Extension and Ag Research News


Dakota Gardener: 2024 is the Year of the Hosta

Hostas are a fantastic plant for North Dakota landscapes.

By Kelsey Deckert, Horticulture agent

NDSU Extension - Burleigh and Morton Counties

The Lunar New Year starts on February 10 and this year is the Year of the Dragon. The dragon represents strength, good luck and health. I think these sounds like good characteristics for 2024.    

Did you know that there is an organization that selects plants of the year? The National Garden Bureau is a non-profit organization that exists to educate, inspire and motivate people to increase the use of garden seeds, plants and products in homes, gardens and workplaces by marketing the gardening industry. Each year they choose a handful of plants that are considered the plants of the year.

This year, one of those plants is a hosta. Hostas are a fantastic plant for North Dakota landscapes. They are a durable plant that can survive in heavily shaded areas and thrive in a wide range of soils. They are generally maintenance free too.

There are tens of thousands of registered hosta varieties. Hostas were named after Dr. Nicholaus Host, an Austrian physician. They come in five defined sizes ranging from mini, which are less than 6 inches in height, to giant, which grow more than 28 inches in height. The American Hosta Society identifies the following five color categories for the plant; green, blue, gold, medio-variegated and marginal variegated.

Hostas can be planted throughout the growing season but spring time is ideal. They are usually bought as a bare root or potted plant. They require one inch of water per week. Hostas have very little pest problems but a common pest to be on the lookout for is slugs.

Hostas have been called the friendship plant because they can be easily divided, though it is not necessary for the health of a mature plant. Hostas have flower stalks that hold bell-like blossoms of white, lavender or blue. The flowers are fragrant and are attractive to bees and hummingbirds.

If you have a shaded area in your landscape, add a hosta and it will show its “strength” with little sunlight!

For more information about hostas, contact your county NDSU Extension agent. Find the Extension office for your county at ndsu.ag/countyoffice.

NDSU Agriculture Communication – Jan. 31, 2024

Source: Kelsey Deckert, 701-221-6865, Kelsey.j.deckert@ndsu.edu

Editor: Kelli Anderson, 701-231-7006, kelli.c.anderson@ndsu.edu


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