Can a Hosta Be an Indoor Plant?

Native to Northeast Asia, hostas are renowned global plants due to their lush, variegated foliage. Hostas are perfect for almost any home (or garden), with numerous varieties and cultivars. However, can a hosta be an indoor plant?

A hosta can be an indoor plant since it is shade-tolerant and aesthetically appealing. Moreover, the plant is less susceptible to pests and diseases while indoors. However, you need to provide it with the right conditions to ensure that your hosta thrives.

Although hostas are typically outdoor plants, they can survive indoors if the environment meets their requirements. This article explores everything you need to know about growing your hostas indoors. So, keep reading to learn how to care for these gorgeous, vibrant plants.

What Does a Hosta Need To Thrive Indoors?

Hostas are herbaceous perennial plants that gardeners have cultivated outdoors for decades. Due to their striking foliage, they’ve been popular decorative plants worldwide. Nevertheless, some varieties were an essential component of Asian folk medicine, as people used them to treat some respiratory and inflammatory diseases.

Since hostas are typically garden plants, they’re more adapted to surviving and thriving outdoors. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t plant them indoors.

So, what does a hosta require to thrive indoors?

A hosta needs ideal growing conditions that mimic its outdoor environment to thrive indoors. Therefore, you should make sure to plant it in suitable soil while providing the perfect temperature for your hosta to enter dormancy.

Now, let’s take a look at these requirements in more detail:

Growing Container

Hostas require the correct container to thrive. Therefore, it’s crucial to plant a hosta in a pot (or container) proportional to its size. Moreover, the vessel should be deep enough, with holes at the bottom to facilitate proper drainage.

The ideal container size to plant a hosta will depend on its variety. Although most hosta varieties are large-sized, you can also grow a dwarf-sized hosta indoors. However, make sure that the container’s width will accommodate your hosta’s expected foliage mound (research about this beforehand).

Moreover, the container should be deep enough to provide ample room for the hosta’s roots.

Here’s a chart taking you through the recommended container sizes for growing differently-sized hostas:

Hosta Mature SizeContainer’s WidthContainer’s Height  
Miniature  6 – 12” (15 – 30cm)Not more than 6” (<15cm)
Small12 – 15” (30 – 38cm)10 – 15” (25 – 38cm)
Medium15 – 24” (38 – 61cm)15 – 18” (38 – 46cm)
Large24 – 30” (61 – 76cm)18 – 24” (46 – 61cm)
GiantOver 30” (<76cm)Over 24” (<61cm)


Planting your hosta in the right soil is crucial to its survival. In the garden, hostas love rich, moist loamy soils. Therefore, when planning to plant your hosta indoors, go for well-draining soil rich in organic matter. Moreover, the variety you choose should be neutral to slightly acidic, with a pH range of 6.0 to 6.5.

However, the soil in your backyard might not always be suitable for planting hostas indoors due to drainage issues. Therefore, it’s advisable to buy a well-prepared commercial potting mix.

For example, the Espoma Organic Potting Mix (available on comprises a perfect blend of natural materials, including peat moss, earthworm castings, and kelp meal, to provide a rich substrate for your houseplant.

Additionally, it is well-draining as it retains the right amount of water to remain moist but not soaking wet.


Your hosta will thrive indoors if you provide the right amount of water. Generally, hostas require moist (but not soggy) soil. It can be daunting to find the perfect watering schedule balance, especially during the first few weeks. However, the process becomes easier with time since hostas will need less water as they approach maturity.


Given that hosts are heavy feeders, they need sufficient provision of nutrients to grow strong. Planting your hosta in rich soil (or potting mix) and adding fertilizer ensures that your hosta doesn’t suffer from any deficiencies.

Experts recommend adding a slow-release fertilizer in spring and then applying a water-soluble fertilizer every week. Nevertheless, it’s advisable to discontinue using the fertilizer four months before your hosta goes into dormancy.


Since hostas are shade-tolerant plants, you don’t want to expose them to direct sunlight, as doing so will scorch the leaves. However, some varieties can withstand some bright indirect light. Others will love some time outdoors, especially in early spring.

Therefore, it’s best to strategically choose a space where your hosta can enjoy indirect light while still remaining cool.

Humidity and Temperature

Hostas can thrive in environments with varying temperature and humidity levels within the USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 3 to 9. So, whether you’re in Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, or Dallas, you don’t have to worry about your home’s environment. However, you have to ensure that your indoor space mimics your outdoors as this will provide the ideal climate, facilitating optimal growth.

How To Plant a Hosta Indoors

Planting a hosta indoors won’t be hectic once you’ve established what the plant needs to thrive. However, how you grow your hosta will determine its chances of survival.

Before you begin the planting process, it’s crucial to identify which hosta varieties thrive indoors. Your taste and preferences can guide you on the best types since you’ll have to choose those with your desired leaf size and color.

