Need an interesting hosta for your shade garden? Hosta ‘Praying Hands’ is one of the best!
Praying hands hosta is a specialty hosta variety with skinny upright leaves. Each leaf is slightly rolled at the base, has a wavy undulating edge, and a thin yellow margin on the otherwise green leaves. This variety also has purple bell-shaped flowers in late summer. Praying hands can be grown in zones 3-9, grows best in partial shade, and thrives in well-drained soil rich in organic matter. It is also one of the most unusual hostas to add to your collection.
Read on to learn all about praying hands hosta!
Introduction to the praying hands hosta
Praying hands hosta is a beautiful plant that can add pizzazz to any garden. This plant has light green leaves with very thin cream-colored leaf margins that give it a unique subtle variegated look. The flowers are also quite striking, with their rich purple color. They bloom in late summer and sometimes into early fall.
Praying hands hosta prefers partial shade but can also tolerate partial sun, as long as the soil is moist. It grows best in well-drained, humus-rich soil that has been amended with organic matter. This plant is relatively easy to care for and is disease and pest-resistant. It is also deer resistant.
Praying hands hosta can be propagated by division in spring or early fall. It can also be propagated by seed, but this is a slower process and the plants will not necessarily resemble the parent plant (although they may be quite unique in their own right).
Praying hands hosta is a beautiful and unusual plant that is perfect for adding interest to any garden. If you are looking for a plant that is easy to care for and offers something a little different, this is the plant for you.
Where to buy praying hands hosta
Praying hands hosta plants are not typically available at your local nursery or garden center unless they specialize in unique collectors plants. However, they can be ordered online from specialty nurseries. They are also sometimes available at plant swaps or through trade with other gardeners.
Where to plant praying hands hosta
Praying hands hosta grows best in partial shade. It can also be grown in partial sun, but does best when the direct sunlight only hits the leaves in the morning. Shade is particularly important in the afternoons and in hot climates.
Hostas grow best in slightly acidic soil rich in organic matter. While they are tolerant of clay, they grow most quickly in sandy loam soil. Poor soil can be improved by adding organic matter (like compost) and potentially mixing in some sand if the soil is very rich in clay. You can also mix in some organic starter fertilizer if you wish.
Praying hands hosta can be grown in zones 3-9. Shade is key for hostas in zones 8-9, especially in the mid-day and afternoon. Like other hostas, praying hands needs a chilling period of winter dormancy to thrive. The hosta should be sited where it can remain at temperatures below 40°F (4°C) for at least 3-4 weeks during the winter.
When to plant praying hands hosta
Spring and fall are the best times to plant praying hands hosta. If you are planting in spring, be sure to wait until all danger of frost has passed. If you are planting hostas in fall, plant at least 6 weeks before the first expected frost date (read more about when to plant hostas for best results).
How to plant praying hands hosta
Praying hands hosta can be planted using a potted hosta from the nursery or from a bare root hosta (usually packaged in clear plastic bags). The planting process is very similar for both forms.
Start by preparing the soil by mixing in any amendments. Here is a detailed guide about preparing soil for planting hostas. Also, make sure the potted hosta has been well watered prior to planting.
Here are the basic steps for planting praying hands hosta:
- Dig a wide shallow planting hole. The hole should be about 2 times the width of the container and only as deep as the root ball in the planter.
- Turn the potted hosta over and slide off the plastic nursery pot. Squeeze the sides gently if the root ball won’t slide out easily.
- Check for any thick white circling roots. Loosen the root ball with your fingers and straighten out any tightly wound roots.
- Place the root ball in the planting hole. Check that the soil level at the base of the plant is level with the soil surrounding the hole. The hosta shouldn’t be planted any deeper than it was in the plastic planter pot.
- Backfill the hole with amended soil, firming it gently around the base of the plant. Be sure not to bury the crown of the plant (where the leaves emerge from the soil).
