Abiqua Drinking Gourd Hosta Plant Care & Growing Guide

Need a striking foliage plant for your shade garden? Consider the Abiqua Drinking Gourd Hosta!

The Abiqua Drinking Gourd Hosta is a medium-sized hosta with deeply cupped blue green leaves. Established plants tend to reach a height of 18″ tall and 36″ wide. While these plants are grown mainly for their unusual foliage, they also do send up spikes of bell-shaped white flowers in midsummer. The Abiqua Drinking Gourd Hosta grows best in partial shade to full shade. It is tolerant of acidic soil and clay soil and can be grown in climate hardiness zones 3-9.

Read on to learn all about the Abiqua Drinking Gourd Hosta!

how to grow abiqua drinking gourd hosta plants

Introduction To The Abiqua Drinking Gourd Hosta

The Abiqua Drinking Gourd Hosta is a beautiful plant that can add interest and color to any garden. This plant gets its name from the deep blue-green cup-shaped leaves. The leaves are what make this plant so special as they have a uniquely cupped shape along with a puckered texture similar to seersucker fabric. The cupping can be 3-4 inches deep on each 8-9 inch leaf! This variety is easy to care for and it will reward you with beautiful foliage all season long. The Abiqua Drinking Gourd Hosta received the RHS Award of Garden Merit in 2012.

Abiqua Drinking Gourd is a medium-large hosta variety. It tends to grow about 3 feet wide and about 20 inches tall. The mound of leaves is more open than many other hostas of this footprint. The creamy lavender white flowers bloom just above the leaves on stalks about 2 feet tall.

Abiqua Drinking Gourd Hosta is a cross between Hosta ‘Tokudama’ and Hosta sieboldiana ‘Elegans’. This cultivar was bred by retired dentist Dr. Charles (Chuck) Purtymun of Walden West Nursery in Scotts Mills, Oregon. This variety and other “Abiqua” introductions were likely named after the nearby Abiqua Creek and Abiqua Falls near Silverton (south of Portland, Oregon).

abiqua drinking gourd hosta plant

Where To Buy Abiqua Drinking Gourd Hosta

If you are looking for a place to buy Abiqua Drinking Gourd Hosta, we recommend checking your local nursery or garden center. You can also check online retailers that sell hostas:

planting abiqua drinking gourd hosta

How To Plant Abiqua Drinking Gourd Hosta

Abiqua Drinking Gourd Hostas can be grown in Zones 3-9. They are best planted in either partial shade or full shade. If the plants do receive some direct sunlight, the morning sun is preferable to harsher afternoon sunlight. Hostas are not picky about soil conditions. They tend to grow best in moist loamy soil but are tolerant of acidic soil and heavy clay. You can use soil amendments to improve your soil prior to planting hostas if your conditions are less than perfect.

The best time to plant Abiqua Drinking Gourd Hostas is in the early fall or in the spring after the last frost date. This will give the plants a chance to establish themselves before the hot summer weather arrives.

Start planting your hostas by digging a wide shallow hole. The hole should be about twice as wide as the pot but no deeper. Keep in mind that this hosta will eventually be about 36″ wide, so take note of any plants that are growing too close to the planting spot.

When planting Abiqua Drinking Gourd Hostas, be sure to plant them at the same depth they were growing in the pot. If the roots are too shallow, the plant may not have enough support and could topple over. If the roots are too deep, the plant may not be able to get enough moisture and nutrients. The general rule of thumb is to plant hostas so the crown (where the base of the leaves emerges from the roots) is about 2 inches below the soil surface.

After planting, water the plants well and mulch around them to help retain moisture. Good options for mulch include compost, bark mulch, and other organic options.

leaf of abiqua drinking gourd hosta plant
The leaves are small on young plants but become much larger once the plants have become well-established in the landscape (and are healthy).

