Are Hostas Better in Pots or Ground?

Are Hostas Better in Pots or Ground?

Hostas are such a fantastic addition to the garden due to the sheer range of sizes, shapes and colours. A question that we are very often asked is, are hostas better grown in pots or the ground? The answer is, there are some that are better grown in pots and some that are better in the ground. 

Hostas that are better for pots

  • Small and Miniatures - we would always recommend that miniature especially are grown in pots. Growing these varieties in pots makes it easier to regulate the amount of moisture they get. The quickest way to kill a miniature hosta is to let it get too wet. Start your miniatures in a very small pots and pot them on in small increments to ensure there is not large a amount of soil without roots growing through. Excess soil will hold a lot of water which can then stagnate and start rotting the roots of the plant.
  • Red stem varieties - although many of these varieties will grow well in the ground, you will get a beautiful effect being able to see the stems if they are in pots.
  • Side growing varieties - this is not a technical term, we are referring to varieties which have leaves that hang outward rather than stay more upright such as 'Wheee!', 'Ripple Effect', 'Let's Twist Again' and 'Gravity Rocks'. In the ground these don't tend to do as well.
  • Slow growing varieties - it is usually wise to at least start slowing growing varieties off in a pot until they are a size that they can handle being planted into the ground.
Hosta Ripple EffectHosta Blue Mouse EarsHosta Paradise Island


Hostas that are better in the ground

  • Large and Giants - although giant varieties will grow absolutely find in a pot (providing it is the right size), they always seem to thrill when planted out in open ground. With good free drainage soil some giants can get very big, very quickly. If grown in pots, the problem that you can have down the line is trying to repot or divide them when they get particularly large. 
  • Thicker leaf varieties - again these can grow happily in a pot but are ideal for growing in the ground as they are less prone to being eaten by slugs.

How do we grow our plants at Sienna Hosta?

Our entire collection of over 1400 varieties are all in pots. We have the facilities to be able to have so many plants in pots, we generally don't let them get so big that repotting is particularly difficult, but when we do it can take 3 or 4 people to repot a giant! Many of our specimens are taken all over the country for flower shows and having them in pots makes this possible. We do have a hosta garden at the nursery and plant some of the larger varieties our to let them reach their full potential. The hosta garden also allows us to trial what varieties can grow well in open ground.

Sienna Hosta Nursery


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