Here are the best hosta cultivars to plant indoors:

  • Sunshine Glory’: It’s a large-sized hosta that grows up to 24” high (61 cm) and 48” (122 cm) wide. It forms a sturdy mound, making it perfect for a spacious room. Not to mention its heart-shaped greenish-yellow leaves with white edges will brighten your space. The plant is easy to care for and produces pale lavender flowers during summer.
  • El Niño: A medium-sized hosta variety, ‘El Niño’ can grow up to 15” high (38 cm) and 24” (61 cm) wide. It has deep, smoky blue leaves with white margins, creating a striking appearance. Plus, its bell-shaped flowers will color your space lavender in summer. It has moderate care requirements, making it a perfect house plant.
  • Cracker Crumbs’: This is a miniature hosta plant, attaining a maximum height of 8” (20 cm) and a width of 12” (30 cm). It produces bright yellow leaves with a dark-green margin and lavender flowers. It is easy to take care of the plant, as it only requires a bit of morning sunlight and partial shade.
  • ‘Sum and Substance’: It’s a giant-size hosta that can grow up to 30” (76 cm) high and 60” (152 cm) wide. With its gold-to-chartreuse foliage, this variety adds color, texture, and contrast to your space. It also produces scented, bell-shaped, white flowers. Moreover, it requires little care, making it a suitable indoor plant.
  • ‘Frosted Mouse Ears’: This is a sought-after miniature hosta that grows to 6” (15 cm) high and 12” (30 cm) wide. Its blue-green flowers with a cream edge and lily-like lavender bloom will create a statement in your living room. You don’t have to worry about maintenance as the plant is easy to care for.
  • ‘Capitol Hill’: Growing up to 18” (46 cm) tall and 30” (76 cm) wide, this is a medium-sized hosta with moderate maintenance needs. It bears dark-green leaves with lime-green edges that brighten a space. Moreover, it produces pale lavender flowers during summer.

After selecting your preferred hosta variety, here’s the planting procedure you’ll want to follow:

If you’re planting a hosta cutting:

  1. Select a suitable hosta plant from your garden. The best time to make this selection is in early spring (or late fall) when the growing tips start sprouting from the ground.
  2. Uproot the plant and wash the roots to reveal the most appropriate part to cut the clumps.
  3. After identifying where you want to cut the plant, use a sharp knife to split it into several cuttings.
  4. Prepare your growing container and fill it with potting mix to about a third of its total capacity.
  5. Plant your preferred hosta cutting and add more potting mix to fill the container.
  6. Water your plant, ensuring that the potting mix is moist.
  7. Place your plant in an appropriate location where it will obtain bright, indirect sunlight.

If you’re using hosta seeds:

  1. Buy high-quality seeds from a certified provider and don’t store them for too long as they quickly lose their germinating ability.
  2. Prepare your seedling pot (during fall) and sow a high density of hosta seeds 4 – 8” (10 – 20 cm) apart.
  3. Place the container in a shaded area and don’t water them until spring.
  4. After the last frost (right when spring starts), move the growing pots to an open area and water your seeds.
  5. Place a transparent cover over the pots to maintain moisture and air humidity.
  6. When the seeds have started germinating (after a month), place each seedling in a separate container.
  7. After a month or two, place the pots in your preferred indoor space.

How To Care for a Hosta Indoors

Since hostas are typically outdoor plants, it’s crucial to take good care of them when you grow them indoors. The plants’ maintenance levels vary according to the variety.

Here’s a general guideline of how to take care of a hosta indoors:

  • Place your hosta plant in an ideal location depending on its light requirements. Most hostas thrive in spaces with bright, indirect light.
  • Water your plant below the leaves. Do this when the potting mix appears slightly dry.
  • Apply fertilizer once per week. You want to provide the plant with all the nutrients it requires.
  • Prepare your hosta for winter. Move the plant to a dark room with temperatures of around 40°F (4°C). Additionally, use an organic mulch and water your plant lightly during this season.
  • Transfer your hosta to a larger container if it outgrows its pot. You can also divide it and replant the cuttings.

First Frost Hosta

What Are the Challenges of Planting a Hosta Indoors?

Growing a hosta plant indoors isn’t always a walk in the park. You’ll face a few setbacks, especially if it’s your first time. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to manage some of these challenges and enjoy the splendor of your hosta.

Here are the everyday challenges of planting a hosta indoors:

  • Moisture and drainage issues: Your hosta can suffer from crown rot or other fungal diseases if you over-water it or bury it in poor-draining soil (or potting mix).
  • Dormancy: Hostas are perennial plants, and they usually go into dormancy during winter. However, failing to provide conducive conditions can lead to their death.
  • Browning tips: Exposing most of the hosta varieties to direct sunlight causes leaf browning.
  • Pests: Slugs and snails love feeding on hosta leaves and stem. Moreover, these pests can easily attack hostas even if they’re grown indoors.
  • Toxicity to pests: Although humans can feed on some hosta species, the plant is toxic to cats, dogs, and horses. Therefore, your pets might experience diarrhea or vomiting after consuming a hosta.


Hostas are beautiful herbaceous plants that grow in many parts of the world. Although they’re typically garden plants, you can also grow them indoors. However, you might face a few challenges as they require a bit of extra care and attention when they’re not grown in their natural habitat.

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