The sheer amount of hostas available on the market today can make your head swim! And there is a special beauty in those well-established mature hostas. They are always a stand out in the perennial garden.
So how do you get your hostas to grow quickly in your garden?
Here are some things to consider.
The first step to getting that great hosta size is to purchase hostas that are known to grow faster than other varieties.
These days hostas are available in a multitude of sizes, shapes and leaf and margin colors. Hosta varieties can also vary in the speed in which they grow. Some are labeled as "fast growing," which basically means that they will quickly produce large numbers of buds each season which result in a larger clump the following year.
For a list of the fast-growing hostas available at Sunset Hosta Farm.com, click here.
Golden Tiara, pictured above, Guacamole and Blue Angel and many others fall into the fast-growing category. Generally, hostas with higher levels of variegation will put on divisions more slowly than, say, a solid green hosta.
Here at Sunset Hosta Farm, we grow and sell a nice variety of fast-growing hostas. To see our selection, click here.
Lack of Sunlight
The most common reason for slow growth in any hosta is lack of sunlight. It is not true that hostas can grow in complete deep shade. All hostas need some sunlight for healthy growth. A site with morning sun and afternoon shade is commonly felt as the best spot for healthy hosta growth, however the more sun the hosta gets, the faster it will grow.
Perhaps over the years, a tree has grown over the hostas cutting down on the amount of sun they're getting. If too much shade is the problem, simply moving them to a sunnier area may very well correct the problem. Placing them in more sun may result in the leaves becoming more elongated and there may be a change in leaf color, but they will grow faster.
To read our article on the sun's effect on hosta leaf color, click here.
Although older, more mature hostas can be rather drought tolerant and may need less water as the years go by, dry soil will cause hostas to grow more slowly and put out fewer leaves. Hostas receive plenty of rainfall in their native land, so a steady dose of water, at least one inch per week, is necessary during the growing season, and more water is necessary during the hot summer months.
Hostas that have a lot of white or yellow variegation in its foliage are more easily stressed by lack of water. This will really slow down their growth.
Hostas are known to grow in nearly every soil type which is another reason for their continued popularity. If your hosta is remaining smaller than expected, a shot of fertilizer in early spring can give it the jolt it needs to encourage new growth.
One way to give your hostas a boost is to apply a balanced 10-10-10 slow-release fertilizer around the emerging clumps in the spring as they emerge. Hostas fertilized in the spring will likely not need another treatment. Remember not to fertilize hostas in the fall, as the plants are getting ready for their winter dormancy.
If you have a large space to fill quickly, start out with fast-growing hosta cultivars, give them a partly sunny spot, give them lots of water and a shot of spring fertilizer. Step back and watch them grow!