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Hosta Genus

Funkia

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General Needs

  • LightPart shade
  • HardinessFully hardy (min -15°C)
  • SoilClay, Well drained, Fertile
  • Soil pH9.0 to 7.0
  • WaterSemi-moist

Description

Hosta genus (Funkia). There are about 70 species of easily grown perennials in this genus and more than 2,500 cultivars. They are particularly valued by gardeners for their decorative foliage and shade tolerance. The flowers are produced on nodding stems of white, pink or shades of purple and blue. Bell or trumpet-shaped flowers will appear in the warmer weather. They are fully hardy, and will prefer shade, and rich, moist but well drained, neutral soil.

Characteristics

Perennials, Deciduous, Herbaceous or Bogs

Other common names

Plantain lily

Origin

China, Japan, Russia and USA

The genus was named after the Austrian botanist Nicholas Thomas Host in 1812. Most species were introduced to Europe from Japan in the 19th century.

Interest and use

Grown for their decorative foliage. Form large clumps that are excellent for ground cover. Attracts humming birds in suitable geographical locations.

Cultivation

All Hostas need some shade and few will thrive in open strong sunlight. A general rule is that the lighter foliage, the brighter the sunlight that will be tolerated. Variegated varieties tend to require more sun to keep their white, light green or gold stripes. The darker, bluer varieties need more shade.

Once established, Hostas are pretty tough and will spread horizontally to make excellent ground cover.

Propagation

Propagate by division of the fleshy crowns in early spring. Seed raised plants very rarely come true to type (except H.ventricosa).

Pests, diseases or disorders

Slug and snail control is essential. Prone to vine weevil.
Good drainage is important to prevent winter crown rot in over-wet ground.

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