Hosts - Variety Of Species And Garden Use. Photo

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Hosts - Variety Of Species And Garden Use. Photo
Hosts - Variety Of Species And Garden Use. Photo

Video: Hosts - Variety Of Species And Garden Use. Photo

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The hosts are ornamental, large-leaved, unpretentious, luxurious queens of the shadow. The unique herbaceous perennial is so popular and irreplaceable that without it it is impossible to imagine a single nook of the garden. Equally inimitable in regular style and modern design, the hosta invites you to admire the luxury of foliage in spectacular rosettes. The choice of species and varieties is so significant that with the help of hosts, you can decorate literally any garden and any ensemble. It is truly a versatile plant, but it does not lose its status as a luxurious perennial. In this post, we'll talk about host diversity and their use in garden design.

Variety of host species
Variety of host species


  • Description of garden host
  • Variety host
  • Using host in garden design
  • Selection of partners

Description of garden host

Among ornamental foliage plants, in terms of popularity, prevalence and beauty, few of them can be compared with hosts. The combination of practical and aesthetic characteristics allows this perennial to maintain the status of one of the favorite deciduous plants. The hosts are diverse, but easily recognizable, durable, undemanding and firmly hold the status of the most popular culture in the West, slowly it confirms the status of the queen of the shadow in our country.

The hosts received their specific name in honor of the famous botanist and healer N. Host, who made a significant contribution to the development of medicine in Austria. We still like to call hosts functions. This old, today not used in official classifications, the name of the plant was also received in honor of the representative of medicine, only this time German - the pharmacist H.G. Funk.

All hosts are short-rhizome herbaceous perennials, surprising with an amazingly compact and shallow root system that does not prevent the plants from remaining highly frost-resistant. The roots are fibrous-cord-like, densely located. These are durable, constantly increasing in volume, lush and spectacular perennials, which not only do not lose, but increase their decorativeness every year.

Hosts without transplanting can grow in one place for more than 20 years, they are divided and transplanted only in two cases - if they want to increase the collection or if you need to limit the planting area.

It is difficult to classify a host as a fast-growing plant. This is especially true for the latest varieties or specimens with a non-standard color, which take 4-5 years to reach a sufficient volume of bushes, and the hosts reach a really impressive number of leaves only after a decade.

The hosts create wide, showy root leaves. In the process of blooming, they resemble lilies of the valley, appearing above the soil in tubules, and then unfolding. Large, not too long petioles and whole large leaves are a constant feature of the host. But the size and shape of the leaves vary depending on the variety.

The length of the leaves ranges from 5 to 25 centimeters or more. From narrow lanceolate leaves to oval, broad-lanceolate, ovate and heart-shaped leaves, there is plenty to choose from. Whole and even leaves are more common than fancy wavy leaves. On the surface of the leaves of the hosta, luxurious depressed veins appear, following the shape of the contours of the edges of the leaf plate. But venation can be both pronounced and inconspicuous.

The color of the leaves of the hosta can be varied - from dark green to light green, blue, gray-gray, golden, variegated with white, cream and yellow spots and stripes. It is the differences in color that make the representatives of this genus so diverse. The characteristic color of the variety usually appears even in the first young leaves, which appear in late spring, but not always in young hosts.

But in the fall, all hosts effectively change color. Even trendy variegated varieties are repainted in golden and yellow colors, thanks to which hosts join the fiery parade of the autumn garden until winter arrives.

Hosts remain an ornamental-deciduous plant, even despite the fact that flowering competitors do not compete in grace with the flowering of this plant. Hosts are divided into two groups - plants with spectacular inflorescences and varieties that are relatively nondescript for these characteristics.

These perennials bloom in June, flowering usually lasts until August or September, at different times, on average lasting from 20 to 40 days. On high, from 60 cm to more than 1 m, straight peduncles, one-sided or loose clusters of inflorescences bloom. They contain elegant bells - funnel-shaped flowers of graceful shape, each of which is perfectly visible. The flowers are usually delicate lilac or lilac in color, but many modern hybrids have white or cream inflorescences.

After flowering, the host is tied with nondescript fruit pods with a leathery surface. The seeds ripen well, they are plentiful, but quickly lose their germination.

