In landscape design, along with beautifully flowering species, leafy and decorative are also widely used. Effectively shading flowering plants, enhancing or softening their color, leafy-decorative species bring harmony to garden compositions. Among these plants, the most popular perennials are hosts. Elegance, sophistication, magical colors of leaves - all this is associated with our hosts. Blue, bluish, green, golden leaves of the host with contrasting borders and stripes form lush, long-lasting bushes, bring unusual colors to the garden palette, coloring its shady corners. How to care for the host, read the article.



Botanical description of the plant

Hosts (function, Latin - Hosta) - perennial herbaceous plants with a shortened compact or short-branched rhizome and a dense root system consisting of fibrous cordous roots. In some species, rhizomes form, which grow underground, forming in the short term rather large thickets, like rhizome plants.

Leaves at the host are basal, lanceolate, broadly egg-shaped or almost round, petiolate. In different species, petioles of leaves differ in shape, which is one of the characteristics used in determining the species affiliation of plants.

The cross section of petioles of different species differs in the degree of grooves, the presence of wings, and others. The leaves of many host species are quite dense, which allows them to tolerate short periods of drought. They differ in size, surface texture and color of the leaf blade. There are varieties whose leaf length does not exceed 5-6 cm (Baby Bunting), in others it reaches 20-25 cm (Blue Angel, Sum and Substance).

The surface of the host leaf blade can be smooth or corrugated, with pronounced venation, wax coating or metallic tint. In some species and varieties, the leaf blade is wavy.

The genus has about 40 species, common in the Far East and East Asian countries and many hybrids, united under the name of the host hybrid (N. hybridum).


Hosting Rules

The host "sits", usually in the same place for many years, so before planting, you need to dig the soil thoroughly, select all the weeds and fill the planting hole with everything you need. Having pulled out a hole for funkia, you need to add fertile land, humus, rotted manure, you can put a tablespoon of Kemira Universal, mix, make a mound in a hole and place the hosts on this mound.

If the hosts have very long roots, then they can be trimmed. It is also necessary to cut broken or dried roots. If the roots are dried, then you can soak them in a solution of "Zircon" or "Epina-Extras", or simply in water. Planting fungi in the open sun is very undesirable, they do not like this.

After planting, the funky must be shed well, in addition, you can mulch the earth around the host with peat or sphagnum. It will be necessary to water several more times until the plant takes root, and the host also needs watering in severe drought.

When planting a plant, you need to figure out how quickly this variety grows, the approximate width of an adult bush and leave enough space. Hosts tolerate transplants or divisions calmly.

Hosta plants are an opportunity to make a garden beautiful with minimal labor.

Host Care

Hosts prefer a penumbra location with wind protection. It is in such ideal conditions that the color and pattern on the leaves of the host appear at their best. Some varieties with yellow spots look better in bright sunshine, but in others it can cause leaf burns.

The root system of the adult host allows them to do without water for a long time if necessary. This quality makes the host a fairly drought tolerant plant, to the surprise of many. Hosts are also very cold-resistant (climatic zones 3–8), however, the first spring shoots of young plants should be protected from late frosts.

Plant hosts on moist, neutral or slightly acidic, humus-rich soils with good water permeability. In spring, you can fertilize plants with nitrogen fertilizer (for example, granular manure or droppings) and mulch with a generous layer of garden compost and humus leaf.

Covering large areas of the earth with their wide leaves, the hosts suppress the growth of weeds and actually do not need weeding. Plants are almost not affected by diseases, however, they are subjected to severe attacks by slugs and snails, which are especially active in wet weather. It is especially important to protect young plants from slugs. They like to feast on host and elk leaves, as well as the malicious weevil beetle.

Hosta is blooming.

Funkia is better to water in the morning, preferably not on the sheet. Blue hosts simply cannot be watered over a leaf, in general. Some gardeners say that hosts must not be allowed to bloom by breaking flower stalks in advance.

Host reproduction

Hosts do not really like anxiety and will willingly grow in one place for decades. However, the division of plantations is recommended to be carried out every 5 years, as the hosts grow greatly, densely filling the space allotted to them. Divide plantations in late summer or early spring and remember to regularly moisten the plantings of young plants until they take root.

Seed propagation of the host is not advisable, since it is not guaranteed to receive a new plant that is identical to the parent.

Host in landscape design

Hosta is a unique plant and can play different roles in garden design. First of all, it is a groundcover for partial shade or shady corners of the garden. Hosts look great along the edges of the garden path, along the banks of the garden pond, in front of shrubs or at the border of the lawn. Plants are great for both formal and natural gardens. Hosts lend themselves well to growing in pots, which can decorate the patio or individual uncomfortable corners of the garden.

Thanks to the contrast created by the simple large leaves of the host with the rugged, pinnate or finger-shaped leaves of other plants, gardeners have a wonderful opportunity to create original and sophisticated combinations.

Traditionally, hosts are planted with a hehera, fern (Matteucci, Polystichum, Dryopteris), Voronets, ofipogon, bought, hellebore, goryanka, astrantia, summer flowering primrose, digitalis, garden geranium, astilbe, medunica, aquilegia, autumn anemone and many others.

Diseases and pests host

Large and numerous holes on the leaves are a sign of damage to plants by slugs and snails. These are the main host pests. To combat them, they use beer traps, and also practice the collection of pests manually.

It is customary for us to consider that hosts are not sick with anything and their only enemy is slugs. This was true for a while. Americans say: the larger the host collection, the higher the risk of having an infected plant.

To make a diagnosis, you need to pour finely chopped, dipped in a transparent thin glass hosta leaves with a little water, leave for 10-30 minutes and look at the light. If there are nematodes, you will see how these tiny transparent worms scurry around in the water.

There are external symptoms: in the second half of summer, yellow and / or necrotic spots spread between the leaf veins. At the same time, the better the hosts feel, the more actively parasites develop. Abandoned and groomed plants may not show sinister signs at all.

Stem nematodes live only in the plant itself (they quickly die in the soil), but can infect neighbors by spreading with rain and irrigation water. They hibernate in the roots, and they parasitize not only on hosts, they are also found on other shade-loving perennials, even ferns and some trees. What can be done? Chemicals here are powerless because they destroy pests, but not their eggs. We can advise the following: destroy all diseased plants and their environment within a radius of 2 m. The soil does not need to be cultivated. In two or three years, such a radical method can free your garden from the pest.


There is, however, another, not so radical way: to warm resting plants. As soon as the soil thaws, they are taken out, the roots are shaken off (it is better to throw off the crumbled soil - there may be scraps of roots in it) and kept in hot water for 20-25 minutes at 60 ° or 10 minutes at 70 °. It is better to split the instance and expose the fragments to different processing, since the recommended temperatures are close to lethal for the hosts themselves. In any case, part of the roots will most likely be lost. The “scalded” plant is planted first in a pot, and at the end of summer - in the garden.

And finally, you can just wave your hand, as a result, the plants probably will not die. But then dishonestly sell or share with friends something from your site.

And one more sad news: viruses got to the host. So far, however, in Russia we have no complaints about this, but taking into account how rapidly this culture is developing, it is unlikely to have to wait long. And it’s not necessary to get a sick host in the garden, for example, petunia (rhesus mosaic virus) and tomatoes (tomato ring-blot virus) can be carriers of infection.

But whoever is warned is armed. With a pitchfork - to gently dig a plant with all the roots and carry it away from the site. Unfortunately, there is no other “treatment” option yet.