Hostas, and planting tulips around them

linnea56(z5 IL)November 1, 2009

Having run out of places to shoehorn tulip bulbs into, I am considering whether I can plant them around existing hostas.

Advantages I can see:

The tulips would be attractive in the "blank" areas before the hostas leaf out.

I could hide the ripening tulip foliage around the emerging hosta leaves.

Also, I have sun in those areas until the trees overhead leaf out: good for the tulips.

Are there any DISadvantages? Thanks.

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iris_gal(z9 CA)

Only disadvantage I see is summer moisture for the hostas may rot the dormant tulip bulbs.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2009 at 6:56PM
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kentstar(5b, NE Ohio)

Sounds good to me! I just planted crocus bulbs and I also have allium bulbs planted with my hostas. I have to admit I don't know if the alliums will rot or not, because they were a 'transplant' earlier this spring, as I had them in a tooooo small bed and had to move them out of necessity. But I feel the same way with the crocus. They will look nice in spring before the hosta's leaf out, and the hostas will cover the foilage later. I also have lily-of-the-valley planted with the hostas. I'm hoping the hostas will cover the LOTV when their leaves start to yellow.
Hostas are pretty tough, and can stand some drier conditions when established, so I don't see any problem with tulip bulbs being planted there.
Besides, I don't know if you planted "perennial" tulips or not, but since most tulips don't come back and bloom the second year, you only need them to survive and bloom in spring then.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2009 at 7:14PM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

They are greigii type, which perennialize well for me.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2009 at 9:14PM
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newbie_in_nj(6b E/Central NJ)

I'm planting Allium unifolium between my sister's line of Hosta along her driveway. She hasn't watered them in 20 years and they survive on whatever rainwater they get.

She's got sandy soil and NO slugs so she can have all the Hosta she with bulbs in between for late Spring blooms.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2009 at 5:27PM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

Thanks, all! I planted them today. Kentstar, I have established alliums in my perennial beds, which get watered during the summer. So far they have done just fine.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2009 at 6:50PM
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newbie_in_nj(6b E/Central NJ)

It's good to hear your alliums do fine among perennials, linnea56.

I've got 50 of the Allium unifolium and just 15 Allium cernuum bulbs. Read I should plant A. cernuum between Lavender since they lean. Luckily I have 4 Lavender Lady plants from last year's sowing that need to be planted out.

I had to tie my hands together NOT to order 50 Allium ostrowskianun (oreophilum) that deep pink color. Decided I couldn't stand the dying foliage up front if I used them for border.

Next year, maybe, when I have better feel for building & arranging balanced beds.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2009 at 7:41PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

My Hostas are grown in a afternoon shaded area, as they don't like full sun here. My tulips are in the full sun with my roses. My tulips are not destined to grow with the Hostas. Al

    Bookmark   November 3, 2009 at 8:31AM
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newbie_in_nj(6b E/Central NJ)

Some of us have a lot of deciduous shade. Full sun before trees leaf out in very late Spring to early Summer. Varying amounts of shade from dappled to full until leaves fall off trees in Fall.

My sister's house is about 60 years old and the Hosta aren't much younger. Since her trees are all Oak which lose their leaves all at once in late November the Hosta are in shade for most of year and little bit of low sunlight they get after first frosts don't seem to bother them.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2009 at 10:41AM
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My preoccupation with doing what was originally suggested is possible damage to hosta roots when planting the bulbs. I have never even seen what hosta roots look like, although I believe hosta roots don't spread much horizontally. Just how close to the stem of a hosta can I punch the planting holes for the tulips?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 10:27AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

I have crocus and narcissus with hostas and have for years with no problems.

Lily of the valley has choked out any hostas planted in it though. I love the fragrance but hate the plant for being the worst thug in my garden.

hosta roots don't spread very far. I wouldn't worry about it.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 5:26PM
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