Plantain Lily Plant Care

Plantain Lily is not one of your common houseplants. Yet, with some dedication, it can be grown indoors. Another interesting fact is gardeners refer to it as the Heart Leaf Lily because it has heart-shaped leaves.

So, if you want to start growing Hosta spp indoors, stay longer. Here you will find some fascinating tips for caring for this gorgeous plant.

About Plantain Lily

Plantain Lily Plant

Before buying the Hosta genus, what do you need to know before purchasing this plant? Hosta plants are herbaceous perennials that have leaves sitting on long stalks. It looks great in a shade garden.

Another exciting thing is that these shade-loving plants have inhabited Europe since the 18th century. You can find over 4000 varieties globally. One thing that stands out with this plant is the decorative leaves.

The plant has waxy green leaves with a wide selection of colors seen in the foliage. The color can range from green to blue. It also has rhizomatous roots that reach maturity in five years. The Plantain Lily also blooms with bell-shaped flowers.

The white flowers look amazing but often find them in pink and blue-purple. The best time to plant them is in spring or fall. Under proper conditions, you can grow them indoors. But they do need an annual dormant period in cold conditions to flourish.

Most Hostas can grow from three to 36-inches, and some other common names are Day Lily or Funkia.

Plantain Lily Care

Plantain Lily Plant Care

When it comes to caring for the Hosta Plantain Lily, it is not like other perennials as it gets lusher year by year as long as you provide them with an undisturbed growth. Yet, with proper care and patience, it increases with beauty indoors and outdoors.

Ideal Potting Mix to Growing Plantain Lily

Most Hostas, whether grown indoors or outdoors, prefer well-draining soil. The soil needs to be porous yet slightly acidic but not too nutrient-rich. Your plant can handle lean soils better than ordinary garden soil.

Hence, providing a fair amount of clay or sand is best enriched with rotten manure and compost. It is best to place outdoor plants in the ground after frost. For container planting, the size depends on the Hosta varieties you have.

If you have a small dwarfed-sized plant, it can fit into a small pot. But your large Hosta needs more space to grow. No matter what container size you choose, the drainage holes are essential.

You can opt-in to choose a commercial potting mix that drains freely. This is one plant that grows permanently and needs re-potting when the growing seasons start.

The Plantain Lily Prefers a Shade Garden

Plantain Lily Plant lighting requirement

Okay, the Plantain Lily grows best in a shade garden, but that does not mean you cannot cultivate them inside the home. The truth is that indoor growing is the best as the light is dim. In winter, this is important for your Hostas.

Yet, as with any other plant, it cannot tolerate complete shade. Hence, it is essential to look at your specific lighting needs for the variety you grow. For example, if you have a green-leaved plant, they prefer deep shade.

While some varieties like the yellow-leaved Hostas or the ones with bright green foliage do well in part shade. It is best to avoid the full sun at noon. The reason is that it can result in the leaves burning.

So, if you have a variegated Hosta plant providing them with up to four hours of sun is perfect. While your yellow-leaved one does well in the sun for up to six hours. For indoor Plantain Lilies, sheltering them from the mid-day sun is best.

Watering Requirement of Hosta Plants

The Hosta Plantain Lily is pretty drought tolerant and providing the right amount of water depends on the soil. When watering the decorative leaf forbs, we recommend doing it moderately.

For warmer days, you can provide a bit more water outdoors. The best time for watering is in the early morning or evening. Whether you grow your plant outside or inside, never water the Hosta leaves as it can lead to problems.

You can cut back on watering during winter as your plant goes dormant.

Temperature and Humidity

As Hostas are shade-loving plants, they are also very frost-resistant. But the flowers and leaves will die with the first frost.

If you want to provide your plants with winter protection, you can place them near a wall and wrap them with fleece or a piece of jute.

For indoor plants, you will need to keep them in temperatures below 4°F for at least eight weeks. When you do this, it will sprout in early spring.

Cutting Larger Varieties

With Plantain Lilies that are shade lovers, there is no proper cut as they are summer green shrubs. As a result, the leaves will change color in fall and rot in winter.

