How to grow hostas | The best hosta varieties

How to grow hostas |  The best hosta varieties

For shady or marshy parts of the garden, hostas are a popular choice. It is also great for growing in pots. Even trumpet-shaped flowers can look good, plus they are often scented and attract bees to the garden. There are a wide range of shapes, sizes and leaf patterns, which can add a dramatic touch to a shady corner of the garden or patio.

any? Gardening magazine We planted a range of popular varieties in the north and south of the UK over two years to see which would give us the best show.

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Key facts

Plant type Perennial herbaceous

position Shade or partial shade

Soil Reliably moist, acidic to neutral

How to plant hostas: month by month

The best types of hostas

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Full test results for hosts

Overall Rating: The more stars, the better. The evaluation ignores price and is based on: foliage effect 25%; Plant form 25%; Suitability for utensils 20%; Flower effect 10%; Pest and disease resistance 10%; flower duration 5%; Floral scent 5%. Evaluations are based on plants in the second year of the trial. The height and spread measurements presented are for foliage only and were performed in the second year of the experiment.

Take care of your plants

He plants

For growing in pots, use a Best buy compost for containers

Help your plants by a Recommended soil improver

Place the pot in shade or partial shade. Hostas with blue leaves need the most shade, while hostas with lighter leaves can get better color if they get morning sun.

For borders, plant in a shady location with reliably moist soil.

Try some others Plants that love shade

Caring for plants in pots

Water regularly so the fertilizer does not dry out. When the pot is full of roots and leaves, move the plant into a larger pot or take it out and divide it into sections (in fall or spring). Replant some of these plants into fresh plants Best buy compost for containers Mixed with A Better buy controlled release fertilizers.

Discover our Best buy watering cans

Common growth problems

Slugs and snails

As any hosta grower knows, the plant's leaves can be stripped back to the stems by slugs and snails. You may hear it recommended to smear the rim of pots with Vaseline or tape copper tape to the outside, but when we tested insulation methods like these, we found that none of them were really effective. Snails are also particularly good at climbing up nearby structures, getting to the top, and completely avoiding the pot and its barriers. Some hostas appear marginally more attractive to slugs than others, but all will be eaten to some degree.

To protect your plants, use organic slug pellets that contain ferric phosphate, which is not thought to be toxic to other animals and is effective. Or remove the slugs by hand, but don't leave them alive nearby because they will come back.

Read more about Slugs and snails

Vine weevil

Vine mites can attack hostas grown in pots. Check the compost for white, C-shaped larvae between late summer and winter. Use biological control in August or September, or chemical control (Bug Clear Ultra Vine Weevil Killer) at any time.

Read more about Vine mite

Fungal rot

Overwatered pots can lead to fungal rot in the crown of the plant. Replant in fresh compost if this happens.

Leaf burn

The leaves can burn in too much sun or if the soil dries out.

How to test hostas

We selected a range of hostas that included examples of all the major leaf types and colours, and planted three of each variety in 45 x 45cm pots. We raised them for two years, keeping them well watered and giving them liquid feed three times during each growing season. The trial was conducted in any? Gardening magazine The trial grounds are at Capel Manor in north London and Logan Botanic Garden near Stranraer in Scotland.

We evaluated them for: whether the color and shape were attractive; How attractively the papers are arranged; The suitability of the plant shape for growing in pots; If they are sick or particularly vulnerable to damage from pests, including slugs and snails; The attractiveness of flowers, and whether they have a scent.

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