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Hostas – the Queen of Foliage Plants.

Hostas – the Queen of Foliage Plants.

Hostas – the Queen of Foliage Plants

Our August meeting welcomed Andrew Mikolajski to talk about ‘Hostas – the Queen of Foliage Plants’.

Our talk started with a discussion about slugs. Although no longer classified as pests by RHS and are part of the ecosystem, they are a downside of growing Hostas. We have to learn to love our slugs!! Big brown slugs are the gardeners friend as they eat decaying matter. It is the little black ones that we should be looking out for. A range of deterrents were discussed…including coffee grounds, volcanic dust, and playpit sand.

There are 70 species of Hosta, heralding from Asia and mainly Japan where they grow naturally in grassland, forests, and on rock faces. In Korea and Japan young Hosta shoots are eaten, and apparently taste of asparagus. Hosta varieties have a wide range of leaf shapes, textures, colours, variations and leaf margins. It was interesting to note that blue-grey varieties are usually more slug tolerant. They grow well in containers, using John Innes no 2 and NOT multipurpose compost, and can be divided in autumn or spring. Andrew had a very useful Q&A at the end of the talk.