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Care of Your New Hosta


Give your new hosta the best chance to be its best!  Here's some tips to make that happen.

Upon delivery, unwrap your hosta. Re-wet the paper towel covering the roots if it has dried out in shipment. Keep moist, but not wet, until you can plant the hosta.Hostas shipped in early spring may not yet have foliage. Hostas shipped in summer will have foliage, however there may be some leaf yellowing present. Fall shipped hostas may be beginning to enter their dormancy but are still growing roots.

All hostas DO need at least some indirect or dappled sunlight to survive. However, too much direct sun can be damaging to hostas, even sun tolerant ones. Generally, full to dappled morning sun and afternoon shade is an ideal location for hostas. There are many varieties that are sun tolerant and can be placed in as much as four to six hours of sun, but do require more water.

Planting your Hosta Directly into the Garden
Plant your new hosta in well-draining soil in a hole twice the width of the roots. Tuck the roots in pointed downward and the eyes or growing points slightly below the soil surface. Hostas can grow well in nearly any type of soil. 

The best soil for hostas, however, is one that is rich in plant foods (compost), retains moisture well yet drains easily. Hosta roots can grow anywhere from 6 to 18" deep and require plenty of space between plants for good air circulation. 

Water well for the first few weeks until established, then when needed. A good layer of mulch will help retain moisture to the roots. You can use a 5-10-5 fertilizer for your hostas or aged manure.

The amount of sun a hosta gets will influence the color of the leaves. Certain hosta varieties will not get their final color until they are more mature, while other varieties get their specific coloring at a certain time of year. For instance, blue hostas get the blue color from a waxy coating on the leaves. Under the waxy coating, the leaves are actually green. That is why in many pictures of a "blue" hosta, the leaves appear green. The waxy blue coating will return the next season so moving your hosta to a shadier location for the next season may give you the coloring you want.

And if you're not in the group already, welcome to the world of Hosta-Holics!

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