Did you know that hostas are edible and the shoots can be eaten and harvested the same way as asparagus? Though my own reasons for growing hosta include filling in the herbaceous layer of my food forest to further shade the ground and provide plenty of places to hide for my edible landscape ducks, hostas can also help support the growth of plants you do plan to harvest for food.

1. Tree Collards

Tree collards and hosta plants are probably equally as easy to propagate, so there is the possibility to create an entire food forest that features tree collards and the unassuming, beautiful, shade-loving hosta plant. The hostas will provide some well-needed shade on the ground to reduce water evaporation for itself and the tree collards, which both grow faster when given adequate amounts of water and nutrition.

2. Stone Bamboo (Phyllostachys angusta)

When you want to provide some shade to your hostas in a nontraditional way. This Stone Bamboo has been paired with the Hosta Guacamole to complement the olive-y yellow hues found within the bamboo while giving the bamboo a lovely ground cover to hold in as much moisture as possible during the southern summers in grow zone 7b.

Stone Bamboo shoots are, indeed, edible but I’m most looking forward to being able to harvest the mature culms for use in my crafting endeavors. Of course, you can eat some of the shoots and leave some of them alone to mature, giving you lots of options in your bamboo/hosta patch.

3. Strawberry Bushes

Since strawberries are evergreen and pretty shade tolerant and most importantly, have a fruiting season when they need full sun that is before hostas emerge from winter dormancy, you can unleash the true power of ground covers in your food garden or edible landscape by doubling up ground coverage with hostas and strawberries.

4. Raspberry Bushes

Raspberry bushes spread quite widely, which makes them well-matched for hosta plants which can easily be split to keep up with the growth of your raspberry patches. Though raspberries do grow relatively tall (5-6 feet), they cast a light amount of shade, so pair them with hostas that are more sun-loving like Sum and Substance Hosta to ensure they don’t get leaf-scorched in the heavy amounts of sunlight that will be coming through your raspberries.

5. Asparagus

Why not grow a plant that produces veggie spears with a plant that also produces veggie spears? Asparagus plants are also very moisture loving, fast-growing plants so choose a planting site that retains a lot of moisture, gets a lot of rain run-off from the roof of your house, and contains a lot of humus and top soil to allow both the asparagus plants and the hostas to put down plenty of deep roots to keep them growing at top speed.

Though asparagus does cast some shade once it has filled in, it certainly would not be enough to keep sun-sensitive hosta plants from being baked by a hot summer sun. You can counter this by companion planting two rows of asparagus plants and allowing the hostas to spread between them, giving them dappled sunlight and high humidity.

More tips on how to grow asparagus.

6. Olive Tree

7. Fuyu Persimmon Tree

8. Bonfire Patio Peach Tree

9. Apple Tree

10. Potatoes

11. Golden Oregano

12. Pineapple Sage

13. Tomatoes

14. Sweet Potatoes

15. Gooseberries

16. Honeyberries

17. Taro (Edible Elephant Ear)

18. Banana Plants

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