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Hostas, also known as heart leaf lilies, originally come from Asia. Here they have adapted to special habitats. In the home garden, the ornamental leaf perennials thrive in locations that are difficult to plant. The following article reveals how to plant and transplant hostas correctly.
Hostas are considered to be very hardy. However, young plants tolerate late frosts less well, which affects the time of planting. If you want to transplant the ornamental shrub, you should pay attention to the growth and resting phases. Hostas survive transplanting better if done before their main growing season. At this point they are about to sprout again and can put their energy into developing new roots after the action. The risk of hosta damage is high when transplanting during the summer growing season. If you move the ornamental plants in the fall, the root formation phase is not yet complete before winter. You should therefore pay attention to suitable protection during the frosty season. Your annual calendar for transplanting hostas looks like this:
- February to March: Dig up ingrown perennials, divide and replant
- April: Transplant well-established perennials without dividing
- Middle of May: Plant freshly bought perennials
- Mid-August to mid-September: move old perennials without division
Hostas develop a horizontal root system composed of short and often branched rhizomes. Occasionally they form runners. The dimensions of the root ball often differ depending on the soil in which the species grows. On a nutrient-rich soil with fresh conditions, its rhizome system corresponds to the natural growth and runs flat through the substrate. If the perennials grow on sandy and rather dry soil, the roots also go into deeper soil layers in search of water. Your root system can then reach considerable proportions. After you have checked the soil conditions at the growth site, proceed as follows:
- Cut out the root ball generously with a sturdy spade
- possible root losses are tolerated
- Use the spade as a lever to lift the perennial out of the hole
- put in a carton together with the soil for transport
Rejuvenate if necessary
Older hostas lose vigor over time and should not only be planted in a new location, but also divided. The rejuvenation ensures that the ornamental leaf perennial is revitalized and encouraged to sprout again. A division should occur every four to five years. To do this, pierce the root ball into several sections with a spade. There should be a piece of rhizome on each part of the plant so that the plant can put down new roots. Check the rhizomes for rotten and dead spots, which you remove before planting.
Tip: When dividing slow-growing varieties, make sure that the sections have at least two shoots.
Hosta species prefer a humus-rich soil that can be sandy to loamy. With their foliage, hostas have adapted to semi-shady to shady growth locations. The leaf surfaces are particularly large, so that the perennials can also make optimal use of low light conditions. Cool locations with even humidity ensure that the loss of liquid through the leaves is kept to a minimum. The soil should ensure fresh to moderately moist conditions. Species and cultivars with yellow leaves require sufficient light conditions for their leaf color to develop. A prerequisite for the healthy growth of these light-loving varieties is an optimal water supply:Hosta plantaginea, Source: I, Hugo.arg, HostaPlantaginea001, Edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 3.0
- plantaginea grows in sunny and warm locations
- x cultorum 'Sum and Substance' can be planted in the sun
- sieboldiana 'August Moon' is sun-tolerant
Observe planting distance
The spacing at which the hostas should be planted depends on the growth height and extent. These factors vary by species and variety. Smaller cultivars are content to be in close proximity, while taller cultivars take up more space. If in doubt, you should place the plants at a greater distance from each other. Basically, you can use this information as a guide:
- between 20 and 30 cm: for short varieties under 15 cm
- of 90 cm: for classic cultivated forms up to 80 cm high
- between 100 and 150 cm: for giants up to one meter high
Tip: Plant large hostas individually and combine them with flat-growing ground covers. Hazel root, bugle, sweet violet and elfin flower are not in competition with the hosta species.