A Seed Pantry Guide To Growing Hosta Plants

Hosta Plants are in the Grow Club this month. They are one of our most favourite plants to grow and for good reason. Hostas have stunning foliage, great leaf textures, colours and shapes to add interest to any garden spaces in shady areas. Not to mention they are really easy to grow!

Let’s run through what hosta plants are, how you can start growing and caring for them, plus details of the varieties we have this month!

What are Hosta Plants?

Hostas, also called plantain lilies, are shade-tolerant perennials that are extremely hardy and require little maintenance. They originate from East Asia with over 2,500 cultivars produced. These cultivars vary in size, colour and textures making each one a unique growing experience.

Brought to Europe in the 1700s, Hostas are one of the most popular and best-selling perennials in the world today.  Although they are best known for their amazing foliage, they also bloom in the summer with tall spikes and, most often, purple flowers.

How to grow and care for your Seed Pantry Hosta Plants?

Here is our quick guide on how to plant and care for your own Hosta plants!

1. Our Hostas come as bare-root plants, so you can start planting them straight away, directly in borders or containers.  As they do not need as much sunlight as most plants, you can position them in shadier parts of your growing space such as under trees or by fences. This gives you the opportunity to fill darker areas of the garden that may have been left a little bare until now!

2. Plant the roots 5-10cm deep and 50cm apart for the bigger varieties like ‘El Nino’ and to 1.5m apart for giants like ‘Sum and Substance’, and plant with 30cm of spacing for the smaller types like ‘Blue Mouse Ears’. Place the roots downwards with the growing points, or eyes facing up.

3. Cover the plants with compost, add a splash of water and wait for the magic to happen! Hostas like fertile, moisture-retentive soil for the best growing conditions.

4. As the plant grows, keep the soil moist and when we move into the Summer and hot weather, make sure to water daily while they are establishing. Slugs and snails may try to eat your hosta plants. One way you can help with this would be to add a companion plant like Astilbe or plants slugs don’t go for. Astilbe is also in the Grow Club this month! Container growing can help fend off slugs too.

Feeding your plants: Mulch borders annually on fertile soil, for poor soil add general fertiliser and mulch in spring,. For containers add weekly balanced liquid feed while growing/establishing for great foliage.

Hostas are hardy perennial plants that die back in winter and will come back each year in spring, so simply leave them to do their thing!

What Hosta Plants do we have in this month’s Grow Club?

Each plant below has been given the RHS’s – Award of Garden Merit (AGM).

Hosta ‘El Nino’ (PBR) (AGM)

These hostas have large variegated leaves that grow to 17cm long. The leaves have clump-forming, blue-green centres with pure white to grey-green-streaked margins! Their flowers are spikes of pale purple bell-shaped, darker striped flowers which are stunning! H. 50cm/80cm wide.

Hosta ‘Fire and Ice’ (AGM)

A favourite from last year, these have striking, variegated, wavy edge foliage with light green with creamy white centres. These grow to be compact and mound-forming with elegant pale lavender flowers. H. 60cm/60cm wide.

Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ (AGM)

Here are the biggies! Big heart-shaped leaves that grow to 50cm long! These are large mound-forming plants with beautiful light green on nicely veined leaves. Sweet dense pale lilac, bell-shaped flowers on stems grow on these too. H. 90cm/1.5m wide.

Hosta ‘Earth Angel’ (PBR) (AGM)

Another big one! These have outstanding blue-green foliage with creamy white margins. From here they form a thick mound of large heart-shaped leaves. They also grow dense racemes of pale lilac, bell-shaped flowers. H. 75cm/1m wide.

Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’ (AGM)

Another stunning hosta plant with ovate, grey-blue to green leaves that grow to 20cm long. It has superb veining, forming a large upright clump. Once again these have bell-shaped pale purple flowers on stems to 1.5m. H. 90cm/150cm wide.

Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ (AGM)

These are just the cutest mini Hosta, can be easily grown in pots and border edges. Smooth blue-green leaves, with adorable mouse ear-shaped! They grow beautiful pale purple bell-shaped flowers on spikes too! H. 30cm/30cm wide.

We have all of these and other amazing plants in the Seed Pantry Grow Club this month, so come and check them out to pick your favourites! 😁

Seed Pantry Team