Hosta - Liliaceae - How to care for and grow Hosta plants

Hosta - Liliaceae - How to care for and grow Hosta plants



The Hosta are beautiful evergreen herbaceous plants that can be successfully raised both in the ground and in pots, of great decorative value.






: Angiosperms


: Monocotyledons











: see the paragraph on "Main species"


The genre Hosta, belonging to the family of Agavaceae, including hardy perennial herbaceous plants, native to Japan and China.

Despite the few species (about forty) the genus Hosta it counts an enormous quantity of cultivars that allow to have a really great sample of morphological and adaptive possibilities. In fact, there are varieties that have very small leaves, other leaves that exceed 50 cm in length beyond that their colors can be very varied. In any case, in general, they are very decorative plants both for the very showy foliage and for the funnel-shaped flowers united in racemic inflorescences carried by long stems, varying in color from white, to purple, to blue that stand out above the thick mass of leaves.

It is usually grown as a ground cover to adorn gardens and borders and is delightful when grown at the foot of trees but can also be successfully grown indoors.


There are about forty species belonging to the genus Hosta among which we remember:


There Hosta fortunei it is a plant characterized by very large, long-shortened, oval-shaped leaves with a heart-shaped base and corrugated lamina, variously mottled green in color.

The flowers are lilac in color gathered in racemes. It is a plant native to Japan that grows up to 60-70 cm in height.

There are numerous cultivars including: the 'Albopicta' with yellow leaves and green edges; the 'Albomarginata' with the edge of the cream-colored leaves that turn white with age; 'Aureo-marginata' with leaves with evident ribs and irregularly stained with yellow; the 'Gigantea' so called because it is a plant that reaches one meter in height; the 'Marginata' with silver-colored leaves and numerous others.


The species Hosta plantaginea it has very large oval leaves (they can reach a width of 45 cm) with very fragrant white flowers that bloom during the summer.

There are several cultivars among which we remember: the varietyGrandiflora plant much appreciated because the flowers are particularly large compared to the standard of the species; the 'Honeybells' which is the one that best tolerates direct sun exposure even for half a day.


There Hosta sieboldiana (or Hosta glauca) is native to Japan and is a plant that can reach 50 cm in height with oval and floral leaves in very light lilac color. It blooms in late spring - early summer.


There Hosta albomarginata it is a plant native to Japan that does not exceed 40 cm in height with leaves of a beautiful intense green color with white variegated margins and lilac colored flowers with purple veins. It blooms in early summer.


There Hosta crispula it is a plant native to Japan and is a plant that does not exceed 60 cm in height. It has dark green leaves with white edges and lilac-colored flowers tending to red. It blooms in the summer.

There are also numerous species that completely differ from the standards of the genus for small leaves such as:

H. gracillima, H. decorated, H. tardiflora, H. tokudama, H. lancifolia, H. longipes and H. minor



There Hosta it is a fairly simple plant to grow and requires no special care. They are not particularly fast growing plants and it can take several years before they can reach the height typical of their species.

The amount of light they need varies hugely. In principle, we can say that it is a plant that needs good lighting, even direct sun but only a couple of hours early in the morning (important for having beautiful and abundant blooms) because if it is a plant with variegated leaves, it needs more shading as otherwise it would lose the mottle. Additionally, too much sun can cause blistering of variegated leaves to burn and glaucous leaves (those covered with white or waxy dust) lose their sheen. These statements, valid from a general point of view, have to deal with the numerous varieties that this large genus has because there are now numerous species of Hosta that can live even in direct sun without problems. Therefore if you buy a plant ofHosta, make sure which species and variety it is to know well how it should be bred for lighting.


Throughout the spring and summer period, the Hosta it should be watered very generously without letting the saucer water stagnate as it does not tolerate water stagnation in any way. With the arrival of autumn and throughout the winter, irrigation must be drastically reduced, just enough to keep the soil just moist.


Despite being rustic plants the Hosta require particularly well-kept soil. A good substrate could be one third of peat or dry leaves, one third of garden soil, one third of sand. In fact, the peculiarity that the soil must have is that it must allow good drainage and at the same time retain moisture.

Repotting is not often done, every three to four years which could coincide with the moment in which the plant is multiplied by division of the tufts.


If the plant of Hosta it is regularly repotted it does not require large quantities of fertilizer. Once a month starting from spring and throughout the summer, slightly decreasing the doses compared to what is stated in the fertilizer package. Starting from September and throughout the autumn and winter, the fertilizations will be suspended.


The blooms of the Hosta they are very beautiful and abundant. Generally, in the species mainly cultivated for ornamental purposes, the flowers bloom at the beginning of summer and continue until autumn on the top of long flower stalks that rise above the leaves.

The freshly wilted flowers must be immediately removed from the plant.


The plant of Hosta it cannot be pruned. Only the parts of the plant that gradually dry up should be eliminated to prevent them from becoming a vehicle for parasitic diseases.


