Hostas are fabulous foliage perennials that only get better with age. The exotic, tropical looking, large, luscious deciduous leaves emerge in mid spring and even after just a year or two they will have formed handsome clumps. In summer these clumps are topped off with stems of bell shaped flowers that are either white or various shades of mauve. The flowers are often perfumed. Whilst the flowers are beautiful it is the foliage which is the star attraction. The leaves can be puckered or smooth, long and narrow, or curvaceous and round, large or small. The foliage colour ranges from grey/blue through to green, yellow, lime or variegated. The strongest statement will be made when one or two complementary varieties are planted en masse. Hostas are shade lovers and are ideal for naturalising under deciduous trees or in woodland gardens. Where at all possible they should be protected from afternoon sun.
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Hostas also love rich moist soil and will do quite nicely on the edge of a stream or pond. If your planting position is too hot and dry the quality of the foliage will be severely compromised but you may find that you will get more flowers. Hostas are very hardy and once planted in a position that suits them they will be relatively undemanding. Unfortunately Hostas are much loved by slugs and snails especially when the new foliage is emerging therefore it is important to guard against these "chompers" with your preferred method of control and/or despatch. In my experience I have found that once the clumps are mature with little space between them, they aren't such an obvious target. Aplying a layer of wood chip or bark also helps as snails don't like crawling across the rough surface.
If you are looking to add a lush tropical look to your garden but need frost hardy plants then Hostas will certainly do the job for you. Hostas also do well in containers as long as they are regularly watered. I have found them invaluable for brightening up the shady cool areas of the house where nothing else will grow. Commonly known as the Plantain Lily (yes they are members of the Lily family) Hostas in my opinion are anything but common and provide the gardener with a top performing perennial for very little effort.
Heart shaped blue-grey foliage that is attractively 'puckered' and forms a bold clump. The pale mauve bell shaped flowers appear in late spring to early summer. Plant in semi-shade in nice rich moist soil for best results. The clump will keep on improving with age. Deciduous Perennial.
Colour: Mauve Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 50cm x 70cm
Blue-green heart shaped foliage that is nicely puckered. Quite slow growing but will eventually form an attractive bold clump. Stems of lavender flowers in late spring-summer. Plant in a semi-shaded spot in nice rich moist soil. Deciduous Perennial.
Did you know that Hostas that have blue tones in the leaf are less susceptible to slug and snail damage?
Colour: Mauve Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 0.3m x 0.3m
This smaller selection has thick, intensely blue leaves and dainty white flowers. Suitable also for planting in mixed containers or tubs. Hosta go completely dormant in the fall, and the dying foliage can be removed any time before mid spring. Easily divided in either spring or fall, but plants may be left alone for years. Deciduous perennial
This large variety of Hosta its grown for its gorgeous powdery blue grey heart shaped leaves with thick texture. Pale mauve to white flowers. Very impressive. Can be used as under planting on evergreen trees for protection from the sun. Deciduous.
Colour: Light purple-mauve to white Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 100cm x 160cm
This little sweetie will win you over even if you don't like Mice! The thick blue-grey rounded foliage forms a very neat little clump. The spring-summer flowers are pale mauve but really it's about the foliage. Plant in semi-shade in nice rich moist soil. Hosta of the Year 2008. Deciduous perennial
As with many 'blue' Hostas this form is reasonably slug resistant.
Colour: Mauve Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 20cm x 20cm
This is a medium size hosta with a heart-shaped golden leaves and heavily rippled green margin. Early summer brings trumpet shaped blossoms, in white with a kiss of lavender. Happy in semi-shade to full shade.
Be prepared to be seriously wowed by this very large and lush Hosta. The huge emerald green leaves are of good substance and eventually form a significant clump. White blooms in late spring. Give this one room to grow as it will only get better with age. Best in semi-shade. Deciduous perennial. PVR.
Empress Wu is named after the only female Empress of China.
Colour: White Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.2m x 1.5m
Hosta Empress Wu
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Frances Williams is best in well drained soil and light shade with some morning sun. Giant, blue-green leaves have very wide, chartreuse to yellow margins which become wider as the plant matures. Leaves are corrugated and slug resistant. White flowers midsummer on tall spikes. Deciduous perennial
Colour: White Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 60cm x 150cm