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Have you ever been to a garden? Did you notice a beautiful plant that has two shades of green imprinted on it? What you were looking at is probably a hostas plant.
Also known as plantain lilies, hostas are plants that are shade-loving. They are said to have originated from Japan; these perennial plants are cultivated widely under trees that provide shade.
Since hostas are shade-loving, they are usually grown under pine trees. To properly develop hostas under pine trees, a few useful tips have been properly highlighted below.
5 Useful Tips
● If the soil under the pine tree is lacking nutrients, adding fertilizer to it will improve the growth of the hostas.
● To retain moisture in the soil, add mould and compost to enhance the growth of the plant
● Avoid planting hostas directly under the tree trunks, rather plant them a few centimetres away from the pine tree
● Hostas are hard to establish, so you need to make sure that the soil is good enough for planting, if it is not, it needs to be amended.
● Don’t forget to water the hosts and add mulch to improve the structure of the soil.
How Do I Improve Soil Structure Under Pine Trees?
The soil directly underneath designated pine trees will consist of parched earth that has years of pine mulch at different phases of decay.
The pine needles will become compost materials with the acidity of Ph 6 which is the right amount of soil acidity to grow hostas.
If the soil under the pine tree is not amended, it will become parched for the hostas, this is because the pine tree canopy will limit the amount of rainfall reaching the hostas.
The unamended soil will have low fertility and nutrients in it; it will also be difficult to retain moisture content for growing.
Bearing this in mind when planting a host, a significant amount of organic matter consists of manure and leaf mould. This organic material will stimulate certain microbes and worm movements that increase the activity of the soil.
Manure that has rotted is essential because it increases the fertility of the soil and retains it for a longer period.
After creating an appropriate hole for the hostas and making sure that the head is on ground level, fill the hole with organic material and manure to make the soil firm.
To achieve the best results, add mulch to the soil and water it thoroughly.
Will Hostas Grow Through Pine Straw?
Pine straws add mulch to the soil under pine trees; this is very important in growing hostas.
A few benefits are highlighted below:
1. Pine straw helps to insulate the soil from extreme temperatures, erosion caused by wind and rain, and also moisture loss.
2. It replaces the nutrients that are absorbed by heavy feeding hostas. It also helps to retain the soil structure and water-retaining ability.
3. The mulch can be applied to the soil at any time but studies have shown that it is best to apply much during the spring season to provide nutrients for the plant that is still growing.
4. Mulching does not require a lot of material, the same used to amend the soil is the same still used to mulch the soil.
Using Drip Line for Hostas
One of the major issues affecting growing hostas is dry soil. Therefore the importance of good watering cannot be overexpressed and the best way to carry this out is to use a soaker hose and lay down a dip line.
It is also very important because the hostas compete with the pine tree for water and nutrients.
Hostas are known for consuming a lot of water and moisture so we must water the plant frequently so that the roots will grow and absorb the moisture.
How to Check The Level of Moisture in The Soil
It is important to constantly check for moisture levels in the soil, using your finger to feel the soil to check if it is moist.
If it feels dry, then your plant deserves a good water bath, this will prevent the soil from drying up.
Your hostas will continue to thrive if regular mulch and water are added to them.
Importance Of Fertilizer To Hostas Plant
Because hostas plants are always competing with one tree for nutrients, fertilizers must be added to them to enhance growth.
Mulch will indeed improve the fertility of this soil but it will not necessarily provide the nutrients that are needed by the plant to thrive.
So applying more fertilizer once in two weeks will help the hostas plant to do better in terms of size, shape, and luxurious leaves and give it that smooth finish it deserves.
How to Remove Pine Roots When Planting Hostas.
It’s difficult to find space sometimes to plant hostas, this is because of the intense network of pine roots. This is especially difficult when growing larger species of pine roots.
To grow larger species of hostas, it is Important to remove some parts of the pine roots to create space for them, so long as it does not cause harm or damage to the pine tree. This can be carried out by using an axe to chop off some portions of pine roots to accommodate hostas planting.
What other plants can be grown under a pine tree? let’s take a look.
1. Trillium Wildflower
Trillium is an aboriginal wildflower that thrives in forests across the United States. Trilliums bloom from late April to June, then go inactive in the summer.
Trilliums are native wildflowers that look best planted among other shade-loving ground covers or woodland plants such as ferns, pine trees, etc.
2. Hellebores Flowering Plant
Hellebores are pretty poisonous flowering plants that bloom from late November through winter and then it gets to Spring, They can grow and thrive under full or partial shade. They do great with fertile, well-drained soil.
In conclusion, pine trees are perfect for planting shade-loving plants ( hostas, trillium, hellebores, etc.) So if you are thinking of growing these plants, Follow the tips above and watch your plants thrive.