The multiplication of the Hosta occurs by division of the tufts.


In spring, every three to four years the plant can simply be divided into two or three portions by planting each portion in separate pots. Use a soil as indicated in the paragraph "repotting".


They are not disease-prone plants, the only enemy are the snails that eat the leaves. They can be eliminated using poisoned bait.


There Hosta it is a species subject to a great deal of work by the hybridizers to obtain plants that have: increasingly colored leaves, are smaller in size and the flowers larger and more showy.

The leaves of Hosta they are often used as a cut to adorn bouquets of flowers.

They are very long-lived plants that can last up to forty years.

What is a mouse-ear Hosta - How to grow mouse-ear Hosta plants

Hostas are popular with many gardeners because they are easy to grow and maintain. They are perennials, they come back year after year and tolerate shade. Hostas tend to grow big, but if your space is limited, growing the adorable mouse ear hostas might be for you. If you want to know how to grow mouse-ear hostas, here's what you need to know.

Growing Problems of the Banana Plant

Bananas are moncoyledonous herbaceous plants, not trees, of which there are two species - Sharp muzzle is Musa balbisiana, native to Southeast Asia. Most banana cultivars are hybrids of these two species. Bananas were likely introduced to the New World by Southeast Asians around 200 BC and by Portuguese and Spanish explorers in the early 16th century.

Most bananas are not hardy and are susceptible to even a slight frostbite. Extreme cold damage causes the crown to lose the crown. The leaves will naturally shed even in exposed areas, an adaptation to tropical storms. Leaves can fall from under or over watering, while brown edges indicate a lack of water or moisture.

Another growing problem with the banana plant is the size and propensity of the plant to spread. Keep this in mind when placing a banana in your garden. Along with these concerns, there are many banana pests and diseases that can plague a banana plant.


The family takes its name from the Latin Lilium, which in turn derives from the Greek 'leírion ' (λείριον). [3]

The habitat of the Liliacee is herbaceous.

The leaves are alternate, simple, linear parallelinervies with sheathing attachment. Many species have only basal leaves, other basal leaves and cauline.

The flowers are actinomorphic, mostly evident, hermaphrodite, carried on isolated peduncles or gathered in inflorescences. They have 6 petaloid tepals, arranged in two rows (biseriati), dialipetals (separated at the base). Some genres (Scoliopus) have only 3 tepals. There are nectars at the base of the tepals.

The androecium is formed by 6 free stamens, the gynoecium by 3 carpels fused in an upper ovary. The floral formula is ✶ P3 + 3 A3 + 3 G (3). [4]

The fruit is a capsule, in the Medeoleae section it is a berry. [without source]

Pollination is entomogamous and is carried out by lepidoptera, hymenoptera, diptera, some tropical species are pollinated by hummingbirds.

Described for the first time in 1789 by the French botanist Antoine-Laurent de Jussieu, the Liliacee family has undergone many different delimitations over time to become a sort of "large container" including a large number of genera now included in other families and some cases in other orders. Consequently, many sources and descriptions of "Liliaceae" are unreliable and treat the descriptions in a very broad sense.

In Cronquist's classification, the Liliaceae family included many genera united in over twenty subfamilies. Phylogenetic studies have shown that the Liliaceae thus defined are a paraphyletic group and currently many genera are attributed to other families (eg. Amaryllidaceae, Amaryllidaceae, Anthericaceae, Asparagaceae, Colchicaceae, Convallariaceae, Melanthiaceae, Nartheciacariae, Smilaculeaeae, Tecofaceae, Uphea Xanthorrhoeaceae).

The APG classification assigns the following genera to the Liliaceae family: [1] [5]

  • subfamily StreptopoideaeReveal
    • Prosartes
    • Scoliopus
    • Streptopus
    • Tricyrtis
  • subfamily CalochortoideaeDumortier
    • Calochortus
  • subfamily Medeoloideae
    • Clintonia
    • Medeola
  • subfamily LilioideaeEaton
    • Lilieae tribe
      • Cardiocrinum
      • Fritillaria
      • Lilium
      • Nomocharis
      • Notholirion
    • Tulipeae tribe
      • Amana
      • Erythronium
      • Gagea
      • Tulipa

Traditionally, many other genera were included in the Liliaceae family that the APG Classification, based on phylogenetic relationships, today attributes to other families (indicated in parentheses):

Reasons for yellow hosta leaves

Hosta leaves turn yellow for a wide variety of reasons, and it's important for you to understand the specific reason that applies to your plant.

Hosta leaves turning yellow from the Scorch

Perhaps the easiest situation to remedy is when yellow hosta leaves indicate too much sun. Hostas are plants that grow best in partial shade or even shade. In fact, they are regular fixtures in the shade garden. If you grow them in full sun, you can expect yellow hosta leaves. The foliage turns yellow and burns at the edges. When you see the leaves of hosta plants turning yellow from too much sun, it's called a hosta scorch.

