Container Grown Hosta Plant
(Image credit: lenta)

By: Sandra O'Hare Hostas make a lovely shade garden plant but there is no reason that these hardy and versatile foliage plants need to remain tucked away in your shade garden. Hostas will also thrive in containers and look wonderful accenting a shady patio or porch. Also, if you have serious trouble with slugs in your garden, container gardening with your hostas may be the answer.

How to Plant Hosta Plants in Containers

To plant your hostas in containers:

  1. Fill the base of the pot you've chosen with rocks for drainage. One or two inches (2.5-5 cm.) will do.
  2. Fill the pot with your choice of soil mix. Don't fill it completely just yet, though.
  3. Place a handful of slow-release fertilizer in the container.
  4. Add a little bit of soil to the fertilizer, mix it up well and then put the hosta on top of that.
  5. Remove the hosta from its growing pot and fork over the root ball to help free the roots. This will help the plant establish quickly in the new container, but will not damage the roots.
  6. Center the hosta in the pot and then fill the container with more soil.
  7. Make sure you water the plant carefully.
  8. Finally, cover the surface of the container with a thick layer of small pebbles. This stops any slugs and will help keep the roots of your hosta cool. It's also going to prevent the soil from drying quickly.

Remember that hostas in containers need water regularly. Make sure you water them below the leaf canopy and around the crowns. Excessive wetting can mark the leaves. At the same time, make sure that the container you plant your hostas in has good drainage. This is important to keep root rot from setting in. You can tuck in a few other shade loving flowers and plants as well. Hostas make a wonderful backdrop to help make the colors of the flowers pop. Even on their own, hostas can help add a tropical feel to a shady but soilless area in your garden.