How to Grow Hosta Under Pine Trees

Hostas are low-growing plants that produce long green leaves and lavender flowers on tall stalks in the summer. The coloring of hosta leaves can be dark green, light green or green with cream stripes on the inner or outer edges. Although there are some sun-loving hosta varieties, most thrive in the shade, such as under a pine tree. Hostas are hardy perennial plants that survive in USDA growing zones 3 (winter lows of -40 F) and warmer.

Hostas grow best in partial shade.

Step 1

Wait until the early spring and look for a pine tree that allows filtered sunlight to full shade to permeate to the ground. Some morning sun is fine as long as it does not last all day. The optimal soil is slightly moist but not soggy.

Step 2

Spread a 1-inch layer of compost on the soil under the pine tree and work it into the top 1 to 2 inches of soil using a bow rake. Do not use a tiller since you can damage the pine tree roots.

Step 3

Dig a hole that is the same size as the roots of the hosta plant. Insert the hosta plant into it making sure that all of the leaves sit above the ground and fill in the hole with soil.

Step 4

Water the soil until it is wet to a 1-inch depth. Afterward, water only once per week when the top of the soil is dry. The soil will not dry out as quickly as in other locations because it it shaded by the pine tree.

Step 5

Spread a 3-inch layer of mulch around the pine tree in a circular pattern. Pull the mulch back away from the hosta plants by 2 to 3 inches to prevent pests and disease.

Step 6

Apply a granular, slow-release fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, to the soil under the pine tree in the spring using the amount specified on the package.