When Can You Plant Hostas?

Written by melissa lewis
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When Can You Plant Hostas?
Hostas are easy to plant and grow. (hosta image by aberenyi from Fotolia.com)

Hostas are desirable perennial plants to grow in the shady areas of your landscape, such as under the a shade tree, along the side of a driveway or by a tall fence. Hostas are quite tolerant and easy to plant, but if you plant them when the climate is mild, they will fare better than if you planted them during a time with more extreme temperatures.

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Planting New Potted Plants

Ideally, you should purchase and plant new potted hostas in the late summer or fall, just to be sure there are no pest infestations, advises Clemson University Extension. Another good time to plant hostas is in the spring after the last frost. Hostas planted in the summer heat may become stressed and will require more water than if they were planted in the fall or spring. Purchase potted hostas that look healthy. Avoid plants that have browning, yellowing, disfigured or wilting leaves. Plant potted hostas at the same soil level as they were planted in the pots and water.

Planting Bare-root Hostas

You can also purchase and plant bare-root hostas in the spring, which if you are on a budget, may be a more affordable option. Plant them before new growth begins and as soon as you get them, provided there are no more frosts in your area. Plant the crowns even at the soil's surface level. The small growing tips should be above soil line though.

Diving and Transplanting

Although hostas can be planted at any time, they will do better if divided and transplanted in the early fall or in spring before the new growth. Avoid dividing hostas when they are in flower. To divide, dig up your plants and gently pull them apart or use a knife to cut away smaller sections of plants. Transplant the new divisions as soon as possible.

Planting Tips

Plant hostas in soil into amended with several inches of organic matter, such as compost. Plant them in a shady or partly shady location. Some sun is OK, but ideally, they should be protected from the hot afternoon sun. For sunnier sites choose Hosta plantaginea varieties. Lightly tamp down the soil around both potted and bare-root hostas after planting. Then, water them with about a half inch of water. Space hostas about 1 to 3 feet apart to allow for adequate growth. Add 2 to 4 inches of mulch to suppress weeds, retain water and prevent the soil from getting too hot or cold.

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