Friday, May 10, 2013

Great Mother's Day (or any day!) Plant for Beginners - Try a Hosta!

Over the past few years, I've developed a love of plants.  Now, that doesn't mean that I know what I'm doing, but I like to try!  After much trial and error, I've found a few tough plants that can withstand the beginner (but look nice enough to be from an expert gardener!).

The First Member of Our Backyard Family
If you're looking to get started, or just need an idea for a great outdoor plant to buy this season, try a Hosta.

Several years ago, after my son's pre-school orientation (sniff, sniff), we stopped at a local farm market for ice cream.  We also left with a hosta.  It was $8.00.  I thought it was kind of expensive, but thought it would be nice to commemorate the day.  We kept it on our back patio for months, but when fall came, I worried it wouldn't survive.  So, I dug a hole in our backyard and plopped it right in.  Over the winter, it disappeared from sight.  Come spring, it started to grow again.  Every year since, it's gotten bigger and bigger.  Over the summer, pretty flowers bloom from the center, and it requires pretty much zero maintenance.

Hosta Pros
  • Loves shade
  • Doesn't need great soil
  • Thrives in the Northeast and other regions
  • Perennial (blooms every year, on its on)
  • Flowers in summer
  • Inexpensive
Hosta Cons
  • Over the years, can get BIG.  You can probably trim it back, but I haven't tried!
  • Sometimes, critters like to dine on it.  We wake up and see that it's been munched on occasion.  Still, it's fairly pest resistant.
It is so cool seeing it start to pop out of the ground in April every year, and then watch as it quickly turns into a big, vibrant feature of the backyard.

If you want to learn more about hostas, check out this great article from Southern Living.

What's your favorite perennial in your backyard?