Hostas and Roses?

lesmcAugust 16, 2013

Hi everyone! I have been sneaking over here from the rose forum and enjoying your information and the beautiful hosta pictures. I find myself falling in love with these lovely green plants and would like to know if it is possible to blend the hosta with roses. None of my rose beds get full sun all day, but they are in sunny locations. Thanks to anyone who takes the time to answer and make a few suggestions of hostas that might take more sun. Once again....your gardens are beautiful. Lesley

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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

LIKEWISE, Lesley! Look at all those gorgeous roses, digitalis, clematis? Gentian? in lower left corner? Can't make it out..that garden must smell heavenly...aaaaahhh :-)

Thanks for dropping by here..don't be a stranger...warning...this site is as addictive as your rose one

There are many hosta that can grow companiably with your roses...I will make room for like-zone members to respond to your question...I have only one knockout rose, a 'Trumpeter', and a few mini roses that have been growing for about 7 years now. Really enjoy them.


    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 9:54AM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Not truly a rose, but I'm sending this, for you, Lesley, as a thank you for a peek at your beautiful rose garden...just took this pic moments ago...buzzy work on a Rose of Sharon bloom. :-)

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 9:59AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

hi.. welcome.. zowee on that garden ...

listen to me.. i will yell ... hosta are shade TOLERANT ....

forget about it ... just pick ones that fit into your scheme.. and plant them ...

and if they dont perform.. move them later year.. whenever ...

i presume.. on this garden..w atering will not be an issue ....

so JUST GO FOR IT ....

dont complicate your life with unimportant variables ..

the only variable at this point.. is proper planting depth ...


    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 12:20PM
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idiothe(4 MN)

Just because something CAN be done doesn't mean it SHOULD be done.

Gardening is science - but garden design is art. Each of us has our own artistic sense, so take this as a personal preference and not a statement of what you should do.

I have a few roses... and a lot of hostas. I like both. But I don't like them together. I don't think they complement each other. The leaf shapes don't "blend" - small and jaggedy versus full, rounded. The plant forms don't blend - Tallish, woody, spreading versus mounded, full, lush...

Caring for the two plants is an issue. Roses require you to be in close to them frequently for pruning and such. Hostas prefer non-intervention to keep the soil uncompacted. Hostas like lots of water - overhead watering will damage roses.

So I've got them in different spots.

One man's opinion!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 12:43PM
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This is all true....BUT if you're going to do it, I'd recommend hostas of the fragrant types. Some being plantaginea, 'Guacamole', Fried Bananas',' Fried Green Tomatoes', 'Cerveza' and such. Look 'em up and check 'em out. These types GENERALLY can take quite a bit of sun and still look good for much of the season. Provided they are watered often and generously. Check out 'September Sun' also. I think 'Squash Casserole' is another one that takes sun particularly well. Whatever you do, good luck!

Don B.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 1:08PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Hi Lesley--another rose gardener visiting the hosta forum, for those who don't know.

I don't grow a lot of hosta, but I have a new one (2nd year, actually) called Cathedral Window. It gets quite a bit of sun and doesn't seem to mind it. It is showy, however, and will get quite large--might compete too much with the roses for looks? I'm not sure. But here it is anyway. (I personally adore it.)

Cathedral Window:

Here's Gypsy Rose hosta--may not like the sun quite as much as Cathedral Windows, but it is growing in a fairly sunny spot that also gets some shade.

Here's a newly planted Gypsy Rose on the left and newly planted Rainforest Sunrise, the small golden one in front of her--that was last year and they both are doing wonderfully well this year in a fair amount of sun and shade. Gypsy is a medium sized hosta and Rainforest is a small one--gets very golden as it matures in the sun.

Wish I had better pics of my hosta. This one shows some newly planted hosta, but I want to draw your attention to the solid green hosta (bottom center of pic)--if the other hosta are too "gaudy," this one has beautiful shiny green leaves--it becomes very large and has large white "lily"-like flowers in August. The solid green one is a planteginea hosta (hope I spelled that right).

And off on the right side of that same pic, you can see part of Gold Standard growing--although the color doesn't really come through. Both of those can take some sun.

Here's an older pic of a Gold Standard I used to grow. You can see its golden shades better here--hosta on right hand side of pic.

And last but not least, a couple weeks ago I planted a Captain Kirk hosta, but it is much too immature to comment on yet. I planted it in part sun--description said it could take some sun. It is a green-edged one with a splotch of yellow down the center of the leaf--but not as "gaudy" as Cathedral Windows (and probably not as large, I would guess--although it is not a small hosta).

There--that about exhausts my knowledge of hostas. Just remember that morning sun is very different (and better) than mid-day direct sun, and hosta (like many roses) appreciate some late afternoon shade--but don't tell Cathedral Windows that cuz I have it planted where is gets a good blast of late afternoon sun and so far its getting along fine. Just remember to water. Hosta are waterhogs.

Oh yes--don't plant near Maple trees and other trees that have lots of surface roots--but with all the roses growing there, I'd guess that isn't a big problem in that spot.

Lovely roses, Lesley. My only question is how do you get the roses to bloom so well in that much shade?

Looking forward to pics of your hosta and roses!


    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 1:30PM
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bernd ny zone5

I also grow roses and hostas together, that is the roses provide some shade for the hostas. There are two large climbing roses at the deck in the back getting a lot of sun, and hostas below the deck getting only 2 hours of direct sun.

Hostas do not need direct sun, but roses must have direct sun. Hostas in direct sun in my zone 5 garden require a lot more water than roses need, so there is another difference. Since I might miss 2 days in watering, I grow roses in full sun and all of my hostas in semi-shade. This is similar with dwarf conifers which also need full sun. I have hostas living in the shade of dwarf conifers. Bernd

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 7:54PM
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