Hosta 'Francee' (fortunei)
- Position: partial or full shade
- Soil: fertile, moist, well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: fast-growing
- Flowering period: July and August
- Hardiness: fully hardy
A smart hosta, with heart-shaped, olive-green, puckered leaves beautifully offset by neat white margins. Spikes of trumpet-shaped, lavender-blue flowers appear in July and August and, provided they are protected from slug and snail damage, the leaves retain their freshness until the end of September. This pretty plaintain makes a statement on its own in a large container, or try it as a bright full stop in a shady area under deciduous trees.
- Garden care: You'll get thicker, lusher leaves if you give your hostas a really good feed. An annual mulch in spring or autumn will help to keep the weeds down and is an easy way to improve soil and boost nutrient levels. Add a generous mulch of about 5-10cm (2-4in) deep of garden compost or leaf mould around the plant. Spraying the leaves regularly with a high nitrogen fertiliser during the growing season will also help to boost leaf size. Slugs and snails love hostas, so you will need to protect against them. Use an organic nematode treatment in early spring to ward off slugs. Or simply stick to a container.
Water your hostas well as soon as you plant them and from then on water regularly during their first growing season. Give them a water about once or twice a week around the base of the plant, avoiding the leaves. Little and often can be disatrous as it encourages the plant to produce roots closer to the surface in a desperate quest for moisture.
Do you want to ask a question about this?If so, click on the button and fill in the box below. We will post the question on the website, together with your alias (bunnykins, digger1, plantdotty etc etc) and where you are from (Sunningdale/Glasgow etc). We'll also post the answer to your question!
Q:Plants for boggy area?
Dear Crocus I have an area in my woodland that is really, really, boggy, can you advice on what plants would be suitable. Many thanks. EmmaAsked on 13/4/2010 by emma freeman
A:Hello Emma, There are a few plants that will thrive in boggy soil - here are some of the best:- Gunnera manicata http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/perennials/gunnera-manicata-/classid.2880/ Osmunda regalis http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/ferns/classid.1834/ Carex elata Aurea http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/grasses/carex-elata-aurea/classid.77799/ Ligularia http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.ligularia/ Astilbe Fanal http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/perennials/astilbe-fanal-%C3%97-arendsii/classid.2579/ Zantedeschia http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.zantedeschia/ Sambucus http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.sambucus/ Rodgersia http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.rodgersia/ Hostas http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.hosta/ I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 14/4/2010 by emma freeman
A:Dear Helen Many thanks for list of plants I have ordered several of them. RegardsAnswered on 13/4/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Is it still ok to be cutting back herbaceous perennials, Lavender and Caryopteris late in the year?
Dear Crocus, I didn't have time to cut back to ground level all my herbaceous perennial plants and some shrubs in the autumn, due to work and family commitments. It's difficult to get out into the garden just now as I only have a little time at the weekend. Would it be too late for me to cut everything back still between now in December and the end of February e.g hardy Geraniums, Hostas,etc. and shrubs like Lavenders and Caryopteris? I really would appreciate your advice. Many thanks PamelaAsked on 13/12/2009 by Pamela Spiers
A:Hi Helen, Thank you for your helpful information. The snow made the decision for me, it has lain for 4 weeks now. Kind Regards PamelaAnswered on 9/1/2010 by Pamela Spiers
A:Hello Pamela, You can do the herbaceous perennials anytime between now and spring, but the Caryopteris and Lavenders should be tackled in spring. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 15/12/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Growing plants under Apple Trees?
