I transplanted a bunch of plants from our old house gardens over here to our new house last weekend. Most of them were my collection of hostas. I love hostas and guess you could say, I collect them. I don’t really know why I like hostas so much, but it seems I am not alone. According to the Hostaguy.com they are currently the most popular perennial in America.
I have always had mostly shade gardens, with poor soil. Hostas do beautifully in that type of garden. I have never really fertilized my gardens other than with compost or the leaves that fell on them in the fall, so for me, they have to be hardy. Hostas really are. Again from the Hostaguy, they “prefer well-drained soil that is slightly acidic, but thrive even in our alkaline clay soil.” He also states that, “Hosta are shade tolerant and not shade loving as many of us had thought.” I have seen hosta in the full sun and wondered why they were planted there as I thought that they look terrible in the full sun. The fact is that they do fine in full sun, but their leaves can’t take it. They adapt pretty well most anywhere, but they are really a shade lover and would do fine in a place that only had some morning sun.
In the middle of the picture, you can see an example of a hosta that has gotten too much sun. The leaves have turned a pale yellow.
Transplanting them is a breeze! You can plant just one leaf and it will develop into a nice plant over time. Personally, I divide out a clump of them, even cutting them apart with a shovel if needed. They don’t ever NEED to be divided, but you can divide them if you want to propagate plants, like I do. Overall, they handle the division pretty well and if you keep them watered for the first few weeks, they will do just fine.
The only pests that bother hosta are my chickens, deer and slugs. I would bet my chickens are going after the slugs though. Many of mine right now, look terrible because of the slugs. The deer haven’t been coming around much so that isn’t a problem for us.
Some things you can do to get rid of slugs:
- Diatomaceous Earth. It is so sharp it actually cuts up the small critters. I use this in my chicken coop because it works on the maggots and mites that harass my hens. Sprinkle on the ground around plants.
- It is rough and slugs don’t really like it, according to Hostaguy.
- Coffee grounds. For the same reason sand works.
- Beer traps. Cheap beer is best for this. Pour a little in a saucer near the plants that slugs have been in and they will be drawn to the beer and drown. Works great!
It seems that those are the reasons hostas are so popular. They are easy to plant, and transplant. They do well pretty much anywhere. Not many pests like to bother them.
Perfect perennials in my opinion!! Watch out though. They are addicting!
What are your favorite garden plants??