One question we are asked often is if you can grow hostas as container plants? The answers is sure, why not. Hostas can be successfully grown in any well drained container. We have a number of potted hostas in our home gardens, sometimes for the visual appeal but more often because we have no where else to put them.
The advantage is that containers make your hostas portable, have pot will travel so to speak. Be sure to provide soil with adequate drainage, we prefer compost, so the roots do not rot. If compost is not available you will want to make sure the planting soil you use has some form of time release fertilizer included or added, since watering frequently leaches nutrients,
The containers need to be large enough to allow for root and plant growth. Potted hostas should have enough holes to ensure good drainage. The holes themselves should be covered with rocks, wire screening, or porous matter so that the growing mix does not slip through the drainage holes. Since we always seem to have several broken clay pots lying around we use these shards. As hostas grow larger, they should be transplanted into larger pots to prevent them from becoming root-bound.
Containers cannot be left outdoors for the winter or the plants will rot. In winter the containers should be placed in a location away from overhead moisture. An unheated garage works for us. Ideally, hostas should be kept at 30 to 40 degrees during winter months. When plants begin to grow in the Spring, they should not be placed outside until danger of frost has passed. You can put them outside during the day, or when temperatures are above freezing, but the plants should be brought in if frost is forecast.
We find it much simpler to replant our potted hosta back into the ground in the Fall. Sometimes we bury the entire pot in the ground, this way the plant is ready to go the following spring without experiencing transplant shock.
So go ahead be creative with your hostas, just keep the drainage good and the pots well watered. Have fun, this is what gardenning is all about.
Tips of the Month
We are often asked what should we do if we cannot plant our order immediately? What we do when we receive a hosta order when it is difficult or inconvenient for us to plant we simply refrigerate them. Unwrap the plants to determine if the roots are still moist, they are, rewrap them and refrigerate. If the roots are dry soak them for a few hours and re-wrap them being careful to make sure they are just damp and not soggy. The length of time you may successfully refrigerate hostas is directly related to how far the leaves have emerged. If the hosta leaves are just starting to emerge they may be stored for several weeks. If the foliage is more mature you’ll have to plant them after a few days.
Flower of the Month
Hosta Hybrid ‘Sagae’
It is an upright, vase-shaped, large hosta with a satiny blue-grey leaf and a very wide creamy border, remains the finest and most dramatic variegated hosta ever introduced! The pale lavender flowers top the 6 foot wide clump on 60 inch scapes in summer. We have grown this variety for a number of years and it still amazes us with is steady performance..
Web Site of the Month
A mail order firm specializing in unusual perennials. The on-line catalog features an amazing number of perennials, including a wide variety natives plants. They have a special focus on “ amorphophallus, arisaema, asarum, cannas, crinum lilies, epimediums, ferns, hardy palms, hardy ginger lilies, helleborus, heuchera, hosta, lobelia, ornamental grasses, pulmonaria, solomon’s seal, tiarella, verbena, and zephyranthes”. We have been purchasing from them for a number of years and have never been disappointed.