors. Leaves can be heart-shaped, oval, or lanceolate, and colors range from deep green to blue-green, yellow, and variegated combinations of these.
Flowers: Hostas produce flower spikes in the summer, with blooms that can be white, lavender, or purple. While the flowers are attractive and sometimes fragrant, they are often considered secondary to the foliage.
Size: Hostas vary significantly in size. Dwarf varieties can be as small as a few inches tall and wide, while larger varieties can reach up to 4 feet in height and spread.
Growing Conditions:
Light: Hostas thrive in shaded to partially shaded areas. While some varieties can tolerate more sun, especially those with thicker leaves, they generally prefer a few hours of morning sun with afternoon shade.
Soil: They prefer rich, well-drained soil that is high in organic matter. Consistent moisture is beneficial, but they do not tolerate waterlogged conditions.
Climate: Hostas are hardy in USDA zones 3 to 9, making them suitable for a wide range of climates.
Watering: Regular watering is essential, especially during dry periods. Mulching can help retain soil moisture and keep the roots cool.
Fertilizing: A balanced, slow-release fertilizer applied in the spring can promote healthy growth.
Pests and Diseases: Slugs and snails are common pests that can damage Hosta leaves. Other potential issues include deer browsing, fungal diseases, and viruses.
Landscaping Uses:
Hostas are versatile in garden design. They are often used as ground covers, in borders, or as specimens in shaded garden areas. Their foliage provides texture and color contrast, making them excellent companions for ferns, astilbes, and other shade-loving plants.
A focal point for any garden. Most Hostas are shad lovers but can tolerate some morning sun. Hostas don’t need sun, they like shade and part shade. And for your balcony, you can even grow Hostas in pots and will come back every year.
Hostas add a blanket of greenery to your outdoor flower beds. While there are hundreds of varieties of hostas available, here are the most common found in Ottawa.
Hosta sieboldiana Elegans is the most common hosta.
Francee hosta has dark green leafs with white margins running the outer edges of the leaf.
My personal favorite Hosta would be the Blue Hawaii Hosta
Patriot Hosta
Sum and Substance Hosta
In summary, Hostas are a beloved choice for gardeners looking to add lush, vibrant foliage to shaded areas of their gardens. Their ease of care and diverse varieties make them a staple in many landscapes.


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