General - Hostas are incredibly tough plants and will get along fine in almost any garden...but they look their absolute best with just a little extra attention.
Sun - Hostas prefer woodland garden conditions...light shade or a couple of hours of morning sun. Those who live in the north can get away with hostas for sun a lot more sun than us here in the south. Hosta leaf colors are preserved longer into the season with shade...so if you want to preserve that nice blue leaf or yellow leaf for as long as possible, choose more shade, preferably afternoon shade. The best sun hostas are the green cultivars.
Soil - Well amended soil is best...rich in organic matter and tilled to improve drainage and prevent winter crown rot. Slightly acidic pH.
Water - Hostas are drought tolerant but 1 inch per week will keep them looking tip-top.
Fertilizer - A fresh layer of compost once per year is plenty to keep a hosta supplied with all the nutrients it needs to look great.
Maintenance - Very low...If you want to ignore your hosta, it will not mind at all. But you can keep your garden looking tidy by removing the spent flower stalks in late summer and by cleaning up the dead foliage after a few hard freezes at the beginning of winter.
Pests - Deer love hostas and so do slugs, especially the newly emerging tender leaves. There are a variety of deer controls out there (fencing, predator urine, rotten eggs and hot peppers) but you can also control deer by interplanting hostas with plants that they do not like (e.g., Helleborus, Taxus, Vinca - Check out all our deer resistant plants). Slugs can be controlled with a variety of treatments but some non-toxic organic methods include collars, diatomaceous earth and sand around the plants.
Propagation - Hostas can be divided every 3-4 years by digging them up and carefully separating the slips. Make sure each slip has some roots. When is the best time to divide hosta? Fall is the best time, but hostas are such tough plants that I have had success dividing them (in Raleigh) in any month.
Design Tips - Inter-plant with evergreen or wintergreen plants to fill in when your hostas are dormant. Flowering in summer, the purple or white hosta flowers can be combined with other summer flowering plants with white or purple flowers. White, cream, and yellow variegated hostas stand out best when surrounded by solid green plants. Blue hostas stand out best when set off with complementary colors like pink and white flowers. Fine textured plants like carex and ferns play well with the bold texture of hostas leaves.