The plant breeders clearly spend a lot of time working on hostas which is rather refreshing since a hosta is all about leaves and not flowers. The up side of the leaves being the focal point of the plant is that you get your pleasure throughout the growing season – unless the slugs enjoy themselves too well when the hostas wake in the spring, eating holes right through the curled leaves so that every leaf has a hole. For the rest of the summer you gnash your teeth every time you look at that holey hosta. If only you’d put out bait, bought sieboldiana hybrids (more slug-resistant) or found a really nice fake hosta. That would teach the slugs.
Hostas come in some combination of green, blue-green, white, and gold/chartreuse. The sizes range from the giant ‘Empress Wu’ 3.5-4′H x 6′W to these 3 wee ones I just saw at Ravenna Gardens in University Village. These hostas would be great in a pot or along one of those ludicrously skinny beds I talked about in a recent post.
Hostas like shade to part shade and water. In deep shade, with a good mulch I’ve been surprised how little water a hosta can get by with, even on sandy soils. Slug and snail (and dog tromping through bed) damage is common. For the slugs, put out bait or beer or go slug hunting at night (or all of the above). For the dogs, well, surround the hosta with a briar patch perhaps? Hostas can look great in a pot, all by themselves. Hostas seldom need dividing. If you do decide to divide yours (given the high cost typical of hostas) do it in early spring before any growth begins.
NOTE: Check out the 3rd in the mouse trio of hostas, ‘Holy Mouse Ears,’ here.