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.
Kiwi Sunshine forms a medium size mound of leaves that emerge yellow gold in colour and then turn green as the season progresses. Kiwi Sunshine has pale lavender flowers and grows in half shade/shade. The height is 35 to 45 cm and the growth is medium to slow. Deciduous
Colour: Lavender Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 45cm x 60cm
Small to medium sized hosta with bright greenish yellow lance shaped leaves. Flowers are lavender. Plant in soil that does not completely dry out in summer and protect from slug and snail damage. Perennial.
Grown mainly for their colourful foliage, they like a shady site with moisture. Protect from slugs and snails. Winter dormancy. Ideal for the south side of the house en masse.
Colour: Mauve Habit: Clumping Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 15cm x 50cm
Named after popular Hosta Hybridizer the late Mildred Seaver this Hosta will delight you with large textured green leaves that have white margins. Stems of lavender flowers in summer. Plant in a shady spot in nice rich moist soil for best results. Perennial.
Colour: Lavender Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 60cm x 90cm
Attractive heart shaped leaves of rich green with broad margins of creamy white. Stems of bell shaped mauve blooms in late spring. Hostas perform their best when grown in moist soil with protection from afternoon sun. The longer you leave them the better they get. Perennial.
Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 60cm x 90cm
A dramatic large leafed Hosta that eventually forms a bold clump of wavy green foliage edged strongly in white. In summer stems of mauve bell shaped flowers stand above the foliage. Happy in semi-shaded position in soil that does not dry out in summer. Perennial.
Use this Hosta in large drifts under deciduous trees or by pond and stream margins. As with all Hostas it is best to practice slug and snail protection.
Colour: Mauve Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 60cm x 50cm
This Hosta is quite different from the usual in that it has glossy lime green foliage set on deep red-black stems making for an attractive contrast. Froms a nice neat clump and has stems of pale lavender flowers in summer. Perfect for a semi-shaded spot. Prefers rich moist soil. Perennial.
Colour: Lavender Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 40cm x 60cm
The bright blue-green, heavily corrugated, cupped leaves have deep quilting which intensifiesas the plant matures. The late spring flowers are of the purest white. This is one of the large hosta varieties. The clumps will become more dramatic each growing season. Perennial.
An award winning Hosta with dramatic, ribbed foliage shaded green with creamy-white margins. Makes a beautiful clump for a shady spot. Pale lavender flowers in late spring-summer. Plant in rich moist soil for best results. This variety shows good resistance to slugs. Perennial. RHS AGM.
Colour: Mauve Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 30cm x 45cm