Hosta (70 photos): planting and care, cultivation
Have you been thinking for a long time how to dilute garden flower seedlings with interest? Or just prefer plants with decorative foliage rather than lush flowering? Then the host will surely suit you in all its diversity and versatility. And we will tell you why it is noteworthy, which variety to choose and how to care for it!
Only two decades ago, only rare gardeners and breeders knew the host that was popular today. Florists used it for their floral arrangements, and that was all. Now the situation has changed radically, and beautiful decorative deciduous perennial can be found in many areas.
For a long time, an unusual plant was attributed to daylilies and asparagus, and over time, botanists separated it into a separate family of the same name. The second name hosts is a function, but it is almost never used in everyday speech.
In the host's garden, it is perfectly combined with lush ferns, conifers, geraniums, primrose, astilbe or anemone. In landscape design, it is used as a beautiful groundcover with lush and vibrant foliage. There are even chameleon varieties whose foliage shade changes during the season.
The host is suitable for framing vertical flower beds, decorating garden paths and lawns, arranging arbors. The smallest varieties hardly grow to 10 cm, and the largest ones easily stretch over 70 cm.
For amateur gardeners, the host is good in that its many varieties easily interbreed. So everyone can try to develop their own unique hybrids that easily take root and delight with longevity.
Types of hosts
Florists and breeders have several thousand varieties of hosts that differ in color and size. According to the color scheme, five large groups can be distinguished - blue, green, yellow, variegate (variegated with a light border) and media variegate (light with a green border). By size, varieties are divided into dwarf, miniature, small, medium, large and giant.
White hosted hosta
This is an oriental Japanese variety, the main feature of which is already reflected in the name. Large broad-lanceolate leaves of bright green color are framed by a light border. Among the advantages are unpretentiousness, resistance to both the sun and shade, spectacular lilac flowers on high straight peduncles.
A large decorative variety with large sinewy leaves really resembles a plantain. But in the middle of summer it is covered with tall, up to 70 cm, peduncles with large fragrant flowers. An unusual feature is that this species refers to nocturnal - flowers open with dusk.
The northeastern Chinese variety is considered one of the oldest in European floriculture: it was used in the 18th century. Tall and wide shrubs are crowned with the same high peduncles up to 120 cm. Heart-shaped rounded leaves are pointed to the end and can be one or two-tone.
A small compact bush with thin long leaves barely reaches 25 cm. The variety owes its name to the wavy light veins that cover the lanceolate leaf plates. This is a great choice for exquisite decorative compositions, alpine slides and miniature gardens.
Fortuna Hosta is a small dense bush with large expressive heart-shaped leaves. The variety belongs to blooming and by the end of summer pleases with delicate pale purple flowers.
An interesting Far Eastern variety is notable for the fact that its large and elastic leaves seem to stretch upward towards the sun. This is a very hygrophilous species that feels good on swampy soil or right near water bodies.
Unlike straight-leaf varieties, the curly hosta has large wavy leaf plates. Bright green foliage is framed by the same bright white stripe clearly along the edge. Expressive violet flowers appear on high peduncles in season.
Hosta Aureum Maculata
An unusual motley hybrid is interesting for its colorful leaves and belongs to the chameleon varieties. The light center plate is covered with cream, yellow and green veins with a dark border around the edges. By the end of the season or with a lack of color, the leaves just turn green and the color evens out.
It is impossible not to recognize this powerful and large host: it immediately gives out large ovoid textured leaves up to 40 cm. Green plates seem to be covered with blue or gray plaque, and this feature is easily transmitted to other varieties when crossed. Blossoms host Siebold small delicate pale lilac flowers.
One of the most compact and miniature varieties does not grow above 15 cm and is distinguished by unusual thin curly leaves. Such a host is good not only in mini-compositions in the garden, but also in pots on balconies or in houses.
If you immediately choose the right place and soil, the host is undemanding in care and maintenance. She needs light moist and drained soil, a little space and minimal attention.
The host can easily tolerate different temperatures in mid-latitudes, including frosty winters. But if the temperature is too low, it is better to still additionally cover the plant. Small sprouts that are too early to plant in the ground can be safely stored in a cool dark place at temperatures above +5 degrees.
It is believed that the host likes shaded areas, but in fact it depends on the particular variety. The lighter the leaves - the more sunlight the plant will need, and blue and green species prefer the shade. In any case, it is important to avoid direct sunlight, otherwise burns may occur.
The plant loves moisture and regular systematic watering, but it is important not to water the soil. The recommended frequency in the active season is 2-3 times a week, but focus on the weather and soil condition.
Fertilizers and fertilizing
Hosta needs to be fed and fertilized three times per season: in the active phase of growth, during flowering and immediately after it. Use complex formulations containing phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen. Organic fertilizers that are recommended to be applied in the fall are well established.
The host does not need mandatory complicated pruning or shaping, but it is better to remove young arrows and old leaves so that the bush looks neater. This does not apply only to varieties that abundantly and actively bloom. For the rest, it is enough to periodically weed bushes, remove weeds and make sure that the host does not grow too thick.
Landing and breeding hosts
The host can be sprouted from seeds, but this is a very long and laborious process, although its germination is quite high. When planting, be sure to use a growth stimulator and pre-soak the seeds in the cold. For disinfection, use a weak solution of potassium permanganate, which can be used to process pots.
Remember that the host always grows and develops slowly, and in the process may lose the characteristic features of the variety. Therefore, if you need a clear and definite result, it is better to choose other methods of reproduction.
In one place the host feels great for decades, but during this time it is growing rapidly. Therefore, every 3-4 years it is recommended to plant a bush, and at the same time, propagate it by division. Delhi bushes in late spring or late summer, and you can immediately plant cuttings in the ground, but for the first time they must be pritenit.
Pest and Disease Control
Hosta is an unpretentious perennial resistant to diseases and parasites. She has not many typical problems, and the most striking of them is phylostictosis with brown and yellow spots on leaf plates. When the first signs of any fungal diseases appear, all affected areas must be removed and burned, and the plant itself must be treated with fungicides.
Hosta's main enemy is slugs that feed on foliage and make large holes in it. But they can be scared away if the soil around the bush is mulled in advance with stones, expanded clay, crushed stone, broken brick or shells. To combat other parasites, such as caterpillars and aphids, regular preventive treatment with insecticides is sufficient.
Hosta - photo
Hosta's decorative foliage will perfectly complement garden seedlings or landscape compositions. As a visual confirmation of these words, we offer you a whole selection of photos!