Meet the Hostas!

I have 11 hostas in my garden, they are all in pots and protected from the deer and most slugs, both problems when growing hostas. In 2020 we built the enclosure to protect plants especially lilies, clematis and 4 of the hostas. The 4 hostas in the enclosure are ‘Patriot’, ‘Sum and Substance’, and two hostas given to me as divisions I call ‘Selene’ and ‘Jack’. The other ones are also in pots on our front covered veranda.

Hostas do well in pots, other than my scented hosta I call ‘Sandra’, none of my plants have ever been divided. As long as they come up in the spring looking healthy I leave them alone. After the frost kills the foliage in the late fall I top dress the pots with compost and well rotted chicken manure. When the plants start to emerge in spring they grow very quickly this is when I feed a liquid fertilizer, Miracle Grow, with the ratios of 24 (nitrogen), 8 (phosphorous), 16 (potassium). The high nitrogen number gives the plants nice healthy foliage.

When I bought this hosta I had no idea how big it grew! I bought it from the clearance area of Walmart about 10 years ago, I call him Walley for fun. Sum and Substance is a fantastic hosta but it needs room, mine will span about 9 feet in a growing season. It’s in a really big pot so it has lots of room to spread out. We didn’t continue the planter boxes along the shed side for this reason. The leaves are about 16 inches in diameter, the plant produces 4 feet tall flower stalks with lavender flowers. Sum and Substance is the American Hosta Growers Association, (AHGA), Plant of the Year for 2004.

Hosta ‘Patrot’

Patriot is a very pretty hosta, I bought this one from a plant sale almost 15 years ago. As the plant grew I increased the pot size, it is easy to see if a hosta is root bound, just tip it over after the foliage dies back and if it still has lots of soil leave it in the pot. If the roots are starting to go around the edge of the pot its time for an increase. I always add a compost mix of tea leaves, coffee grounds and egg shells to the soil when transplanting. Then top up with only the best quality potting soil as the hosta will be in the pot for a few years. My Patriot is in a nice, big, frost resistant pot allowing me to leave it outside all the time. One of the most popular hostas, Patriot is known for its vivid contrasting green and white foliage, it too has one awards and is the AHGA Plant of the Year for 1997.

The other two hostas in pots in the enclosure are very dear to me as they were gifts from special gardeners I knew from years back. The hosta I call ‘Selene’ is a wonderful small leafed hosta with solid green foliage, it produces many lavender flowers in the summer. Selene is named for Selene Jacobson who was the president of the Maple Ridge Garden club for many years. She taught me a lot about gardening and I am proud to have a piece of a hosta from her garden, Its one of my oldest plants. The hosta I call Jack is so interesting I wish I knew its correct name. At a plant sale many years ago a well known gardener named Jack Kowalison had a booth of plants from his garden, he didn’t know the hosta’s name so Jack it is!

Hostas on the front veranda

The other hostas are under cover on the front veranda, its the perfect spot for the plants because its north facing. Hostas in pots dry out quickly so not only to protect the deck, but also to keep the plants hydrated, I put drain trays under the pots. I love having the hostas close at hand, I can care for them even in the worst weather and I can see them in detail.

A division from my aunt’s plant, a hosta she also got as a division from her friend

The other hostas I have are ‘Whee’ in the tall pot so I can admire its cute ruffled leaves! Also an award winner: Proven Winner’s National Hosta of the Year for 2021.

‘Forbidden Fruit’ seen below, I love the varied colours in the leaves, no two leaves are alike, its just gorgeous!

Then there is ‘Curly Fries’ a really interesting hosta with long, wavy leaves, it has really nice movement in a breeze. Also and an award winner, the AHGA Plant of the Year in 2016, the year I bought mine.

A nice dark blue tone hosta is ‘Halcyon’, it is a member of the “Tardiana” group of hostas developed by Eric Smith, (1917-1986). Mr. Smith hybridized 34 hostas many starting with the word blue.

My favorite hosta is the one given to me from my Aunt Sandra. A very knowledgable gardener who gave me many of my first plants and like her hosta I still have them to this day. Sandra’s hosta has regular medium sized bright green foliage but what makes the plant stand out has to be its amazing snow white blooms, they are so fragrant even wafting into the house when the windows are open!

I am so happy to be able to enjoy my hostas and have them grow to their full potential, I have plans for a few more! As a gardener there is always room for one more pot!

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