Dave and Jackie Anza explore the many varieties of hosta you can use to bring your shade garden to life.
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David Epstein: Hi! I’m David Epstein, this is Growing Wisdom. And I’m dragging Jackie Anza from Weston Nurseries with me today through the—some Hosta garden here.
Jackie Anza: Isn’t that great?
David Epstein: It is great. Tell about what you love about Hostas and maybe what you don’t love so much?
Jackie Anza: Hostas are the perfect shade planting simply because of all of the different texture you can get. You have leaf color, you have leaf size, you have leaf shape. And so you can use them to just doll up any dark corner. You can use them to highlight other plants and they look fabulous all mixed together.
David Epstein: And they flower as well.
Jackie Anza: They do flower. You gave me the option, I’m telling you. I cut them off. The flowers are not my favorite part. For me, it’s all about the foliage but you know they do flower and actually the flowers make really pretty cut flowers.
David Epstein: And I think that’s a great point because some people say to me, “Can you cut them off?” And you absolutely can.
Jackie Anza: Yeah.
David Epstein: They won’t go to seed actually and it can help the plant a little bit.
Jackie Anza: It does. It just keeps that foliage really neat and tidy and you know it’s just a preference.
David Epstein: So Jackie, I want a big Hosta in my garden, something that’s really going to take up a lot of space, what’s your recommendation?
Jackie Anza: Well, classic is the sum and substance, the leaf on that really just gets huge.
David Epstein: And it has a little bit leaf color?
Jackie Anza: Just has a little bit hue and yellow to it, it’s probably a paler green.
David Epstein: Can any of these take some sun or are there some that really don’t like the sun?
Jackie Anza: The ones that really don’t want any sun are anyone with the blues in them. You can tell the florigen, they do have a blue-hue, gray-hue. They don’t like sun at all.
David Epstein: Okay, so some of the ones that have more of a white or the yellow can take a little bit more sun.
Jackie Anza: They will take more sun. Generally, if you put them in more sun, you’re going to have to check water.
David Epstein: So Jackie, people say to me, “My Hosta’s too big, what do I do? When should I divide it?”
Jackie Anza: Well, you actually have an option. You can do it early spring. And you can tell those buds are just coming up. That’s the perfect time to divide them. You can also do it late fall, you know, not too late, but because when you divide them, you kind of destroy the foliage a little bit. So, you don’t want to ruin the look of the Hosta for the planting season, so you can either way.
David Epstein: And by the way, there is a video on Growing Wisdom showing you how to divide one of these Hostas, so check that out. And if I have a small garden or may be a window box, can I use a Hosta?
Jackie Anza: You can. A lot of these come smaller but we have a whole collection of miniatures. They’re beautiful.
David Epstein: Well, if you thought Hostas were just a bunch of green leaves, think again. Certainly, a lot of color, a lot of texture, and a lot of different sizes. Thanks for your help. Come back every week for all of our tips, hints, and helps here at Growing Wisdom.