Growing Hostas in Colorado: 2 Main Keys

Can growing northeast Asian Hostas in Colorado be possible? Certainly, it’s possible, as the plant thrives in hardiness zones 3 to 9, while the Centennial State encompasses hardiness zones 3 to 7.

hostas in colorado

The hardy herbaceous perennials is known for their stunning foliage.

With their wide range of colors, shapes, sizes, and textures, hostas add a touch of beauty to any garden.

But they’re not just pretty faces – these shade-tolerant plants are also incredibly easy to grow and require minimal maintenance.

Let’s dive into the world of hostas and discover why they are a must-have for Colorado gardens.

Hostas – A Brief History

Hostas originated from Japan, China, and Korea and were first introduced to Europe in the late 1700s.

By the mid-1800s, they made their way to the United States, captivating gardeners with their unique charm.

Today, there are over 2,500 different cultivars of hostas available in nurseries, garden centers, and catalogs. Among them, my favorite are the variants named ‘Blue Moon’ and ‘Dorset Blue.’

hostas in colorado
Blue Moon Hosta

A Variety of Shapes and Sizes

The size of a hosta plant depends on the cultivar, ranging from just a few inches in diameter to over eight feet wide.

Most hostas develop a rounded shape, while some have an elegant vase shape that remains as the plant grows larger.

Their leaves come in a myriad of colors, from solid shades of blue, green, gold, and yellow to variegated patterns of lighter and darker hues.

Some hostas even undergo seasonal foliar changes, adding even more visual interest to your garden.

Showy Blooms

hostas in colorado

While hostas are primarily known for their foliage, they also produce lovely flowers.

In the summer, spikes of lavender to white, lily-like blooms emerge, adding a touch of elegance to your garden.

New cultivars are being bred to produce larger and more attractive flowers, with some plants boasting an impressive 50 to 75 blooms on each flower scape.

Caring for Hostas in Colorado: 2 Essentials


Hostas thrive in shade, but they also require some sunlight to flourish.

Morning sun and afternoon shade are the perfect balance for most cultivars, although some can tolerate a bit of afternoon sun.

Blue-leafed hostas prefer more shade, while gold-, yellow-, and white-leafed varieties can handle a bit more sunlight.

Fragrant hostas, on the other hand, thrive with around five to six hours of daily sun.

hostas in colorado


To ensure optimal growth, hostas prefer rich organic soil with good drainage. If your soil is not ideal, adding organic amendments can significantly improve its quality.

The recommended pH level for hostas is slightly acidic to slightly alkaline, ranging from 6.5 to 7.5.

When planting hostas, dig a hole at least a foot deep and one and a half times the expected mature size of the clump.

Spread the roots over a small cone of soil at the bottom of the hole and make sure the leaves and roots meet at ground level.

Maintenance and Propagation

Water is vital for the health of hostas. Aim to water them at least once a week, providing about an inch of water.

Deep watering encourages strong root development and ensures the plant’s overall well-being.

Look out for signs of inadequate water, such as burnt leaf tips and drooping leaves, which indicate the need for more moisture.

hostas in colorado

Hostas can be propagated by dividing existing plants.

While spring division is the easiest, summer division is preferred, especially around August, at least 90 days before the first fall frost.

To divide, dig up the entire plant and use a sharp shovel or knife to separate it into smaller sections.

Replant one division in the original hole and transplant the others in different areas of your garden or share them with friends.

Pest Control

Slugs and snails are the most common pests that plague hostas.

hostas in colorado

They leave small round holes in the leaves, particularly targeting thin-leafed hostas and those close to the ground.

To combat these pesky critters, you can use slug baits or set up shallow containers filled with beer.

The slugs are attracted to the beer, making it easier to trap and remove them from your garden.

Adding Beauty to Colorado Landscapes

Hostas are not only visually stunning but also versatile plants that can brighten up any shady corner of your garden.

Their large leaves and colorful foliage can even be used to create beautiful cut flower arrangements.

Once you experience the charm of hostas, you’ll find yourself on a quest to discover new and unique cultivars to enhance your shade gardens.

So why wait? Bring the beauty of hostas into your Colorado garden and enjoy their effortless elegance for years to come.