It is best to leave the rotten leaf on the plant until spring, even if they do not look beautiful. The reason is that the foliage provides winter protection.

It also provides shelter for other microorganisms. You can remove the dried foliage before you see a new shoot.

Fertilizing Hostas

fertilizing plantain lily

For Hostas, you can provide a slow-release fertilizer in the growing season. Then you can use a water-soluble fertilizer every other week. For container-grown Hosta, you will need to feed a bit more.

The reason is that the shrub loses nutrients with watering. Before your Hosta goes into dormancy, stop at least four months with feeding before this time. Alternatively, you can also use an organic fertilizer.

Propagating Hosta Plants

If you grow your Hosta outdoors, you can split them every four years. You can grow new plants to make your garden look attractive with separation.


  1. The best time to divide is in spring when you see the first leaf buds showing.

  2. Gently lift your plant out of the soil using a spade.

  3. Now is a great time to remove the wilted or damaged root parts.

  4. Next, take your spade, or for indoor plants, use a sterilized garden shear to split the rhizomes.

  5. Ensure that each piece you have has enough roots available.

  6. Plant them in a new location or other pots and keep caring for them until you notice new growth.

Sowing Hosta Plants

You can propagate Hosta using the sowing method but not every plant forms seeds. You can buy seeds from the nursery as well.

If you have a shrub that provides seeds, you can let them dry on the plant to harvest in fall and sow in spring. You can distribute the seed on some potting compost slightly covered using the substrate for pre-growing indoors.

Keep it slightly moist and covered with some plastic wrap. When you notice new growth with about three leaves you can transplant them to separate pots to cultivate until the next spring.

Plantain Lily Varieties

Hosta varieties are in abundance and are one of the world’s most popular plants for gardeners. You find them available in different types, as seen here.

Hosta decorata

Hosta decorata

The Whitemargin Hosta is a graceful plant that gardeners mostly use as groundcover. The leaves are green with white margins, and in bloom time, you see purple flowers.

Hosta sieboldiana

Hosta sieboldiana

The Blue-Leaf Hostas grows petioles is a bit higher than the leaf rosettes. The top of the leaf has a gorgeous blue-green tint seen from June to July with bright purple blooms.

Hosta sieboldii

Hosta sieboldii

The Narrow-Leaf Hosta also works well as a groundcover with its medium green-yellowish leaves with a white margin. You can find some of them with pure white flowers, but the majority bloom with purple flowers.

Plantain Lily Diseases & Pests

As with any plant, Hostas can become the home of pests and diseases. The main problem outdoors is snails, and is a big enemy chewing away at the foliage. You can distribute some snail grain around your shrubs to prevent this from happening.

Another problem is the Otiorhynchus beetle and its larva that causes damage. You find the pathogen in dry soils with raw humus present. You can fill flower pots with wood wool to vacate them or the larvas nematodes to work well.

The most common disease is the Hosta Virus X and results in dwarfism recognized by speckled leaves and discolorations on the foliage colors. Unfortunately, if your shrub has this disease, you need to dispose of the entire plant.

Frequently Asked Questions

The shrub does spread up to 36-inches and grows up to 16 inches tall. The best thing is that it can tolerate frost, enjoy minimal sunlight, and grow well in shady areas.

In appearance, the Tiarella wherryi and Tiarella cardifolia are similar. Yet, the latter has a southern distribution more tolerant to humidity and heat. The Tiarella wherryi is also a clumper compared to the Tiarella cardifolia that is stoloniferous. Thus, the Tiarella wherryi increases in girth from its underground rhizomes. So it does not initiate runners compared to the other species.

You can eat the shoots produced before the leaves unfold in a springtime salad. While we have not tried this yet, many people say it has the taste of asparagus but a saltier version.

You can find Hosta plants at your local garden center, and it is available from different garden nurseries online. Still, you are in luck, as Plantly has this gorgeous shrub available for you right here.

Whether you want to buy, sell or simply reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!

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