When choosing a spot to plant ‘Empress Wu’ hosta, consider that it prefers to grow in morning sun or dappled sun throughout the day. Afternoon sun can be too strong and burn the foliage, especially in warm climates.
The first place you might consider planting your new hosta is under a tree. If the tree is deeply rooted, like an oak or hickory, there will be plenty of room for the hosta’s roots to grow. But maples, birches and spruce trees have broad, shallow root systems that could outcompete the hosta for root space and make it grow much slower. Consider root competition when finding the right spot.
‘Empress Wu’ hosta grows best in humus-rich soil that stays moist and well-drained, but it will also grow reasonably well in sandy and clay soils. If you plan to grow it in a container for the first few years of its life, use a good quality potting soil with a bit of slow release plant food mixed in to help it get off to a strong start.
This hardy perennial isn’t too fussy about when you plant it. Cooler spring and fall weather is ideal, but if summer is your only option, just be sure to plant it in the shade and keep the soil moist through the warmest months while its roots get established.
When planting, dig the hole about twice as wide but just as deep as the container it is growing in. If your soil is light in color–indicating it doesn’t contain much organic matter–add several handfuls of humus, compost or aged manure when you backfill the hole. That will provide extra nutrients and water-holding capacity to the soil.