Watering Requirements For Abiqua Drinking Gourd Hosta

Newly planted Abiqua Drinking Gourd Hostas should be watered at least once a week and potentially more frequently in hot summer weather. Hostas are generally somewhat drought tolerant once they are established (as long as they are out of direct sunlight). However, during the first year after planting, they will need to be watered regularly to help them establish a strong root system. After that, you can let the soil dry out somewhat between watering.

Water your hostas deeply and then allow the soil to dry out slightly before watering. Established hostas may only need to be watered every couple of weeks during shoulder seasons and weekly in the heat of summer. Hostas in direct sunlight may need daily watering on a consistent basis.

There are a few different methods you can use to water your Abiqua Drinking Gourd Hostas. One option is to use a garden hose fitted with a sprayer attachment. Another option is to use a soaker hose or drip irrigation system. These systems allow water to slowly seep into the soil, which reduces evaporation. Whichever method you choose, be sure to water the plants deeply and then allow the soil to dry out somewhat between watering.

Fertilizing Abiqua Drinking Gourd Hosta

When it comes to fertilizing Abiqua Drinking Gourd Hostas, less is more. These plants do not need a lot of fertilizer to thrive. In fact, too much fertilizer can actually damage the roots and leaves. The best time to fertilize your hostas is in the early spring, just as they are coming out of dormancy.

A general-purpose fertilizer will work well for Abiqua Drinking Gourd Hostas. You can apply the fertilizer directly to the soil around the plants or you can mix it into the soil before planting. If you choose to apply the fertilizer directly to the soil, be sure to do so before watering.

It is important to follow the directions on the fertilizer package. Over-fertilizing can damage the roots and leaves of your hostas. If you are unsure how much fertilizer to use, it is better to err on the side of using less rather than more.

Abiqua Drinking Gourd Hosta

Pruning Abiqua Drinking Gourd Hosta

Abiqua Drinking Gourd Hostas do not require a lot of pruning. During the growing season, remove any damaged or diseased leaves but otherwise leave the plant alone. Once the leaves have been killed by a hard frost in the fall, cut the leaves down to soil level and compost the leaves. This will discourage pests from overwintering in your hostas.

abiqua drinking gourd hosta plant at nursery

Companion Plants For Abiqua Drinking Gourd Hosta

There are a few different plants that make good companions for Abiqua Drinking Gourd Hostas. One option is to plant them with other shade-loving perennials such as Ferns, Astilbes, and Coral Bells. Another option is to plant them with annuals such as Begonias and Impatiens. Both of these options will provide a pleasing contrast in color and texture. In a larger space, choose flowering shrubs like Azaleas or different varieties of Hydrangeas or even small trees like Japanese Maple. Here is a big list of companion plants for hostas for more inspiration!

Pests Affecting Abiqua Drinking Gourd Hosta

There are a few different pests that can affect Abiqua Drinking Gourd Hostas. One of the most common is the slug. Slugs love to feast on hosta leaves and can quickly damage a plant. The best way to control slugs is to hand-pick them off of the plants. Another option is to set out bait such as iron phosphate pellets.

Other common pests that can affect Abiqua Drinking Gourd Hostas include aphids, caterpillars, and Japanese beetles. These pests can be controlled with a number of different methods including hand-picking, insecticidal soap, and neem oil.

Diseases Affecting Abiqua Drinking Gourd Hosta

There are a few different diseases that can affect Abiqua Drinking Gourd Hostas. One of the most common is powdery mildew. This disease appears as a white powder on the leaves and can quickly spread to other parts of the plant. The best way to prevent powdery mildew is to water the plants early in the day so the leaves have time to dry before nightfall.

Another common disease is root rot. This disease is caused by too much moisture and can quickly kill a plant. The best way to prevent root rot is to water the plants deeply but then allow the soil to dry out somewhat between watering.

Mary Jane Duford
Mary Jane Duford

Mary Jane Duford is a gardening expert and founder of Home for the Harvest. She's also an engineer and certified permaculture garden designer. Mary Jane has been featured by publications such as Real Simple, Mother Earth News, Homes & Gardens, Heirloom Gardener, and Family Handyman.