Easy to live, hostas deserve a place of choice on a balcony or in a garden in the shade . Their beautiful foliage is particularly decorative and their flowering reserve some nice surprises! They are suitable for multiple uses, alone, mixed or associated with other plants.
How to navigate among the thousands of varieties available? Which are the most adapted in a small garden in the shade or for a culture in pot on a balcony?
A king choice for a small garden in the shade
The hostas are able to animate and illuminate for at least six months of the year (in winter their foliage disappears) any small garden in the shade. They appreciate the cool and shady corners, although the new varieties are more and more resistant to drought.
All hostas come from the Far East (Japan, Korea or China). They are refined perennials , cousins of lilies and daylilies . Of the countless varieties available, some are particularly easy to live with . This is the case of varieties with thick leaves and embossed such as ” Francee ” or ” Frances Williams “. The leathery texture of their large leaves is a real asset to their intimate enemies, slugs and snails.
The pot culture has the advantage of putting the leaves out of reach of gastropods (or at least to make access more difficult!). All hostas are happy in pots in a garden in the shade, it is enough that the container is well proportioned. Among other things, small leaf varieties such as ” Pilgrim ” are well adapted. This type of culture is sometimes preferable when it comes to varieties that like to be cramped. This is the case of ” Great Expectations ” despite its large leaves! In addition, the mobility of the hotpot allows to choose the exposure according to the hours and seasons.
Generally more popular for their foliage than for their flowers, the hostas offer a beautiful bloom spreading from June to September depending on the variety. Blue, pink or white, the flowers can be scented ! This is the case of the hosta plantaginea ” Grandiflora ” that embellishes the jasmine, ” Summer Fragrance ” which distils lemony notes or ” Royal Standard ” with the scent of orange blossom. Like even a garden in the shade can be a garden of scents !
Beautiful scenes for garden in the shade
The forms and the very varied colors of the hostas make it possible to marry them without problem. They are perfect for creating very elegant plant scenes that will fit ideally in a garden with Zen spirit (how to create a zen city garden here ) or contemporary style .
Diversity is in the spotlight at hostas . Their leaves come in all kinds of sizes: oval, broad, heart or tapered. In the same way, the palette of their colors is very varied: yellow, blue, green or even variegated with yellow or ivory. For example, ” Halcyon ” is a robust and compact variety with a strong, stable blue color. ” June “, meanwhile, declines blue and yellow while ” August Moon ” offers golden foliage.
They are also perfect associated with fern foliage ( learn more about ferns here ) and herbaceous plants to create a vegetal setting in a shaded area .
They then form a beautiful setting to highlight flowering plants such as wood hyacinths , alliums or clematis .
Small leaf varieties such as hosta undulata can even be used as decorative ground cover !
To thrive, hostas need freshness and subdued lighting. Apart from this, these perennials require little care . They fit perfectly on a balcony or in a garden in the shade in the city.
Plant them in the spring in a soil rich in organic matter and well drained. In the case of a pot culture , a supply of clay balls is useful to prevent the soil from drying out too quickly. Hostas are not very sensitive to diseases or insects but slugs and snails love them! Even in the case of resistant varieties, it is better to surround the plant with a rough mulch which hinders the progress of the animals and disperse slug pellets! You can also use a slug tape when the hostas are in pots.
Finally, remember to cut the faded flowers so as not to tire the plant and prefer the watering of the morning to that of the evening (it attracts the slugs during the night!).
You will not get tired of the wonderful show offered by the hostas , queens of the balcony and the garden in the shade . And to keep hostas company, discover other easy plants for a garden in the shade here .
For the pleasure of the eyes, you can admire in this video a part of the hostas collection of the Arboretum des Prés des Culands .