8 Ideas for Landscaping with Hostas

8 Ideas for Landscaping with Hostas

Shady landscapes pose a huge challenge for many gardeners. It can be tough to even get the grass to grow in deep shade! Landscaping with hostas is a great way to create attractive spaces in areas with less than full sun. These long-lived perennials are easy to care for and come in a wide range of colors, textures, and sizes. Here are a few of our favorite ways to landscape with hostas.

Create a Cohesive Look with Solid Color Repetition

Repetition or the use of similar colors or patterns throughout a landscape design can create a sense of unity and cohesiveness. Solid-colored hostas repeated throughout a space can be a great way to achieve this effect and draw the eye through the landscape.

For blue hostas, try varieties like 'Blueberry Muffin' and 'Dancing with Dragons.' Great gold options include ‘Dancing Queen’ and 'Telegraham.' Try ‘Krossa Regal’ or ‘Amos’ for green repetition.

p1010019.jpgUse Large or Giant Hostas to Create a Backdrop for a Flower Bed

Shade gardens and even the shady back edge of flower beds look empty and lackluster without a good full backdrop. Large and giant hostas are one of our favorite ways to create lush backdrops for other plants and smaller hostas.

No matter your taste or design, you can find a large hosta to pair well with your garden. Try the variegated ‘Earth Angel,’ the blue ‘Diamond Lake,’ the green ‘Mint Rushmore,’ or one of our favorite gold hostas, ‘Dahlonega.’

Set a Focal Point with a Giant Hosta

Giant hostas can be excellent focal points for circular garden beds or small beds under shade trees. They offer a huge statement in hard-to-grow places, offering shades of green, blue, gold, and occasional pops of white. Giant hostas also offer various textures, silhouettes, and leaf shapes.

Make a statement with the largest hosta we offer, ‘Empress Wu’ or one of our favorite giant blue hostas, ‘Humpback Whale.’

Brighten up Deep Shade with Bright Gold, Yellow, Or Variegated Hostas

Much of what we can grow in deep shade comes in hues of blue, green, and maroon. Masses of brightly colored golden or variegated hostas can help brighten up these spaces and add contrast. It’s a good idea to include repetitions of the same variety.

Great bright options include the giant variegated ‘Drop-Dead Gorgeous,’ the golden, giant ‘Coast to Coast,’ and the adorable, bright ‘Munchkin Fire.’

Frame a Pathway with a Border of Mini or Small Hostas

Hostas are great for softening the bed borders and the edges of pathways, helping to create a more natural, forest-like landscape. We love using mini and small hostas for this. They add lots of interest and texture while not blocking the plants behind them.

We love the drooping, narrow leaves of ‘Curly Fries’ or the tiny, understated ‘Baby Booties.’

Use Different Varieties to Add Texture

If you’re unfamiliar with hostas, you may have only seen a few varieties in people’s gardens, often the large-leaved green or variegated varieties. Thankfully, there’s more to hostas than most big box stores offer.

Hostas offer a wide range of textures. The long, narrow, wiggly yellow leaves of ‘Party Streamers’ really live up to the plant’s name. ‘Hogwarts,' on the other hand, has highly corrugated folded dark green leaves, and ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’ has unusual, very cupped and puckered blue-green leaves.

Even hostas with smooth foliage provide an excellent contrast with other shade-tolerant plants, such as sharp-needled evergreens and delicate maiden hair ferns.

Pair Hostas with Other Shade and Woodland Plants

While we love our hostas to create an engaging garden, we firmly believe in finding plants that work well together. We love pairing hostas with shade-tolerant shrubs like azaleas and yews, woodland perennials like heucheras (coral bells) and ferns, and colorful annual caladiums, coleus, and begonias.

Use Hostas in Planters and Containers

As in the garden, groups of hostas throughout a shady porch or patio can help tie the space together and create a cohesive, welcoming feel. Many hostas varieties are well-suited to life in containers and are incredibly low-maintenance.

For creating mixed plantings, we love the tiny hostas like the incredibly ruffled ‘Mini Skirt,’ but hardy, large varieties like the variegated ‘Autumn Frost’ offer a big impact for little effort.

Landscaping with hostas is a great way to create bright, cohesive spaces in the shade. Whether you’re working with containers on a patio or porch or planting out a long woodland path, hostas can be an excellent choice for adding color, texture, and interest. Order some of our favorite hostas to start your garden this year, and follow along with us for more landscaping and plant care tips.