7 hosta garden ideas

Today, I’m diving into the world of hostas, those versatile, shade-loving perennials. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting out, these seven hosta garden ideas will transform any simple shady spot into a lush, green oasis.

1. Mix up colors, shapes, and textures

Hostas are available in a wide range of colors. Some of these colors are blue, green, gold, white, and red. You can experiment with the colors to make gorgeous groupings and decorate your garden. And fortunately, they’re all easy to grow!

However, different hosta colors are impacted differently by exposure to the sun. Therefore, make sure you group plants with similar sunlight requirements. For instance, some blue-leaved hostas are generally less tolerant of direct sunlight than yellow varieties.

Beautiful hosta leaves, an ornamental plant for landscaping park and garden design. Large lush green leaves with streaks.

In general, yellow-green hostas are more tolerant of direct sunlight than blue-green varieties. Direct light is preferable in the morning rather than harsh afternoon light. And shade is vital, especially in the afternoon, in hot climates like zones 7-9. Here are some heat-tolerant hosta varieties.

Hosta leaves come in multiple textures. While some are glossy and smooth, others are matte and puckered. Some look like broad tropical banana leaves, while others resemble seersucker fabric. Therefore, combining the different textures can give your garden a distinctive appearance.

Choosing where to plant new hostas

2. Add complimentary companion plants

Companion plants can make a wonderful pairing for hostas. When they’re grouped together, these plants will stand out and receive the recognition they deserve.

You can accent the hosta plants using flowers. For instance, a blue hosta looks wonderful when grown with pink and purple blooms. Tulips, lily of the valley, and anemones are excellent flowers to grow with your hostas.

Other great shade-tolerant perennial plants you could include in your garden are ferns, astilbe, and dicentra. Here is a big list of companion plants for hostas to consider.

Hostas in pots

3. Plant a few hostas in containers

Consider growing hostas in a container if you have a patio that receives shade. You can buy Hostas in a pot or place one in a container. Hostas are spread out horizontally. Thus, you should pick a pot with more than three inches between the side of the pot and the roots.

Select small or medium types to prevent them from affecting the neighboring plants. That way, there will be room for the roots to expand as the leaves spread out.

Hostas growing in containers

Almost any container will work just fine. However, hostas like their roots to be not so warm. So, don’t choose a black or metal container if your hosta will be in direct sunlight. Terracotta or another unglazed ceramic is usually a better choice for the health of the plant.

Hostas beside path - 'big daddy'

4. Place them beside a walkway

If there’s a walkway by your house, placing the Hostas as border plants along the path would be a great choice.

These border plants provide a great contrast with your other plants and can make your walkway look far better. Additionally, they serve as a clearly defined border between different garden elements.

The color variations in your garden already make it bloom with beauty. You can add more to that beauty by framing your walkway with Hostas. This will make your walkway stand out from your garden.

Hostas by the water

5. Grow them around water

Hosta plants are a great way to decorate ponds and other water features. If you have a garden pond, Hostas will beautify the space. Additionally, it will highlight your garden’s all-around appearance.

There’s another reason why Hostas are great to plant around water. They tend to grow well in soil that retains water.

You can plant blue hostas surrounding the pond to create a calming atmosphere. You can also add pink hardy water lilies inside the pond for a tranquil appearance.

Wooden table and chairs in an ornamental garden with pond

6. Establish a seating area

You can decorate a seating area using the plants if you enjoy the outdoors. You can furnish your area with a couple of garden chairs and a table. Then, it’s time to liven up the space. You can achieve this by growing small varieties of the Hostas.

These small plants can enhance your Hosta garden’s appeal points without paying too much attention to themselves. They will give the area a nice appearance while not making it the center of focus as they’re small.

Sun Mouse, Little Caesar, Tiny Tears, or ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ are great mini Hosta plants that you can use to beautify your seating area.

Moss growing below garden fountain

7. Place a centerpiece amidst your hostas

Placing your hostas around a focal point can help your garden stand out more. You may plant the area surrounding a birdbath, for instance, if you have one in your yard. In doing so, it will enhance the birdbath’s appearance and draw it out.

Shade perennials are another option because they go well with Hostas. Some of the plants you can add are dicentra or heuchera.

Hosta - variegated

8. Plant a special hosta all on its own

While hostas are great to plant alongside other things, they also look lovely on their own. These plants can occupy a big space in your area thanks to their thick foliage and large leaves. Or, choose a pretty variegated cultivar that will stand out in the shade due to the yellow or white streaks on its leaves. There is even quite a popular near-white hosta called ‘White Feathers’ hosta.

Close up of lilac colored hosta flowers

9. Add lushness to an empty shaded spot

Many plants prefer to be in direct sunlight. If your yard has a lot of shade and you’d like to grow something to make the space more lush, hostas can be good plants for that situation. These tough plants are perfect for a neglected corner or a side yard on the shady side of the house.

Start by placing large hosta cultivars in the back corners. You can plant giant hosta varieties if you have lots of space or choose variegated hostas if you’d like to bring a little visual texture to the area. For small spots and alongside walking paths, miniature hostas are a wonderful way to add a lush ground cover.

Mary Jane Duford
Mary Jane Duford

Mary Jane Duford is a quintessential Canadian gardener. An engineer by trade, she tends to an ever-expanding collection of plants. In her world, laughter blooms as freely as her flowers, and every plant is raised with a dash of Canadian grit.

Mary Jane is a certified Master Gardener and also holds a Permaculture Design Certificate. She's also a proud mom of three, teaching her little sprouts the crucial difference between a garden friend and foe.

When she's not playing in the dirt, Mary Jane revels in her love for Taylor Swift, Gilmore Girls, ice hockey, and the surprisingly soothing sounds of bluegrass covers of classic hip-hop songs. She invites you to join her garden party, a place where you can share in the joy of growing and where every day is a new opportunity to find the perfect spot for yet another plant.

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