Hosts - choosing a place in the garden and planting
Hosts have earned a reputation as a universal, unpretentious and shade-loving plant. It is believed that they will gladly settle even where other perennials are not quite comfortable. But undemanding hosts have their limits. She is not so much shade-loving as shade-tolerant, and each variety has its own lighting requirements. The host will not grow in any soil, and planting this culture has its own tricks. The right choice of conditions is the key to growing this universal garden favorite.
- Approach to growing varietal host
- Lighting selection for the host
- Soil characteristics
- Hosting Rules
Approach to growing varietal host
In nature, hosts are surprisingly unpretentious plants and adapt well to conditions. The idea of how different the living conditions of the wild hosts are is the key to understanding their amazing gardening career. Hosts can be found at the very water, and on the forest edge, on the mountain slopes and in sandy places, in the swampy area and in the dry dunes.
Their origin determines the requirements for the cultivation of individual species and explains the large spread in preferences. But if it’s easier to find the right place for the specific host - you just need to check the characteristics of a particular type, but with varietal everything is far from obvious.
When buying luxurious variegated, edged, shining with original shades or textures varieties of the host, the main thing is to find out everything about the habits of plants. And if it is difficult to miscalculate the soil - all hosts are more or less similar in requirements, then high-quality hosts are far from predictable with respect to lighting.
When buying a host, you need to get all the information about the place of its cultivation: even a slight deviation in the growing conditions can lead to a change, loss or transformation of the characteristic color. The “habits” of a particular variety may differ depending on how the plants were propagated and what they are used to in garden centers, nurseries or in the areas from which they were dug for sale. Therefore, asking questions about buying a host is not just curiosity, but a necessary measure.
For all varietal hosts, there are some general rules for the selection of conditions and the criteria by which you can navigate when selecting a site for their landing:
- in spite of any sellers' assurances, any hosts will not grow in a dull shadow;
- hosts love the sun, but not bright southern platforms, but those areas where the sun illuminates the plant for 2/3 of the day and no more;
- hybrid varieties, without exception, can grow in the sun;
- the more variegated the variety, the more contrasting the colors and the brighter the unusual shades on the leaves appear, the more photophilous the host;
- the more unusual the color, the more the host depends on the moisture and nutrient content of the soil;
- cold shades of color (blue, blue, silver) indicate the dependence of color on shading, and warm (yellow, bronze, gold, copper) - from light;
- pay attention to the texture and density of the leaves - the more tender they are, the plants are more sensitive to the quality of lighting and soil, less resistant to the sun;
- if the host is bought not only for the leaves, but also as a flowering plant, then for it you need to select lighting more strictly.
It is critically important to clarify another parameter - winter hardiness. In the catalogs and on the shelves with novelties, unchecked for the middle band varieties often appear that can behave unpredictably. Fashionable and spectacular, some imported varietal hosts, especially with the most spectacular double flowers or “metal” leaves, cannot fully reveal the beauty in regions with severe winters.
Lighting selection for the host
The ability to select hosta varieties in such a way as to decorate not only secluded areas, but also well-lit areas is one of the main advantages of the hosta, allowing you to use the plant as widely as possible, which requires really minimal care. But the tremendous variety and range of lighting requirements makes it difficult to find the right place for a particular variety. Hosts require an exclusively individual approach. And it is lighting for them that is often a key factor in growing.
Shadow tolerance hosts - a relative concept. As a result of hybridization and the active use of species found in nature in open spaces or near water bodies, the number of plants that can grow in sunny or partially sunny areas, requiring at least 4-5 hours of direct sun per day, gradually exceeded the number of true fans of shade.
If, when specifying the data on a variety or type, information was received that the plant is shade-loving, then it is planted in penumbraine places with diffuse lighting, avoiding too much shading and “deaf” areas. Such species will be comfortable in places where the sun illuminates the area until noon, and most of the day the plants are in the shade. These sites are the ideal choice for all green-leafed host.
All hosts that require specific lighting usually belong to the original painted varieties - colored hybrids and green plants. Multi-colored leaves or unique textures in such plants are lost in more meager or brighter lighting.
In choosing a place to grow such a green host, there are rules:
- Golden, white-leaved and yellow-leaved hosts like brighter lighting, need several hours of morning and evening sun, turn green in the shade and burn out under the dining sun.
- Blue-leaved hosts like secluded lighting, light partial shade or places where the sun's rays fall on the leaves only until noon, they turn green in brighter light.
