Dakota Gardner: 2024 is the year of the hosta

Dakota Gardner: 2024 is the year of the hosta

Dakota Gardner…

Hostas are a great landscape plant in North Dakota

Hostas can be grown throughout the growing season, but spring is ideal. It is usually purchased as a root plant or potted plant. They require one inch of water per week. (courtesy photo)

FARGO, ND – Lunar New Year begins on February 10 and this year is the Year of the Dragon. The dragon represents strength, good luck and health. I think these look like good properties for 2024.

Did you know that there is an organization that chooses Plants of the Year? The National Garden Bureau is a non-profit organization that exists to educate, inspire and motivate people to increase the use of garden seeds, plants and products in homes, gardens and workplaces through the marketing of the horticultural industry. Each year they select a handful of plants that are considered Plants of the Year.

This year, one of those plants is hostas. Hostas are a great landscape plant in North Dakota. It is a durable plant that can survive in heavily shaded areas and thrives in a wide range of soils. They are generally maintenance-free as well.

There are tens of thousands of registered hosta varieties. Hostas are named after Dr. Nicholas Host, an Austrian physician. They come in five specific sizes ranging from small that is under 6 inches high to giant that is over 28 inches high. The American Hosta Society identifies the following five plant color categories: Green, blue, gold, medium and fringe variegated.

Hostas can be grown throughout the growing season, but spring is ideal. It is usually purchased as a root plant or potted plant. They require one inch of water per week. Hostas have very few pest problems but one common pest to watch out for is slugs.

Hostas are called the friendship plant because they can be divided easily, although this is not necessary for the health of a mature plant. Hostas have flower stalks bearing bell-like flowers in white, lavender, or blue. The flowers are fragrant and attractive to bees and hummingbirds.

If you have a shaded area in your landscape, add hostas and they will show their “strength” with a little sunlight!

For more information about hostas, contact the NDSU Extension agent in your county. Find your county extension office at ndsu.ag/countyoffice.

-Kelsey Deckert, NDSU Extension

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