Hosta ( Plantain lily )

They will spread once they have settled in and will need to be divided and thinned when they get too crowded. Because their roots are so shallow this is not difficult. Dig some up and use a sharp knife to separate the plants. This can be done any time of year. Plant them in shade to dappled shade. They love water or moderately damp soil.

If you plant your hostas in an area that is too bright leaves will bleach. White leaves means too much sun. Move them to a shadier area.

It turns out that slugs are not the only thing that likes to munch on hostas. The deer found them quite tasty as well. You might want to be sure to plant any unusual varieties or pricey ones in a protected area of your garden.

While the hostas are doing well they are not thriving. I find them to be slower growing down here than they are in cooler climates. So plant them more thickly than you would up north. They really just barely survive Houston’s heat.

In very old garden books hostas are listed as beneficial ground covers.

Not a good plant for Houston, they die back in the winter, the slugs and the deer eat them in the spring, occasionally one thrives but for the most part they are more trouble than they are worth.

Things to watch for:

Slugs, snails and deer love hostas. There’s not a whole lot you can do about either, plants will grow back.

Hosta virus:  I’ve never yet seen this.  Leaves look like seersucker fabric.  It only attacks hostas and is spread through the sap.  Destroy infected plants.

Leaf spot fungus: leaves get irregular shaped brown spots with yellow edges.  Remove damaged leaves and treat with a copper fungicide.

Have you ever wondered about the slight ruffling of the edges of hosta leaves? Those are caused by stress on the leaf during the growth cycle.