A question we are often asked is 'what size pot should your new hosta go into?'. Pot size is so important to how your hostas settle in and can ultimately determine whether your plants fail or succeed. The answer to this question will completely depend on several factors.
1. The Variety
This is the most important factor in choosing a pot size. Knowing the growth rate and maximum size of your hosta is vital. We love hostas because of the diversity, but this also means one size doesn't fit all. With some varieties growing over 2m wide and others growing only 15cm, you will need to know what to expect from the hosta you have purchased. Growth rates differ hugely as well, a rapid growing hosta like 'Blue Cadet' can triple in size in one growing season, where as a slow grower like 'Andrew' may not increase in size at all in 2 seasons.
It is important to know that hostas, miniatures especially, do not like being overpotted and this is in fact the easiest way to kill them! It is always better with miniatures to keep them in small pots and only move them up in small increments when they are bursting.
2. The Size of the Plant
It's important to factor in the size of the plant you have. By size we are not referring to whether it's a miniature or giant etc, we are referring to it's current size (most importantly it's root size). As a general rule, when repotting a plant it should go into a pot roughly 2 inches wider than it's previous pot. As we send our plants out bare rooted, it's best to find a pot that the plant is snug in and then add 2 inches on the sides and bottom.
As we say, this is a general rule and you should consider the other factors like variety as above and the time of the year as below.
3. The Time of the Year
The time of year that you are potting up your hosta will have a big impact on the size of pot you should start them in. Hostas growing season is generally between late March to early October and during this time their roots will be growing, with May-July being the optimum months for root growth. For example, if you bought a new hosta in April you could probably put it in a pot that is slightly over what we would recommend as the plant will have the whole growing season to put new roots out before Winter dormancy. If you're repotting in November, your plant is likely to be dormant so won't put on new root growth. This can leave a lot of excess soil if you do overpot which can stagnate and lead to the plant rotting over Winter before it's able to put new roots on.
Plant Pot Size Table
|Size||Diameter (cm)||Diameter (inch)||Height (cm)||Height (inch)|