ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Garden Tales: Hostas

Updated on November 19, 2014


Bob Ewing Photo, hostas are located at base of the tree and to the right.
Bob Ewing Photo, hostas are located at base of the tree and to the right.


Bob Ewing, hostas, the plant I moved was located beside but seperate from this clump.
Bob Ewing, hostas, the plant I moved was located beside but seperate from this clump.

New Home

Bob Ewing photo
Bob Ewing photo


If you are looking for a plant that is happy in the shade, produces great foliage and beautiful flowers then look no further than the hosta.

The hosta is a native of Japan and it was Englebert Kaempfer (1651-1715) who was a doctor and botanist with the Dutch East India Company who was the first Westerner to see a hosta. Kaempfer was also the first to draw and describe one.

He gave them names which reflected the style of the times calling one Joksan, vulgo gibbooshi Gladiolus Plantagenis folio (meaning 'the common hosta with the plantain-like leaves'); the other he named simply Gibbooshi altera (meaning 'the other hosta').

The hostas were renamed by also by a doctor who followed Kaempfer who was also a botanist. Carl Thunberg (7143-1828) renamed the hostas in Linnaean binomial style, calling one of them Aletris japonica, transferring it to the genus Hemerocallis in 1784.

It was an Austrian botanist, Leopold Trattinick (1761-1848), who first proposed the generic name Hosta in 1812. The name hosta was chose in honour of an Austrian, Nicholas Thomas Host (1761-1834), who was not only a botanist, the author of Flora Austriaca and a work on grasses. Host was physician to the Emperor Frances II.

The hosta can survive in all zones and is a hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs). The flowers bloom from August to September. The young leaves and stems are said to eb edible when cooked, steamed or sir fried.

Hostas can handle a variety of soil conditions; light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soils; and acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils.

I acquired my first hosta plant this year when we moved into our new house. I have included them in various garden designs but this is the first time I have had one in my direct care.

The hostas are clustered around a senior maple tree in our backyard. The roots of this ancient run throughout the yard and the one hosta, a small plant with a single flower, that I decided to transplant was sitting right on top of a root.

Hostas are fairly simple to transplant; but I did not want to harm the tree or the hosta. So rather than using a shovel to dig it up, I got my trusty hand trowel of the shed. It came out easily enough and the tree root was not visibly marked.

I had already filled the wheelbarrow with the soil I was moving to a new garden bed beside the side porch along the driveway and placed the hosta on that.

It was a cool and cloudy morning so the trauma to the plant would be minimal.

I spread the soil over the cardboard that I had lain down two days ago and watered twice since then, the last time just before I put the soil down. Once the soil was in place, I situated the hosta and made sure the roots were well covered and the soil was all around then I watered again.

The plant is doing well and is in an area with dappled shade so should stay happy. If you are seeking a plant for that shady or partially shady spot one that will provide great foliage and gorgeous flowers and ask little from you then the hosta is your best bet.


Submit a Comment

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    10 years ago from New Brunswick

    Once established they are easy to look after, thanks for the visit.

  • MummyAnn profile image


    10 years ago from UK

    They sound very easy to look after, great hub!

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    10 years ago from New Brunswick

    Your yard sounds delightful. Now 10 acres of hostas would be a sight to see. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Chef Jeff profile image

    Chef Jeff 

    10 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

    We planted many hostas in our yard because, being along a creek, we have a lot of large trees. So, shade is more abundant than sunlight. We also grow impatiens and flowering vines that crawl up the trees.

    My friend Paula is a hosta-freak! I think she has about 100 varieties in all! And in Dubuque, Iowa, they have an entire community garden (10 acres in all!) dedicated to hostas.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)