The Argument for Hostas in a Certified Wildlife Habitat

I am both a gardener and a caretaker of an official Certified Wildlife Habitat.  For many years I have been faithful to the mission of providing food, water, cover and places to raise young for all species of wildlife that share the garden space.

Flycatcher Hatchlings in their nest

 I know the importance of removing invasive plants and adding native plantings.

Bee on Goldenrod

 Along with this commitment I also work diligently to create a landscape that provides for the humans who frequent the garden a space for peaceful contemplation and exploration.

Stream-side path by the Labyrinth

A species of plant that is found at the intersection of garden and wildlife habitat is the hosta.

hosta

Utilizing its structural impact hostas create focal points in the garden landscape.

Whirlwind hosta by standing stone inthe lower garden

The multiple shades of green found in the myriad of hosta cultivars encourage the gardener to create their own unique garden palette.

hosta in the lower border garden

Along with structure and color, hostas provide the four elements needed in a certified wildlife habitat.

FOOD – WATER – COVER – PLACES TO RAISE YOUNG

Golden Tiara Hosta

Look among the leaves in summer and you will find a multitude of insects hiding from the midday heat.

Cabbage butterflies on hosta flower

Skipper Butterfly on Hosta
 Take a closer look at the flowers and watch insects collect pollen or feed from their nectar.

plantain lily hosta

After a rain storm hosta leaves cradle droplets of water from which the smallest of garden inhabitants drink.

Rain drops on Hosta Leaf

Insects and arachnids utilize the safety found within the dense leaves of a hosta plant, to raise their young.

Venusta Orchard Spider

In autumn decaying leaves provide a refuge for insects and others who hug the earth.

hosta in autumn

The green stink bug or green soldier bug (Acrosternum hilare)

Then in winter these same leaves provide sustenance for deer who cross the growing season’s boundaries.

Whitetail deer eating hosta leaf
Allowing  hostas to decay naturally in the landscape also minimize clean-up time for the gardener.

hosta after frost

By sharing  your garden bounty, you will be rewarded!

To learn more about the Certified Wildlife Habitat or Hostas click on the links below

Garden for Wildlife –  making a wildlife habitat at home

American Hosta Society

Whitetail deer grazing on decaying hosta leaves

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14 thoughts on “The Argument for Hostas in a Certified Wildlife Habitat

  1. What an awesome post, Bonnie! I think it is one of my favorites. Thank you for everything you bring together in your visuals and descriptions of the beautiful and captivating wild world of nature.

  2. About a week ago my little dog, Maddie, was on her pillow looking out the window when she became enraged. Joining her I saw 5 deer on our side of the stream. I believe it was the mom and her 1 and 2 year old twins. I noticed they were eating the decaying hosts leaves and lily tuff. That prompted me to write this post!

    1. Thank you, I must admit what inspired me was seeing the deer munching on decaying hosta leaves. In past years I had removed the leaves during the autumn season, now I know to allow them to remain. But I also know I will need to get out I to the gardens early to spray liquid fence around the beds!

  3. Deer did not wait for winter to eat hosta leaves to provide sustenance. They have eaten them this past month down to the stems. I know it was deer because of their droppings. There is a 4 foot fence around the yard . Not nearly as pretty as your pictures.

    1. I too have had them eat hosta year round! I was just surprised to see them eating the dried and decaying leaves during the winter months. The past two winters have been so very difficult for all creatures in my area of the world. As for spring and summer nibbling, use liquid fence and have a crazy malti-poo who patrols the border of the gardens!

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