View from above of a Hosta ‘Francee’ plant.

How to Have a Luscious Leaves Garden

With their bold foliage and wide color range, hostas are the darlings of the designer world. Grow a few in pots on a shady patio for a lush, sophisticated display that will last from early summer until the autumn.

When to start: Spring.

At their best: Early summer to early autumn.

Time to complete: 2 hours.

You will need: 4 pots of different sizes, soil-based potting mix, broken clay pot pieces, slow-release fertilizer, horticultural grit.

Selection of plants you could use: Hosta ‘Francee’, Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’, Hosta fortunei var. albopicta f. aurea, Hosta ‘August Moon’.

Choosing pots

First choose suitable containers. Hosta ‘Francee’ and H. ‘August Moon’ have spreading habits and suit wide pots, while H. ‘Krossa Regal’ is more upright and looks best in a taller container. H. fortune f. aurea is small in stature, so select a little pot for this diminutive plant. Buy frostproof containers for your hostas; they are perennial plants and will pop up year after year.

Planting up

Prepare your pots according to the instructions here, and water the hostas well before planting. Add slow-release fertilizer to the compost and plant the hostas slightly deeper than they were in their original pots. Water them and apply a gritty mulch to deter slugs and snails (see Tips, below).


Hostas like damp conditions and need frequent watering, especially in summer. Use about half a full watering can on each plant, so that the moisture reaches the bottom of the pot. Take precautions against slugs and snails, and feed annually.

Tips: Slug and snail repellents

To keep your hostas free from slug and snail damage, sprinkle a few slug pellets sparingly around young plants after planting. Organic controls include pouring used coffee grounds around the plants, applying a mulch of eggshells or grit, or fixing a copper strip around each pot.