Hosta Bloated (Hosta ventricosa)
Hosta Bloated (Hosta ventricosa)
Hosta Beautiful (Hosta venusta)
Hosta Beautiful (Hosta venusta)
Hosta undulata (Hosta undulata)
Hosta undulata (Hosta undulata)

Variety host

The keys to the popularity of hosts and their status as an indispensable plant in landscaping are considered by many to be the amazing diversity of these plants. No matter what host we are talking about, it still remains easily recognizable by its large leaves and growth pattern. But at the same time, the hosts offer a very diverse selection.

The greatest variety is typical for the host in terms of the color palette. Classic green-leaved hosts are also far from the same: dark, medium and light tones allow you to play with contrasts and the effect of highlighting compositions. But for those looking for original paints, the hosts also have a lot to offer. They are blue-leaved, gray-leaved, golden and variegated. Borders, stripes, spots, ripples in a wide variety of combinations create modern and unique combinations on the leaves, transforming the look of the plant.

Hosts are divided into several groups and on other grounds:

  1. Varieties with matte, waxy and glossy leaves.
  2. Large-leaved and small-leaved hosts.
  3. Hosts with smooth, wrinkled, embossed, wavy leaves.
  4. Miniature, medium-sized and giant varieties from 5 cm to almost 1 m in height.
  5. Hosts with small or large flowers.

More than forty plant species are distinguished in the Khost genus. Not all species of hosts are used in horticultural culture, and the most popular and widely represented on the market are hybrid varietal plants combined into the Hosta hybrid species (despite their unofficial status, plants are often sold under the name Hosta hybridum or Hosta hybrids).

Understanding the host classification is not easy. Many cultivated plants are classified as species, which only complicates the situation. The easiest way to navigate the host variety is by purely decorative characteristics, choosing plants according to your taste and the desired role in the compositions. The official register of varieties is the register of the American Host Society. Today the number of cultivars in it has exceeded 2000 specimens.

Among the host species, the following are considered popular:

  • Variation size wax serdtsevidnolistnaya host Siebold (Hosta sieboldii), to which was reclassified and serdtsevidnolistnaya, wax, with variative color and beautiful flowering host Fortune (Hosta fortunei), and temnolistnaya with large lanceolate-serdtselistnymi dlinnochereshkovye leaves host High (Hosta elata), and many other species previously considered separately;
  • large, with heart-shaped leaves bright Hosta Swollen (Hosta ventricosa);
  • small-leaved and undersized hosta Beautiful (Hosta venusta);
  • dense, narrow-leaved and compact hosta lanceoliferous (Hosta lancifolia);
  • long-rooted, with neat heart-shaped leaves, low hosta Small (Hosta minor);
  • Broad-leaved hosta Ovate (Hosta ovata) developing in the form of spherical bushes;
  • bright serdtselistnaya large host plantaginaceae (Hosta plantaginea);
  • strong and thick, with vertical narrow leaves host Pryamolistnaya (Hosta rectifolia);
  • flaunt whimsically wavy leaves motley host Wavy (Hosta undulata).
Hosta lanceolistnaya (Hosta lancifolia)
Hosta lanceolistnaya (Hosta lancifolia)
Hosta minor
Hosta minor
Hosta plantaginea
Hosta plantaginea

Using hosts in garden design

In the design of the secluded corners of the garden - shaded areas with lighting from partial shade to shade - hosts are considered culture number 1 for a reason. It is impossible to find a more spectacular, diverse and unpretentious plant for shaded areas.

But among the host, there are also varieties that thrive on sunny areas or in diffused but bright lighting. The right choice of plants allows hosts to become a truly versatile crop. If earlier hosts on ordinary flower beds were considered something exceptional, then the modern palette of varieties allows you to use large-leafed accents even in the company of roses, lavender and the like.

Hosts are oriental plants that are most common in nature in the Far East. But the high decorativeness of the host has long expanded the natural range and made the plants true international stars. The fashion for hosts came to us from Canada and the USA, who not only made a significant contribution to plant breeding, but also made them absolute favorites of modern design.

However, geography or status does not in the least change the versatility of the hosta: another plant that would look so good in any garden still needs to be looked for. Hosts are good in natural plantings and regular gardens, in modern modern and minimalist styles, high-tech and expressionism as well as in nostalgic gardens or narrow-themed projects.

Hosts are elegant, flawless plants for ceremonial and exemplary ensembles. The elegant foliage of the hosta is one of the noblest in the garden palette. The host is characterized by a unique ability to highlight the beauty of any, even the most modest flowering plant.

