you wander the botanic garden and admire spring beauty, you may also
wonder why the Hosta Trail is filled with sunken pots. The reasons are
twofold. When the Mid-South Hosta Society created these nationally
acclaimed beds, members realized their favorite plants must be protected
from hungry voles and thirsty tree roots.
Hostas love rich, moist, loose soil, but
few thrive in competition with these subterranean foes. In the spring
of 1999, MSHS members planted the first of seven beds with specimen
hostas in wire cages. Around the perimeter, they planted common hostas
without protection. A year later, all of the sacrificial common hostas
had been devoured by voles. Like garden sharks, these creatures must
keep eating to maintain their metabolism. The hosta society’s caged
hostas dodged the mouse-like “undertakers,” but viability of the club’s
more desirable plants was diminished by invading tree roots.
Since those early days, Hosta Trail
additions have been planted in 3-, 4- and 5-gallon black plastic nursery
pots, which are raised a couple inches above ground to discourage voles
from “dumpster-diving.” Voles otherwise burrow no deeper than about 6
inches and are unable to penetrate the containers. Over time, tree roots
can creep into these protective pots through drain holes, sap the
hostas of moisture and strangle the plants. That can be averted by
periodically lifting and twisting pots and breaking off a tree’s
During the off-season, hosta pots may be unsightly, but they’re disguised by foliage once the growing season commences.
For updates and more!
Central Daylight Time Hours:
9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Central Standard Time (Winter) Hours:
9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
We are located at:
750 Cherry Road
Memphis, TN 38117
(Between Park & Southern)