Any garden plot will take on a completely fabulous look if you decorate it with fresh green hosta leaves. This is a spectacular ornamental plant related to rhizome.
Depending on the variety, the main decoration of the hosta – the leaves – differ in shape, shade and pattern. The benefits of this plant include:
These plants are herbaceous stemless species. Group plantings, decorated with hosta, take on a particularly attractive look. Single plantings from hosts will also look spectacular in the form of curbs or on lawns.
Features and types of hosts
Hosta came to us from Japan, Korea and China. According to various sources, the flower has from 20 to 70 species. This plant can be found under the name function. In addition, it is also called the plantain lily because of its external resemblance to the mentioned plant..
Hosta leaves reach a length of up to 40 cm.The smallest of them grow only up to 5 cm.In addition, they differ in texture and shades.
The hosta is of paramount importance as a ground cover plant. One bush can grow and take up a whole square meter of space. The flower grows up to 80 cm. If desired, you can find varieties that reach up to two meters. There are also small varieties that do not exceed 5 cm in height..
Hosta blooms with unusual flowers on high peduncles. Shades can be from white to lilac and pink. The hosta plantation looks especially impressive in the middle of summer during mass flowering..
The most popular varieties include:
- hosta white-bordered;
- the host is bloated;
- host high;
- hosta decorative;
- hosta is hybrid;
- small host;
- hosta ovoid;
- plantain hosta;
- Siebold and others.
Hosta white-bordered usually grows medium-sized. Peduncles reach 30 cm in height. Leaves broadly dark green. They are bordered by a white stripe along the edge. Loose inflorescence has a racemose shape with evenly spaced flowers.
The bloated hosta was born in Northeast Korea. Its leaves are heart-shaped. They are short, pointed and dark green in color. The size of such leaves reaches 25 cm in diameter..
Large peduncles of this species grow up to 120 cm and do not have leaves on them. Such a hosta blooms with lilac drooping flowers. Among the varieties, you can find other shades..
The Aurea-Maculata variety has yellow-white or purple inflorescences. The leaves of this plant are specific – they are wavy. The heart-shaped shape gives the variety a special charm. The color of the leaves is uneven, it combines shades of green and yellow.
A high host came to us from Japan. This hosta species is characterized by long-petiolate leaves. Elongated heart-shaped leaves have significant strength. Shiny dark green leaves are the decoration of the plant. Pale purple flowers appear on a leafless peduncle in summer.
Principles of effective host care
An important issue for growing hosts will be the choice of soil. Despite the unpretentiousness of the plant, it must be taken into account that humus loam will be the most favorable environment for the comfort of a flower..
This choice will provide the plant with sufficient moisture without accumulating water. This is important as the hosta does not like dampness and excess water..
To create the necessary conditions, you can enrich the poor sod-podzolic soil with humus and sand. It will also be useful to use mineral fertilizers to stimulate plant growth and development..
Seedlings can be purchased from a variety of specialty stores. It usually looks like a bare root that is packed and covered with peat. It is dangerous to acquire a plant in a pot, since it is almost impossible to check the presence of rhizomes.
Before planting, the acquired root must be cleaned of dirt and inspected. Decaying places should be removed immediately. If the rhizomes were acquired in mid-spring, then they can be planted in open ground. If at another time, then you should arrange the material for storage.
When choosing a place for planting, it should be borne in mind that in the bright sun the hosts will bloom not so brightly, and the leaves will change their color to a dimmer one. It is better to provide the plant with a light shade so that during hot hours the plant does not suffer from overheating..
The lighter the leaves of the hosta, the more light it requires. Sunlight is especially important for plants with white leaf edging. Varieties with yellow leaves in this regard are the most versatile and adapt to any conditions..
Blue hosts require the most shaded areas. Only then will their leaves reveal all their beauty. Only a couple of hours of sunshine a day is enough for such varieties. It should be remembered that bushes grow more slowly in dense shade..
Preparation for planting consists in digging a hole to a depth of the length of a shovel. Fertile soil and ammonium nitrate are added to this pit. It is also helpful to add potassium sulfate and superphosphate.
It is better to take care of pebble drainage and water drains in advance. There should be no voids under the rhizome. Earth is poured on top of it and compacted. After that, the freshly planted hosta needs to be watered abundantly. It will be useful to mulch a young plant.
Among the sworn enemies are hosts of all kinds of slugs and snails. They attack the plant especially actively in wet weather. These pests eat the leaves of the plant, hopelessly spoiling its appearance..
Hosts do not like to be disturbed and the transplant can injure them. However, the plantation should be planted at least once every 5 years. It is better to do this in early spring or in the last days of summer..
Top dressing is very useful for any plant. For hosts, an infusion of mullein in a ratio of 1 to 10 with water is suitable as a fertilizer. You can also add ammonium nitrate, superphosphate and sulfuric potassium there..
The most suitable feeding schedule is reduced to three times during the growing season. All these procedures, including mulching, must be carried out in moderation, since an excess of fertilizer causes burns to the plant, mulching can cause debate and root rot.
In the garden, the host can be used in many ways. Landscape designers love to use shrubs as a ground cover. The plant also looks spectacular as a border along the paths in the garden.
You can also use hosts to border a pond, flower bed or lawn. Growing hosts in pots, you can use them to decorate balconies, terraces and patios..
The unusual combinations of the shiny hosta leaves with the leaves of other plants provide stunning combinations. Such a garden will always attract the attention of guests and arouse their admiration..