Hosta burn is even more pronounced if the plant is grown even in poor soil. The plant prefers soil rich in organic matter that retains water. During drought, or when they dry out in full sun, the hosta leaves turn pale and the margins burn. You can give the plant temporary relief by watering well early in the day, but the best and most permanent solution is to transplant the hosta to a shady site with high organic soil.

Yellowing leaves on Hosta indicating disease

When yellow hosta leaves indicate disease, the options for treating the problem are more difficult. When you see yellowing leaves on hostas, the plant may have petiole rot, caused by the fungus Sclerotium rolfsii var. delphinii . The first symptoms are yellowing and browning of the lower edges of the leaves. If you see rot, mushy decay, and white mushroom strands or fungal fruiting structures the size of mustard seeds at the base of the stalk, your plant probably has this disease.

You cannot save plants infected with petiole rot. Prevent this problem by carefully inspecting young plants before planting them. You should also remove and destroy all infected plants and remove and replace the 8-inch soil.

Other fungal diseases, rot, and viral diseases that cause yellowing leaves on hostas are equally impossible to cure. For fusari root and crown rot, bacterial decay, hosta X virus and other viruses, all you can do is remove the plants and destroy them, trying not to spread the disease to other plants.

Since fungal diseases live in the soil and attack the hosta to the soil surface, it may be necessary to kill the fungus by solarizing the soil with black plastic. Be sure to keep garden tools clean, keep the area free of debris, and avoid transplanting diseased plants. Other fungal diseases, such as root and stem rot, are generally caused by excessive moisture and are generally deadly. Be careful not to overdo it and not restrict air circulation by crowding the plants. Water your hosta at ground level to keep the leaves dry.

Pests that cause yellow hosta leaves

Leaf nematodes are microscopic worms that live inside the leaves. Symptoms, which are usually first noticed in June, begin as a yellow discoloration that later turns into brown streaks between the leaf veins. Keep an eye on the plant and remove affected leaves immediately to prevent pests from spreading.

Hosta leaves that naturally yellow

Once the growing season goes out, the hostas will naturally begin to hibernate. When this happens, you may notice yellowing of the hosta leaves. This is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. Once the leaves are fully back in the fall, you can withdraw the plant.

Diseases of banana plants

There are a number of banana plant diseases that can afflict this plant as well.

  • Sigatoka - Sigatoka, also known as leaf spot, is caused by the fungus Mycospharella musicola . It is most commonly found on areas with poorly draining soil and areas with heavy dew. The early stages show small light spots on the leaves that gradually enlarge to about half an inch and turn purple / black with gray centers. If the whole plant is infected, it looks like it has been burned. Orchard grade mineral oil can be sprayed on the banana every 3 weeks for a total of 12 applications to control Sigatoka. Commercial growers also use aerial spraying and the application of systemic fungicides to control the disease. Some banana cultivars also show some resistance to Sigatoka.
  • Strip ofblack leaves - M. fifiensis causes Black Sigatoka, or Black Leaf Streak, and is much more virulent than Sigatoka. Cultivars that have some resistance to Sigatoka show nothing to Black Sigatoka. Fungicides have been used to try to control this disease in commercial bananas through aerial spraying, but this is expensive and difficult due to the scattered plantations.
  • The banana wilt - Another mushroom, Fusarium oxysporum, causes Panama disease or banana wilt (Fusarium wilt). It starts in the soil and travels to the root system, then enters the corm and passes into the pseudostem. The leaves begin to turn yellow, starting with the oldest leaves and moving towards the center of the banana. This disease is lethal. It is transmitted through water, wind, moving terrain and agricultural equipment. In banana plantations, fields are flooded to control the fungus or by planting a cover crop.
  • Moko's disease - A bacterium, Pseudomona solanacearum, is the culprit of Moko's disease. This disease is the leading banana and plantain disease in the Western Hemisphere. It is transmitted through insects, machetes and other agricultural tools, plant debris, contact with soil and roots with suffering plants. The only safe defense is to grow resistant cultivars. Control once bananas are infected is long, expensive and tough.
  • Black tip and cigar tip - The black end comes from another fungus which causes anthracnose on plants and infects the stem and the end of fruiting. The young fruits shrivel and mummify. Stored bananas afflicted with this disease rot. The tip of the cigar starts in the flower, moves to the tip of the fruit and becomes black and fibrous.
  • Bunchy top - The top Bunchy is transmitted via aphids. Its introduction nearly wiped out the commercial banana industry in Queensland. Eradication and control measures along with a quarantine zone have succeeded in eliminating the disease, but growers are eternally vigilant for any signs of cluster tops. The leaves are narrow, short with inverted margins. They become stiff and brittle with short leaf stems that give the plant a rosy appearance. Young leaves turn yellow and wavy with dark green "dot and dash" lines at the bottom.

These are just some of the pests and diseases that can plague a banana plant. Watchful attention to any changes in your banana and prompt attention will keep it healthy and fruitful for years to come.