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Dwart Hosta in assorted 3" pots

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Quick Overview

Dwarf Hosta

Most hostas are shade-loving plants valued for their large, striking leaves, but some hostas can thrive in the sun. Hosta leaves vary in color from deep blue-green to lime green to brilliant shades of yellow, often variegated with edgings of white or pale green. Hostas also come in a range of sizes, from the giant hostas exceeding 28 inches to the dwarf hosta, which gets no taller than 4 inches. These dwarf hostas fill out shady rock gardens or work well in patio pots.
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Dwart Hosta in assorted 3" pots

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Dwarf Hosta Most hostas are shade-loving plants valued for their large, striking leaves, but some hostas can thrive in the sun. Hosta leaves vary in color from deep blue-green to lime green to brilliant shades of yellow, often variegated with edgings of white or pale green. Hostas also come in a range of sizes, from the giant hostas exceeding 28 inches to the dwarf hosta, which gets no taller than 4 inches. These dwarf hostas fill out shady rock gardens or work well in patio pots. - HOSTA CARE - Plant, transplant and divide hostas in spring or late summer. Although it is not necessary to divide hostas, doing so increases plant numbers. Divide hostas either in spring or toward the end of summer, after the end of bloom and summer heat. Dividing hostas may be done in two ways, using clean, sharp tools: (1) cut into the plant to slice away a section of a clump, being sure to include roots; or (2) lift the whole hosta, including the roots, from the ground and divide the clump into separate plants. Keep the plant and its roots moist. Dig a hole as deep as the root ball and one-and-a-half times as wide. Place the hosta into the hole with the crown at soil level and add soil as needed. Do not bury the crown. After summer transplanting, at least one growing season must pass before active above-ground growth will resume. STRIPTEASE Because most hostas are native to habitat with 50 inches or more of rain per year, supplemental irrigation is necessary. Drip, soaker hose or a similar system is preferred to avoid wetting the foliage, reduce foliar disease problems and maintain color intensity of blue foliaged cultivars. Don't apply excessive amounts of nitrogen fertilizer. No more than one-eighth pound of actual nitrogen is needed for a 125-square-foot bed of hostas. High nitrogen applications result in soft foliage which readily wilts and is subject to foliar diseases. High nitrogen also diminishes the intensity of the variegated pattern. If fertilizer is needed, apply a slow-release fertilizer just as growth begins in spring. In early summer, apply a loose, noncompacting mulch to inhibit weed growth, reduce water loss and lessen soil compaction. Mulch should be about 1 inch deep. A thicker layer of mulch is likely to promote slug populations. Water in the mornings so the mulch surfaces dry before evening, and occasionally rake the mulch to improve air movement. In the winter, mulch protects the site from repeated freezing and thawing. A winter mulch also protects newly planted hostas. Before spring's new growth, remove the winter mulch along with leaf debris. - Variety's of Dwarf Hostas - Blue Dwarfs - One of the most popular blue dwarf hostas include the variety "Blue Mouse Ears," which looks much like it sounds. Small, round, semi-upright blue leaves stand high on stalks reminiscent of a mushroom. The "Twilight Time" hosta variety forms small, dense mounds with deep blue-green, pointed and ruffled leaves. The ruffling gives this dwarf hosta the appearance of movement. "Blue Moon," "Blue Silver" and "Blue Ice"are both dwarf blue varieties of hosta with a chalky-appearing surface. Blue Moon has more heart-shaped leaves while Blue Silver has wedge-shaped leaves. - Medium Green Dwarfs - There are fewer medium green dwarf hosta varieties than other dwarfs because breeders have focused on unusual characteristics such as wavy leaves and variegation; however, a few are available. "Baby Bunting" is one medium green variety of hosta that has more elongated leaves and a dense mounding habit. Horticultural grower Deckert developed the variety "Green Mouse Ears" in 2004 from a sport of "Blue Mouse Ears" and both resemble each other except for their respective colors. - Lime Green Dwarfs - Dwarf hosta variety "Hydon Sunset" has pointed lime green leaves that cascade like a tiny green waterfall, while the variety "Bitsy Gold" has unusual, sparse, nearly strap-like light-green leaves. "Cheatin Heart" is a lime green dwarf hosta with heart-shaped leaves that turn orange-gold in full sun. Two more chartreuse-leaved dwarf hostas with some added variation to the leaves are "Little Aurora," whose leaves appear puckered, and "Chartreuse Wiggles," which has wavy leaves. - Variegated - "Fantasy Island" hosta has a brilliant white interior and green edgings. "Hope" a variety developed by Hansen in 1999 sports an unusual gold edge. Hosta variety "Peanut" developed by Schwarz in 2002 is another white-center hosta with a green edge but with a crinkled appearance to its leaves. "Cracker Crumbs" is a brilliant yellow hosta with dark green edging, presenting a striking appearance in the deep shade. "Cat's Eyes," "Green Eyes," "Medusa," "Pandora's Box," "Surprised by Joy" and "Masquerade" are all varieties of hosta with a light interior and a darker margin. "Cherish," which was developed from Baby Bunting, has leaves bright yellow leaves with a blue-green margin.

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