Could you please let me know if there are any plants that can be grown under a small Apple tree. Kind Regards PamelaAsked on 18/8/2009 by Pamela Spiers
A:Dear Helen, I also have a Cherry Tree. I believe it is of the Stella variety, which has been in the ground for about 4 years. I need to take it out as it is growing far too large for my small garden. Could you please give
me advice on how to cut the tree down, without doing damage to surrounding plants. I plan to
replace the Cherry Tree with a small, bush variety of Pear, suitable for our climate, probably a Conference Pear. I look forward to your advice on removal of the Cherry Tree. Many thanks PamelaAnswered on 11/7/2011 by Crocus Helpdesk
A:Hello Pamela, There is an excellent page on the RHS website about how to deal with Couch Grass. As for
moving plants, autumn or early spring are the best times to do all this,so wait until the plants have become dormant and then you can start. Just make sure you have the new planting hole ready for them to go straight into - with a sprinkling of bonemeal, as this will help them get settled back in. I'm afraid there are no apples that are going to be better suited to your climate in Scotland as they all need
the same conditions. You could also consider Cherries, Pears and Plums as these should be fine in Scotland, but make sure you choose a self fertile variety if you are only planting one. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 9/7/2011 by Pamela Spiers
A:Hello Pamela, If the surrounding plants are very close to the tree, then it may be better to tackle this in the autumn when the plants are dormant and they can be temporarily lifted and moved. Failing that,the only way to tackle it is carefully, cutting it back in manageable chunks bit by bit. Once you get the branches and most of the stem down, then you may want to grind out the stump (you can hire a stump grinder), but this is a hefty bit of kit that will damage the surrounding plants unless they are moved. If you decide to keep the stump, then I would treat the fresh cut with a strong herbicide to make sure it is killed off. I hope this helps, HelenAnswered on 18/10/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
A:Hello Pamela, There are loads of plants that would be suitable, here are some of my favorites Bergenia http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.bergenia/ Pachysandra terminalis
Ferns http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/ferns/plcid.309/ Liriope muscari http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.liriope/ I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 16/10/2010 by Pamela Spiers
A:Dear Crocus Customer Helpdesk, Could you give me some further advice please. I have identified what I think is Couch Grass amongst a border with lots of other plants. Should I try to get rid of it now and can I isolate it without damaging other precious plants? I can't lift out all the other plants. I am also planning to make changes to the same border, to limit the number of plants for next Spring. I want to move some now and wonder if it is safe to do that now? I
Also, I would like to plant one more fruit tree in what is a small garden in Scotland. I have had problems during two growing seasons with a James Grieve Apple Tree. I believe the apples have scab. I would like to know what other small Apple or Pear Trees would suit the climate here. I would be really grateful for advice on all these matters. I look forward to hearing from you. Kind Regards PamelaAnswered on 19/8/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Wet Soil Conditions
Dear Crocus, I am currently experiencing problems with very poor soil (boggy) water, which resides in the bottom corner of my garden,an area which does not catch the sun as it is surrounded by trees. What plants or treatment do you recommend, as I do not wish to waste money on plants that will simply die. Desparate for your help, Kind Regards. HazelAsked on 17/8/2009 by Hazel Cockayne
A:Hello Hazel, The best way to combat a boggy garden really depends on if the garden is waterlogged all year or not. If it is then the main way to sort this out is to put in an underground land drain. However, this can be expensive and you will probably need a contractor in to help you. A less drastic measure if it isn't too bad is to make a soak away at the lowest part of your garden - this is a big hole filled with rubble and then covered over with a membrane though which the water can drain and finally re-turfed or plant over the top. The excess water can then drain away into this hollow away from the rest of the garden. If the bogginess is more isolated, digging in sharp grit and well rotted manure will help break up the soil and improve the drainage. It is also worth choosing plants that will happy in the kind of soil that you have. Use moisture loving plants that will thrive, like ferns or Hostas. If you want to grow things that won't be happy in your soil you are best off putting them in pots where you can control the environment more easily. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 19/8/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Can I grow my Hosta in sun?
Would a Hosta tolerate 3-4 hrs of bright sunlight? Thank you AnnaAsked on 2/7/2009 by Anna Shapiro
A:Hello Anna, It really depends on what time of the day the sun hits it. If it is early or late it should be OK, but if it is in the middle of the day when the sun is hottest, then it won't be too happy.Answered on 4/7/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:My Hostas have died
I bought 3 Hostas from you in November, but they have completely died - unfortunately disappearing into the earth so that there is nothing left at all. What happened?Asked on 13/3/2007 by Sarah Bryden
A:Hostas are herbaceous perennials which die right down in late autumn. Therefore it is normal for them to look 'dead' at this time of the year. Each spring they start to grow again, becoming very lush and leafy quite quickly. With this in mind, I would keep an eye on them, as they should start to show signs of new growth very soon.Answered on 13/3/2007 by Crocus
The trick to achieving the tropical effect is good preparation and dense planting, vivid foliage, fiery flowers and striking contrasts. The jungle garden is a place for theatrical planning and planting. If you don't have room or the inclination to turn yRead full article
Create an ‘outside room’ that overcomes the three challenges of shade, exposure and lack of space using uplifting, shade-tolerant shrubs, perennials and bulbs. A sense of seclusion can be achieved with decorative screens and trellis covered in deciduous,Read full article
Make the most of over 3000 years of gardening tradition by creating an oriental-style garden. Originally designed as a place for intellectual contemplation and meditation, they are an ideal sanctuary from the pressures of modern living. Japanese gardens aRead full article
Who can resist the allure of water in the garden? The gentle gurgle of a running stream creates a sense of calm and tranquillity, while a simple pond makes a focal point with magnetic appeal. You can create lush and natural-looking planting to show off thRead full article
A sanctuary of peace and tranquillity with an overwhelming sense of calm, a woodland garden is an ideal place to get away from it all with natural shade and privacy. Based on a simple grouping of trees or even a single, multi-stemmed specimen, a woodland-Read full article