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Hostas in Southern CA

Has anyone ever had luck with growing hostas? I know that they need a period of cold to go dormant and then re-emerge in the spring. I used to live in a 3b growing zone so I'm familiar with them. When I move to Ca, I heard they do not grow here because it doesn't get cold enough to go through the dormancy period. I saw them at Home Depot so Im curious if anyone has had any luck. I have the perfect shade patch for them.

I am in Costa Mesa.

Comments (9)

  • steve duggins(Z6a) - Central Ohio
    last year

    I lived in Garden Grove and grew Hosta for a few years. They tended to decline and die after about three years. I had better luck in pots but the trouble I had was keeping them moist without staying too wet and rotting or getting too dry and desiccating. You may have more success with fragrant varieties and being more attentive over the winter. Abiqua Drinking Gourd did well for me.

  • chadinlg Zone 9b Los Gatos CA
    last year

    I am in SF bay area so slightly cooler winter than So CAL. I have had success in pots watered daily with cv. based on sieboldiana , plantaginea ... see Plant Delights article 'Hostas for Warm Climates' Some I have are Sum and Substance, Stained Glass, Etched Glass, Sieboldiana elegens all getting bigger each year.

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    last year

    My sister grew them in Dana Point. But then her little courtyard garden was very shady and had a small recirculating stream running through it. They did fine (she lived there for 20+ years).

  • Babka NorCal 9b
    last year

    I saw a few of them, years ago at the Huntington Botanical Garden, planted in the ground. But why waste the ground space on something that is dormant and looks worn out or disappears from November to March? We have so many beautiful broadleaf evergreen plants that grow well here. My hostas are all in pots, and I currently have about 40+ varieties, down from over 130. (root mealybugs got them, or the squirrels dug them up) Halcyon and its relatives do well and some of mine are over 15 years containers. I move them to an out of site shaded covered location when they die back in late Fall. I water my pots once a week here in Sunnyvale. Our cool nights keep them from drying out, and if I water them more they rot. They are in pots, on raised benches sitting on 1/2" short sticks to keep the weep holes off the benches.

    They don't need the cold to go dormant, I believe it is the shorter days, like deciduous trees. Then they come back to life with the warmth in March/April here. You can treat them as annuals out here, or grow them for a few years, but they just will NOT grow with the vigor that they do back East where it is cold. I am originally from the Chicago area and know how they are supposed to look.

    I suggest that you get some and pot them up and tuck them in the shady spots of your garden. See how they do for you. I take my favorites that are doing well and put them outside my fam room doors where I can enjoy them from my lounge chair. That's what plants are ENJOY!


  • socks
    last year

    I gave up on them. The slugs and snails won. Also they take too much water. They are beautiful though.

  • Erika Orange County, CA
    Original Author
    last year

    @Babka NorCal 9b thats a good point I didn't even think about how they would look year round! I had mine in containers when I lived in an apartment in PA and they did really well as well. When I moved I gave them to a friend but she threw them out when she thought they died in the winter haha.

  • HU-622889343
    last year

    I know im a bit late, but i grow hostas in zone 9b in Riverside and they grow wonderful in full to partial shade under my coast live oak. I have had them for 4 years. do note they grow HUGE IME.

  • djacob Z6a SE WI
    last year

    Socks, you can drench your hostas in spring, when the pips are up several inches with a 1:10 vinegar and water solution. One part vinegar to ten parts water. You can use ammonia instead of vinegar. In spring you do it to kill eggs that are there. In fall you do it again to kill eggs that get laid at that time that will hatch in spring. You need to to do it twice a season. If you do so you will see a significant Change in your hostas. I used to have that slug problem but not since I started this treatment. Sometimes I have to treat thinner leafed hostas mid summer, but the slug resistant varieties don’t need that.. Also on the home page of the HL, first column, second down you can tap on ”Rawsons Lists” and scroll down to cultural characteristics, you can find a list for ”slug resistant” hostas. Maybe this info will help you change your mind!


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