Plantain Lily

Hosta spp.

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The genus Hosta contains over 70 herbaceous perennial species. It originated in East-Central China and the species plantaginea is still found there in the wild. Now found across temperate climates of the Northern hemisphere, Hosta has been extensively cultivated and many garden specimens are available as a result. Their dense clumps of bold foliage comprise often variegated, oval to heart-shaped leaves that can be any shade from light to dark green, attractive cultivars have been produced with fantastically coloured foliage, sometimes bright yellow or blue-grey. They produce typically funnel or bell-shaped flowers, coloured purple or white most often, these are borne on upright stems, above the leaves, in early summer. Often grown as ground cover in shady places or in containers, some smaller species are suitable for rock gardens. Hostas are particularly prone to slugs and snails.
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Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Summer

Propagation

Seed

Seeds can be collected and sown, but the resulting plants may be very different from the parents. Sow seeds in spring.

Division

Divide clumps every 4 or 5 years in late summer or early spring. Ensure each section has 1 to 3 good buds and trim away damaged roots. Replant at their original depth in the ground with the shoots just poking through the soil. Water and apply a granular feed.

Special features

Attractive flowers

Attractive leaves

Special features

Origin

Northeast Asia, China, Japan, Korea, and the Russian Far East.

Natural climate

Temperate to cold

Environment

Light

Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Loam, Clay

Soil PH preference

Neutral, Acid

Frost hardiness

Hardy

Personality

Family

Asparagaceae

Flower colour

Purple, White

Scent

None

Problems

Virus infections may be a problem for some species
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Knowledge and advice

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
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