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A picture of a Plantain Lily

Plantain Lily

Hosta spp.

Partial Shade
Easy care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy

H7

RHS hardiness

-20°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

1m

Max

1.2m

30cm

Min

30cm

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

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Overview

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.

Common problems

Virus infections may be a problem for some species

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

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