- Water well to settle the soil and encourage root growth.
How to care for praying hands hosta
Praying hands hosta is a very easy plant to take care of. It is drought tolerant once established and does not require much fertilization. Get these plants off to a good start and they’ll reward you with low care requirements in future years.
Watering requirements for praying hands hosta
Praying hands hosta need moist, well-drained soil to thrive. Water them regularly, especially during hot, dry weather. You may need to water several times a week during midsummer heat waves, or if they are receiving direct sunlight in the morning.
The best way to water these plants is to water the soil at the base of the stems rather than regularly watering the leaves from overhead. Use a watering wand or a drip irrigation system to apply water right at soil level and keep the leaves dry. This will help reduce the chances of fungal disease.
Fertilizing praying hands hosta
When it comes to fertilizing your praying hands hosta, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, it’s a good idea to apply fertilizer twice a year—once in the early spring and once in the late summer. Choose a slow-release organic fertilizer rich in nitrogen. Most products of this type are granular and are easy to spread on the soil surface and then water in.
Pruning praying hands hosta
Pruning is an important part of keeping your praying hands hosta looking its best. You’ll need to cut away any dead or dying leaves, as well as any that are yellowing or browning. You can also trim back any overgrown leaves that are torn or otherwise unsightly.
If you want to encourage fresh growth, you can trim the plant back close to the ground in the early summer, but this should only be done once a year as the plant needs the leaves for photosynthesis. The entire plant can be cut back to the ground after the first fall frost.
To prune, simply use a sharp pair of shears or scissors and cut away any leaves that you want to remove. Be sure to disinfect your tools before and after use to avoid spreading diseases.
Plant care tips for praying hands hosta
If you want your praying hands hosta to thrive, you’ll need to take good care of it. Mulching and weeding are two important aspects of caring for this plant.
Mulching is the process of adding a layer of organic or inorganic material to the soil in order to protect the plants from extreme weather conditions, suppress weed growth, and improve the soil quality.
The most common type of mulch is organic mulch, which is made from materials like bark, leaves, straw, and grass clippings. Inorganic mulch, on the other hand, is made from materials like rocks, stones, and gravel. It’s important to choose the right type of mulch for your needs. If you’re using organic mulch, be sure to replenish it every year as it will break down over time.
Weeding is also important for plant care. Be sure to remove any weeds that sprout up around your hosta. Weeds compete with plants for water, nutrients, and sunlight, so they can quickly take over if left unchecked. The best way to remove weeds is to pull them up by hand.
Companion plants for praying hands hosta
Companion plants can be a great way to improve the health and appearance of your praying hands hosta.
Some good companion plants for this plant include:
- other hostas, like heart-shaped leaf varieties for visual contrast
- impatiens, which will help keep the soil moist and provide some added color
- ferns, which will help shade the plant from direct sunlight
- liriope, which is a grass-like plant that will help keep the soil from eroding
Pests affecting praying hands hosta
There are a number of pests that can affect your praying hands hosta, including slugs, snails, aphids, and Japanese beetles. Each of these pests can cause serious damage to the plant if left unchecked.
Slugs and snails can eat the leaves of the plant, while aphids and Japanese beetles can suck the sap from the leaves, causing them to turn yellow and brown. If you see any of these pests on your plant, be sure to remove them as soon as possible.
Diseases affecting praying hands hosta
There are a number of diseases that can affect your praying hands hosta, including powdery mildew, rust, and leaf spot. Each of these diseases can cause serious damage to the plant if left unchecked.
Powdery mildew is a white powdery fungus that can grow on the leaves of the plant. Rust is a red or brown fungus that can also grow on the leaves. Leaf spot is a black or brown spots that can form on the leaves.
If you see any of these diseases on your plant, be sure to treat them as soon as possible. Diseases can be controlled with the use of organic methods. Some organic methods include the use of neem oil, sulfur, or an organic fungicide spray.