It’s not the flowers, but the gorgeous leaves that explain the popularity of hostas. The decorative foliage plants from Asia are also known as sweetheart lilies. They belong to the hosta plant genus. A variety of crossings and variations are commercially available. Hardly any hobby gardener can resist these impressive foliage colors. When is the best time to plant hostas and what needs to be considered?


The beautiful leaves are what make the plants so attractive. They are heart- or lancet-shaped, small or large, one, two or more colors. The leaf colors range from creamy white to yellow, light green, blue-green, dark green to burgundy and blue. An enchanting golden yellow color develops in autumn. Between July and August, racemose inflorescences with many small bell-shaped flowers form. These are usually purple or white.

Hostas grow very slowly. They form thick roots and multiply by runners.

One of the largest varieties in our gardens is the hosta “Empress Wu”. It reaches a height of 1.50 meters. With a height of 10 to 20 centimeters, the “Blue Mouse Ears” is tiny. With its soft violet flowers, it is popular in rock gardens and also scores in bonsai pots.


Funkie is one of the shade plants. Most varieties love cool, shady places and do very well near bodies of water. But there are also hosta varieties for sunny locations. The coloring of the hosta leaves shows how much drought and sun the plant can tolerate.

Yellow and white-leaved hosta varieties, which are low in chlorophyll, do not like the sun and also need a shady, cool location. Green varieties with firm leaves that are high in chlorophyll also do well in sunny spots.

The soil should be sandy to loamy and humic. Forest soil is excellent. Special hosta soil is available in specialist shops. While hostas benefit from a long-term fertilizer in the bucket, a compost addition in the spring is sufficient for bedding plants. The plants need moisture. Waterlogging must be avoided at all costs.

Planting time for hostas outdoors

The planting season for ornamental foliage plants begins in spring. Night frosts can damage the young plants, so planting should only take place after the ice saints. Hostas can be planted until autumn.

Depending on the size of the plant, a distance of 20 to 30 centimeters should be maintained. Particularly large varieties, however, need up to one square meter of space to thrive.

Planting time for hostas in the bucket

The ornamental leaf plants can be planted in the tub all year round. Accordingly, good frost protection must be observed. Simple ceramic vessels are suitable as planters, in which the colorful leaves can develop their full effect.

The plant substrate in the bucket should be changed every three years.

Note: hostas become more and more beautiful with increasing age. If the plants have enough space and are not disturbed much, they form impressive clumps.

location partner

The magnificent ornamental plants unfold their effect particularly in combination with other plants that have similar location requirements, e.g. B.


The hosta prefers to grow undisturbed in one location for many years. However, this leads to the crowding out of other plants. Since the combination of hosta with grass, ferns and bulb flowers is so decorative, it should be divided every four to five years.

Autumn before the onset of the first frosts or spring are suitable for dividing and transplanting. Dig up the hosta and shake off the soil from the root ball. Divide the plant with a sharp, clean knife. The divided plants grow quickly. Already in the next winter they will form new offshoots.

Note: Hostas form strong roots. You need a stable spade to move it. The division of large clumps stimulates growth.


Not only people enjoy the decorative plant. Hosta leaves magically attract snails. Above all, however, the varieties with more delicate leaves are severely damaged by snails. Hosta with sturdier foliage, on the other hand, are spared.

Varieties unpopular with snails are:

  • Halcyon with grey-blue leaves
  • June with grey-edged yellow-green leaves
  • El Nino with green leaves edged in white

By the way, the flowers of the hosta are ideal as cut flowers. While they are hardly noticed in the garden next to the beautiful leaves, they look very decorative in the vase individually or in combination with other flowers.

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