When choosing a site for a host, you should pay attention to the time when direct sunlight hits the site. Hosts love the shaded areas of the afternoon. This is due to the active evaporation of moisture by huge leaves, which only intensifies in the afternoon.
The morning sun also increases abundant flowering, allows varieties with spectacular flowering to please both the quantity and quality of flowers more than the afternoon sun. For a leafless and shade-loving host, lighting should be about 5 hours of sunshine. Hosts with dense leaves and in need of brighter lighting varieties prefer lighting from 7-8 hours.
Hosts do not like stagnant air, places where there is not enough ventilation, deaf areas. For them, elevated or freely ventilated, but not windy, areas are preferable.
Host soil characteristics
For all, without exception, the host preferred moist, fresh soil. If when growing in shade, in places where the plant will not suffer from midday and afternoon sun, hosts can develop in dry soil, being satisfied with minimal watering, then for all hosts growing in more lighted and especially sunny areas, humidity is critical important parameter.
With dry soil, the plant can survive only with regular watering. Blue-leaved hosts are the most water-dependent and most fully manifest their color on sites near ponds with a cool atmosphere.
The structure, composition and even reaction of the soil for hosts is not suitable for any type of soil, but, in general, hosts can grow on medium-quality, cultivated, untreated and not "extreme" garden soil. Only very heavy and very dry sandy soil, extremely depleted, marshy areas will not suit them.
Good indicators of water and air permeability, freshness, high biological activity, the presence of high-quality humus and deep processing - these are all characteristics that should be taken into account when choosing a site for planting hosts and improving the soil. Hosts feel best on loam.
For any host, the soil is preliminarily improved. It is not necessary to prepare the planting site six months before planting, but it is better to fertilize and dig the soil at least a few weeks later. If the host is grown unexpectedly, immediately after purchase, then all procedures are carried out before planting.
Mandatory measures to improve host soil quality include:
- the application of high-quality organic fertilizers in the amount of at least one and a half buckets per square meter of landings (for poor soil - 2 buckets);
- deep digging of the soil with the incorporation of organic matter (for host soil is treated to a depth of 30 cm).
Mineral fertilizers are practically not used for this plant: hosts adore high-quality soil with an active biological environment, a healthy community of microorganisms and worms, which provide a constant process of processing humus and creating high-quality nutritious soil. When choosing organic fertilizers for hosts, you should give preference to mature compost, rotted, not fresh manure, coniferous compost, peat.
Hosts are planted in large landing pits. But the key parameter is not their depth, but their width - plants develop mainly horizontally. And the preparation of wide pits, which make it possible to quickly grow bushes and provide a large area of nutrition, is more important than digging the soil in depth.
Hosta planting dates coincide with the usual planting dates for herbaceous perennials. A transplant is considered optimal in the spring, in the third decade of April or the first decade of May, after the soil has warmed up and the roots of the plant have woken up (the root system will begin to grow, but the first leaves will not yet start growing and will not unfold), or at the very beginning of autumn - the third decade of August or the first two decades of September.
The latter option still leaves enough time for the qualitative rooting of new plants. Hosts that buy with a closed root system, container plants can be planted all summer. In urgent cases, from April to mid-September, ordinary delenki are planted, but only with regular, high-quality and attentive care.
For the hosts of Siebold and all its varieties and the rarer hosts of Tokudam, planting options are limited only in the early fall, because the plants do not touch in growth until the leaves unfold and may not take root during early separation.
When planting hosts, it is advisable to observe the following minimum distances between plants and neighboring crops:
- 20 cm for small-leaved host;
- 30 cm for medium grades;
- 35-40 cm for large-leaved plants.
In the process of landing the host is nothing complicated:
- For plants, wide landing pits are prepared, the diameter of which exceeds 2-3 times the diameter of the proposed bushes.
- The soil is watered quite abundantly 30-60 minutes before planting.
- Delenki is set in pits on mounds of soil, trying to maintain the same depth as the parent plant, guided by a clearly visible residual trace from the soil. If it is difficult to determine the level of planting, the kidneys are left on the soil line, only slightly covered with soil.
- Carefully fill the spaces between the roots with soil, filling the planting pits.
- Planting is completed by repeated, but light watering.
For 2–3 weeks or until the signs of active growth and survival appear, the hosts are provided with daily watering that maintains stable soil moisture. Mulching with organics helps to stabilize the conditions, but it is better not to do it immediately after planting, but after the hosts begin to grow actively. Hosts usually mulch in the fall, and even for plants planted in the spring, this option is considered optimal.