Friday, June 11, 2010

When in Portland - grow hostas

Over at A Growing Obsession, Denise posted about her attempt to buy a hosta at her local zone 10 nursery. She lamented that they were disappointing, sad-looking things and came home with an astelia instead.

This got me thinking about my hostas. They are, after all, one of the perennials that we Northwest, Zone 8 gardeners can grow with little or no effort. Which is about how much effort I've put into mine this year. Yet in spite of my benign neglect, they look great right now.

I started out at Longview Ranch with a few hostas my sister was dividing. They turned out to be medium size and medium green. Not too exciting, but they thrived in the deep shade in front of our house and were lush and lovely all summer.

This year, my neighbors Shelly and Laurie gave me some variegated hostas when they divided theirs, so now I have a little variety.

They haven't started flowering yet (which is fine as I really have no interest in the flowers.) And they adore this wet weather we've been having. Although you can see a little  slug damage on the hosta above, in general they've been remarkably untouched by the slimy hordes.

If I could change one thing about them it would be to know their cultivar names.

They are a pretty nice exchange plant though and I'm happy to have mine, named or otherwise. Next spring I'll probably be able to pass along some hosta divisions to another gardener.

Do you think down in zone 10, gardeners exchange agaves and yuccas, instead of hostas?


  1. I too found Denise's post interesting and it made me take a moment and appreciate a plant I've pretty much taken for granted my entire life.

  2. Jane, it's true, there's lots of agave and succulent swapping here. Your hostas look right at home!

  3. I was given all my Hostas as well- I don't don't their names ether.

  4. Living here, it's easy to forget how good we have it with so many plants that thrive. I'm embarrassed to admit, I remember in my very beginning gardening stages, asking someone, what's the big deal about hostas? I have come around since.

  5. Jane, An embarrassment of riches, this pretty much defines our plant palette her in the PNW, don't you think? Like Megan, when I began gardening back when Lincoln was president, I remember thinking that Hostas were nice but, who cares? Well, I care, years later, now that I've wised up. Although I don't have a lot of divisions from friends, I've got a few and despite my efforts to write down the names and get them on my plant data base, I can no longer positively ID many of them.

    That said, I wouldn't mind some succulent swapping too.

  6. I like hostas, but think I'd be annoyed by them getting nibbled so much. Plus, I actually dislike their flowers.

  7. I stumbled upon a hosta in my woodland that I had set there to be planted and then forgot about. Not in a pot, no, this was a division with just a little clump of dirt clinging to the roots. It was not only thriving, but blooming! Now that's what I call hardy. And about those blooms...go on over to danger garden to see them caught at exactly the right moment and looking quite fetching.

  8. Your Hosta garden is just beautiful! I am in love with Hostas and and hope that I can eventually grow/divide/plant mine until I eventually have a huge Hosta carpet like the one in the White Flower Farm catalog. Unfortunately I don't have any gardener friends so I just have to be patient. That's the name of the game though with gardening right? Patience always pays off the garden :)


Thank you in advance for jumping through the annoying but necessary word verification hoop to leave your thoughts!