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Hi there

I'm getting confusing information from a well known website regarding the spread for hostas.  Do they all spread around 50cm or does it depend on how long they stay uninterrupted?  Also, is the white feather hosta particularly difficult to grow/look after?  I've purchased copper rings to put around the plants to avoid slugs and I read somewhere recently that if I put slug pellets down now, as in early February it may stop the slugs from laying their eggs everywhere so hopefully (let's stay positive) the slug issue is in control.  I'm hoping to create a "hosta corner" in my garden because they look stunning.  It's a nice shady but well drained area getting a little morning sun.   


Different hostas will spread differing amounts; there are some very small types that will only spread a few inches, whereas some of the large types can easily spread a yard across if undisturbed.

I have no idea about white feather.


doc's right charley- there's hundreds of different varieties with a range of sizes and your own conditions will also make a difference. 50/60 cm is an average. If you look up a specialist Hosta nursery online, or even just google that particular one, you may get a better idea. 


Your hosta White Feather will eventually spread to 30 inches/90 cms wide but not in its first season.  It needs to be grown in shade or very dappled sunlight to avoid burning those pale leaves.

Slugs will probably love it so you'll need to protect it - wildlife friendly slug pellets scattered thinly but regularly, a mulch of coffee grounds or sharp grit, a copper ring round the plant............

Different hostas have different heights and spread and very different leaf shapes, textures and colours.  With care, you can plant a beautiful tapestry of them.  Most like moist soils rather than sharply drained so you may want to add some well rotted leaf mold or compost to your soil before planting.

Thanks for your replies.  I'm guessing that as most the hostas that I'm looking at are due to grow to approx. 50cm they will spread to a similar distance.  I'll continue my research


Charley it sounds ideal for white feather....if the sun isn't too prolonged in the morning though cos it will burn to a crisp.  Fire n Ice is another preferring shade.  How about growing white feather in a terracotta pot with copper tape around the rim.?  Then in as much shade as possible?

Copper rings are very effective I think.  

Verdun - you've made my day.  So thankful to hear that the copper rings are very effective, having already purchased them.  Useful to hear from first hand experience.  Yes, the hosta corner will only get sun up to about 10am I think.  I've got a lovely "L" shape area that I want to put them in so taking what Brumbull says, I think I'll put the white one in the angle so that it takes pride of place, especially if it's going to spread 24- 30 inches.  Thanks for this info and also for the warning that it's slow growing.  It's hard not to be looking at new plants every day!!!

Thanks Brumbull.  The white feather will only get a glimpse of morning sun up to around 10am, if it's lucky so it should be ok.  Yes, that's good point about what I put next to it.  I think because of the right angle in the corner though, it should be slightly higher than the rest as our garden slopes so it should look good as the focal point.  I can never decide which part of gardening I like best, the planning, research, the preparation, planting, maintenance or the sit back and enjoy - all of it I think

Hello Charley,

I find that it is snails not slugs that are after my hosta's and they go for certain varieties and leave others alone.

I put down a "few" slug pellets every few day and check for them at night as well!

White Feather is very good in the spring with me and then the leaves change to a lightish green colour!

A few years ago I got  three Fire Island, magnificent they were for a few months then they rotted in their pots one after another, even when I use a fungus spray and also turned the pots on their side and kept the soil on the dry side!

Have never seen them since, do any of you grow them and if so how have they done?



Ooo Jimmy

Slug pellets!!!  Please tell me they are wildlife friendly?  I stopped putting pellets down a couple of years ago.   Instead, I got a hedgehog house and a big stone and now I very rarely have an issue with either slug or snail, birds & hedgehogs feed on them first thing in the morning. 

There is nothing better on a warm summers morning, when you are up with the larks, than watching both forage around in the undergrowth looking for their breakfast.



Fire island was a variety on my shopping list.  However it apparently loses its yellow colouring early in summer.  I have some nice yellow variegated varieties that look good all through summer so still looking for that glorious yellow leaf.  And a true blue many, most of them, have a greeny caste to them   

My sure fire way to,keep hostas looking good through to autumn is not to let them flower.  Once flowers form the slugs and snails home in on them.  I have proved this over past few years and where I want the perfect foliage I remove any flower stems.  Where I do want the flowers, ESP when scented, I grow elsewhere.  

 Hi Verdun,

Talking about the so called "blue" hosta's, I have both Blue Wedgwood and Canadian Blue, not of which in spite of pictures in catalogues shown are "blue" and the snails just love them!



No problem at all .... my pleasure 

Don't believe all the hype in hosta catalogues.......well in most catalogues.

For me I visit these sites, select those that appeal then check them out elsewhere to get an unbiased verdict on them.  that's where forums like this are so useful.....usually someone is growing them and can offer practical views

Plant suppliers have a habit, sometimes, of over stating their plants.  Often so  many varieties are so similar as to be almost identical and not worth buying if you already have something like it. ..............full of cold today so not sure if that totally makes sense   


Oooh, you've all been very busy chatting.  There is so much information on here to take in; it's brilliant!  Wow, 60 different varieties of hosta's Brumbull!!!!  You are definitely the one to ask.  I'll continue researching the ones that I want and then come back to you if I may.  I must admit I got quite annoyed with Parkers website because they were saying the white hosta spreads 1m in the designer collection but then for the white hosta on its own - 50cm - but then if you plant 3 white hostas together, the spacing is reduced to 25-30cm???!!!!!   Hence my plea for help here, and jolly good help it's been too!  Thanks everyone.


If you plant 3 the sameyou're making a clump of one form, overlapping adds substance. If you plant 3 different an overlap looks a mess

Spot on nut.  

Never put two hostas together in my book even for colour contrast.  

Maybe I will change my mind about growing hostas together so will look forward to those pictures.  Always ready to learn and try different ways.