Best Time To Plant Hostas

Best Time To Plant Hostas

Hostas are popular ornamental leafy perennials in the lily family. They are hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 8, depending on their variety. One of the best times to plant or transplant hostas is in early spring after the last average annual frost date has passed. A late-spring frost can damage the plants’ new leaves, however. So place plastic pots over emerging plants if freezing temperatures are predicted. Hostas also can be planted or transplanted in early fall, or at least six weeks before the first average annual frost date. Six weeks is enough time for the plants to develop strong root systems before the ground freezes. The ideal soil for hostas is loamy, slightly acidic and drains well. Add 6 inches of compost, manure, Canadian peat moss or other organic matter to the hosta bed, and mix it with the soil to a depth of 12 to 16 inches. The optimal pH level for hostas is 6.5 to 7.5.

Although hostas do well in some shade, they do not tolerate deep shade. They thrive in locations with morning sunlight and afternoon shade. Hostas in full afternoon sunlight usually display leaf burn during summer. Hostas with blue leaves grow best in shade, and those with white, gold or yellow leaves do better with more sun exposure.

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