Hostas will grow on any fertile, moisture-retentive garden soil, but thin sands and heavy clays are best improved before planting. Liming to moderate the pH to 6.5-7.3 is advisable where soils are acid. More soil moisture is required where shade is light, so incorporate additional organic matter, such as garden compost or leafmould.
Plants take about five years to reach full size and then need no further disturbance for many years.
Moisture is essential and hostas will fail to thrive where the soil remains dry for long periods. Watering may be required, but mulching with well-rotted organic matter is especially helpful in maintaining ideal moist, fertile conditions. An annual dressing in late winter of general–purpose fertiliser may be needed in poor soils in the same way that other herbaceous plants are treated.
Garden hostas are extremely hardy and thrive in cold regions coming from China, Japan and Korea. They are particularly popular in North America.
Hostas can be grown in containers using any good general-purpose potting compost, including soil-based (John Innes No 2 or No 3) or peat-free. Container-grown hostas must be carefully watered to ensure they don't dry out. Likewise, liquid feeding is likely to be required every month, using a general-purpose liquid fertiliser. When the pots are filled with roots and the crown has become congested, repot into a larger container or split and replant just a few sections into the same size pot.