By the nature of their influence on decorative compositions, hosts are rightly called plants that create harmony. Hosts, thanks to large leaves and ornamentation, bring orderliness even in compositions with a chaotic pattern. They soften, soothe, balance plants of different nature, enhance the beauty of neighbors or neutralize the imperfections of greenery, make them perceive the color scheme holistically and easily bring unity to any group. Hosta can both add attractiveness and soften the variation in characteristics of contrasting plants.

The use of the host in the design meets all the principles of modern design, including the desire to minimize planting maintenance. Hosts are not just unpretentious plants that do not cause trouble even for novice gardeners. They are almost maintenance-free, take decades to grow and look luxurious in any setting. Weeds do not grow among large hosts. They fit into the concept of a lazy or thrifty garden, justifying the purchase of varieties and allowing diversity to be maintained while using a minimum number of species.

With the help of the host, you can play with optical illusions and bring even the darkest corners to life. They literally color the garden, enlivening the compositions both in terms of introducing an ornamental effect and in their coloristic influence.

Hosts in garden design
Hosts in garden design

The hosts in the garden can be used both as a solo plant and in monogroups, placing different varieties or identical specimens with spots, and in complex compositions. In the design of garden ensembles, hosts use:

  • to create host flower beds;
  • to decorate the leading edge of compositions;
  • for arranging patterned, architectural, graphic accents and contrasts;
  • as a curb plant;
  • in landscape compositions in secluded lighting;
  • in freely growing groups;
  • in shady flower beds and beds;
  • in parterres, patterned mixborders, arabesques;
  • in rockeries;
  • as a soloist or large spots on the lawn (tall and sun-loving varieties);
  • in the design of regular mixborders and flower beds;
  • in rock gardens and play with rock fill and Japanese-style recreation areas;
  • as a large-leaved plant in the design of all types of flower beds;
  • in the design of water bodies, including for framing small decorative ponds or introducing harmony and architectural accents into coastlines;
  • for edging or padding solo shrubs and trees, for filling spaces between large ornamental plants and as an alternative to shady lawns (single or multi-tiered planting, play with perspective and light).

If the hosts look great even in plantings without a visible structure or pattern, in imitation of thickets or landscape flower beds, then it is better to be guided by geometry and symmetry in planting the plants themselves. The hosts are placed not chaotically, but in an orderly manner, correlating with the largest plants in the ensemble and observing an equal or proportional ratio between the bushes.

Hosts bring order where it is lacking, and this property is enhanced with a landing strategy. When placing hosts, even in the foreground, it is worth considering alternation, considering the interaction of masses, contours, volumes and the fullness of the composition.

Hosts are also viewed as a cut culture. The inflorescences of these beauties are admired only in gardens, but the leaves are used for bouquets and arrangements quite often.

Hosts mix well with each other
Hosts mix well with each other

Selection of partners for the host

Fully responding to their reputation as a versatile plant, hosts go well with any garden crop. Of course, the growing conditions and the similarity of care always remain a limitation on the selection of partners, but hosts that are able to decorate any composition and corner in the garden will look great with almost any plants nearby. Neither large-leaved, nor flowering, nor decorative leafy crops are excluded from the list of suitable partners for this plant.

In traditional use in secluded corners of the garden, ferns, aquilegia, and astilbe are always the best partners for the host. Periwinkles are planted around the host as a complementary ground cover. Regardless of the lighting, contrasting both in texture and in character, a neighbor for a host can be selected from among ornamental cereals, among which not all species are also sun-loving.

Buzulniks, delphiniums, milkweed, geykhera and cuffs perfectly fit into the composition with hosts. A unique contrast with the leaves of the hosta will create the shining velvet of the Byzantine silver purse. The accents in the compositions will easily be set by any bulbous - both spring and summer or autumn flowering. Host irises, forget-me-nots, daylilies, poppies are inimitable in the company.

There are no restrictions among shrubs and decorative trees. From roses and spirits to rhododendrons, honeysuckles and hydrangeas, hosts are capable of bringing a new dimension to any soloist.

If the compositions with the hosta lack imposingness, it is worth stopping attention on annuals that can fill in the voids or place color accents. Begonias are the best candidate for a place next to a magnificent hosta, but lobelias, sage, surfinias, marigolds, etc. will also reveal their beauty.

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