Plant Profile: Hosta
Hosta is a genus of perennial plants native to northeast Asia. The plants produce attractive trumpet-shaped flowers in white, lavender and lilac, but they are mainly cultivated for their distinctive, striking foliage. Hostas can be identified by their broad leaves, which can range from 1-18 inches long and 1-12 inches across.
Interesting Facts about Hostas:
- The flowers are generally unscented, but there is one variety, called the H. plantaginea that has highly scented flowers.
- Hostas are edible and are particularly popular in Japanese cuisine.
There are thousands of cultivars available, varying in size, colour and shapes. The majority of hostas are green, but some are blue-green, yellow, white or a combination of those colours. Moreover, while most leaves are flat, some have wavy, embossed, ruffled and pleated leaves.
Hostas are one of the most popular perennial garden plants. They are quite versatile; they can be used as border plants, specimens, groundcovers and as container plants. Plus, hostas do well in the shade, especially beneath shrubs and trees. Too much sun will cause the brilliantly coloured leaves to fade. Gardeners often use hostas as groundcovers because they can suppress the growth of weeds.
They can thrive in most soil conditions, but prefer rich, well-drained soil. Hostas need a lot of water, but also good drainage. Be sure to use fertilizer. Hostas can be divided in the spring. After the flowers have bloomed, be sure to remove them, as they will deplete the plant's nutrients. Also, remove any dead foliage, as hostas can be prone to slugs. One of the most effective ways to get rid of slugs from your garden is to make a beer trap, by filling a container with beer and placing it near the plant and waiting for the pests to drown.
Hosta leaves are popular greenery/fillers use in fresh floral arrangements. They add height and depth to any floral arrangement. Available in a variety of colours, shapes and colours, hostas are versatile and easy to work with. Some varieties are scented and would add a lovely fragrance to any arrangement.