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Funkia (Hosta), also called love lilies, are next to the purple bell to the most beautiful Blattschmuckstauden. Most of the 40 wild species come from Japan, some are also native to China and Korea. They belong to the asparagus family (Asparagaceae) and live predominantly in cool, humid mountain forests on humus-rich, evenly moist soils.
In Japan, the perennials are highly valued for their clear leaf shape with the almost graphic-like course of the veins and have been cultivated as ornamental plants for centuries. With their large leaves, the perennials have adapted to partially shaded to shady locations, which should be cool and evenly humid. The soil should be humus rich, sandy to loamy and fresh to moderately moist. Hosta plantaginea also tolerates a sunny and warm location unlike all other types of Funkia - only then this species blooms with lush white flowers that smell very strong. It is at the same time the latest Funkie with its bloom time from August to September, all other blooms in June and July. These should only be placed in the full sun when the soil is sufficiently moist. In very wind-exposed locations, the perennials are slightly late frost sensitive.
The depending on the type and variety heart to spatulate or lanceolate leaves are creamy white, yellowish green, steel blue or dark green, often multicolored and decorative patterned. Some varieties wear a beautiful, golden yellow leaf color in the fall. The garden hybrids vary in size very strong: Small-leaved dwarf forms such as 'Blue Mouse Ears' are barely 20 centimeters high, the stately Blaublatt-Funkien (Hosta sieboldiana 'Elegans') reach with their inflorescences 80 centimeters high and can in the bed after some Years to easily occupy one square meter of space. All funkies grow relatively slowly. They form thick, fleshy rootstocks (rhizomes) and sometimes additional foothills, over which they spread in the bed. The mostly hanging, white to lilac-colored bell-flower sitting in ährigen inflorescences on long, little foliated to bare stems.
For semi-shady to shady beds on humus-rich soils in forest and shade gardens, funerals are indispensable for collecting with their enormous diversity of varieties. Even in the Japan Garden should you reserve them in half shady location necessarily some places. They fit well with rhododendrons and other forest plants and can also be sociated with less competitive perennials and shrubs, without them too much on their backs. Beautiful optical effects can be achieved by combining funerals with shade grasses such as the Japanese mountain grass (Hakonechloa), various ferns, Rodgersien and other leaf perennials. However, they are also excellent winter hardy potted plants and are surprisingly resistant to temporary drought unless they are in full sun. The flower shoots look very elegant as cut flowers in the vase.
Blaublatt-Funkie (Hosta sieboldiana 'Elegans')
The foliage turns yellow in autumn and usually rots by itself in winter, as it is very soft. The remains can be easily removed in spring if necessary.
By nature, funerals are long-lived and become more and more beautiful over the years as they grow undisturbed. A division is necessary if the clumps get too big.
The leaves of many Funkiensorten are colored edges
other care tips
Funkien are no scoffers: young plants should be fertilized during the spring with a bit of mature compost, so that they can quickly develop into handsome specimens.
To multiply, the rhizomes are shared in the spring or fall with a sharp spade. Since the perennials grow rather slowly, the yield of daughter plants is not particularly high. This is also the reason why funerals are relatively expensive in the nursery.
Diseases and pests
The main enemy of the Funkien are the nudibranchs - there is hardly a plant in the garden that tastes better than the young radio communications in the spring. If there are many snails in your garden, you should protect the plants with snail grain in early spring. A very special pathogen is the hosta virus X (HVX), which has spread in Germany since the turn of the millennium. You can see infected plants on unusually drawn to speckled leaves with sunken tissue and stunted growth.Infested plants should be removed from the bed immediately and disposed of in the household waste to prevent spread to the healthy funerals.