What To Do With Your Hosta's
Chris Jackson - Bradford Gardener of Four Season Garden Maintenance tells us how Hostas are easy to grow and come back year after year.
Hostas are a herbaceous perennial and fully hardy. Perfect for any type of garden here in Bradford, West Yorkshire.
Even if you only have a small space for growing the new ever popular 'Mini Hostas' pack a lovely presentation punch.
A Hosta prefers growing conditions in the shade and a soil which is moist, well drained and does not dry out.
These are the ideal growing conditions, although Hostas are such tough plants, here at Four Season Garden Maintenance we grow them in pots and only have a couple in our borders as we seem to have less problems with slugs and snails.
If the only spot in your garden for your Hosta has sun, you will have discovered that by now in this hot spell we have had across Bradford gardens you need to avoid the midday /early afternoon, the leaves can scorch if there is too much sun.
There is always a big question around what to do with the flowers on your Hostas and it really is personal choice. But Chris Jackson at Four Season Garden Maintenance leaves his for the bees as even the tatty flowers attract them into your garden. Bradford gardens are more commonly made in to a parking spaces rather than a green oasis so our bees need all they can get.
But either way, it will not harm your Hosta if you don't like the flowers and want to remove them when the start to look untidy.
Hostas are not grown for their flowers, but they do flower in the summer. The flowers are spikes of blue or white and not terribly attractive and can become quite ragged not long after flowering.
There is a 'gardeners rule' which recommends pruning off the flowers, so that the plant puts it's energies into foliage, as Hostas do not repeat flower so once pruned it is thought to divert more growth to the leaves.
The Hosta flowers may not look much to us, but they look good to the bees. Even though the flowers look quite spent and tired.
When planting a new Hosta, plant with it's crown at the same level as the existing soil, and if the planting area is a little on the dry side it is a good idea to make a slight depression around the plant to create a mini well which will help pool the water and to get the Hosta established.
Chris Jackson qualified gardener in Bradford recommends to divide your Hostas in the spring to make new plants.
This is best done to a mature plant when the Hosta is established.
Hostas are really tough plants so just dig it up, best time is in the spring when the new shoots are showing, divide by either putting two spades in back to back and forcing apart, or cut a chunk off with a hacksaw or sharp knife.
Slugs and snails always seem to do a good job of decimating your Hostas but they are fairly indestructible otherwise.
Four Season Garden Maintenance say you can leave Hostas undisturbed for many years. So they are perfect for any garden in Bradford as they are very low maintenance.
They will fair better if you add a mulch over winter/spring of organic material, but they will soldier on fine without it if you just leave them alone.
Chris Jackson who provides a gardening service in Bradford says "Hostas are herbaceous which means at the end of the summer they die back and can look a bit messy".
When the Hosta plants finally die back completely, there is just bare earth until the spring. Hostas are one of the earliest herbaceous plants to die back and can look untidy, it does no harm to the plant to cut back to ground level.
Come the spring the new Hosta leaves push through the earth spiking upwards and look very attractive as they unfurl.