Hosta 'Francee' is a popular cultivar of Hosta known for its elegant and classic appearance. It forms a dense mound of foliage with a mature size of about 18 to 24 inches (45-60 cm) in height and a spread of 36 to 48 inches (90-120 cm). The leaves are heart-shaped, slightly corrugated, and have a glossy texture. They feature a dark green coloration with a contrasting, crisp, white margin. In midsummer, tall scapes rise above the foliage, bearing clusters of lavender flowers that add further beauty to the plant.
Light Requirements: Hosta 'Francee' thrives in partial shade to full shade. It prefers dappled or filtered shade but can tolerate some morning sun. Avoid planting it in intense, direct sunlight, which can scorch its leaves.
Soil Requirements: Provide well-draining, rich, and moist soil for 'Francee'. It thrives in slightly acidic to neutral soil with a pH ranging from 6.0 to 7.5. Amending the soil with organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, can improve its fertility and moisture-retention capabilities.
Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Water deeply and thoroughly, especially during dry periods, to ensure the plant's roots receive adequate moisture. Avoid allowing the soil to completely dry out between waterings. Applying a layer of mulch around the plant can help retain soil moisture and suppress weed growth.
Fertilization: Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in spring when new growth emerges. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the appropriate dosage and evenly distribute the fertilizer around the plant. Additionally, a light application of compost or organic matter during the growing season can provide additional nutrients.
Division: Hosta 'Francee' benefits from periodic division every few years to maintain its vigor and control its size. Dividing the plant is best done in early spring or fall when the plant is dormant. Dig up the clump, carefully separate the crowns, and replant them in suitable locations. Ensure each division has sufficient roots and foliage to support growth.
Pest and Disease Control: Hosta plants are generally resilient, but they can be susceptible to slug and snail damage. Monitor the plant regularly and take appropriate measures to control these pests, such as using organic slug baits, physical barriers, or handpicking. Good air circulation and avoiding overhead watering can help prevent fungal diseases, such as leaf spot or crown rot.
Winter Care: Hosta 'Francee' is a hardy plant and can tolerate cold temperatures. In regions with harsh winters, a layer of mulch applied around the base of the plant can help insulate the roots and protect them from freezing temperatures. Cut back the foliage in late fall or early winter after it has died back naturally.
Hosta 'Francee' is a beautiful and versatile perennial that adds elegance and texture to shade gardens. With proper care and attention, it will thrive and provide years of enjoyment in your garden.