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.
The bright blue-green, heavily corrugated, cupped leaves have deep quilting which intensifies as 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.
Flower Colour: White Habit: Clump Forming Mature Size (HxW): 50cm x 100cm
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.
A beautiful Hosta with clean silver blue foliage that forms a robust clump that simply gets better with age. In summer stems of nodding bell like mauve flowers appear above the leaves. Plant in semi-shade in nice rich moist soil for best results. Can be container grown. Perennial.
Heart shaped puckered leaves that are an attractive blue-green and outlined with creamy white margins. Pretty stems of white flowers in early summer. Plant in a semi-shaded position in rich moist soil for best results. The clump will just get better with age. Perennial.
Flower Colour: White Habit: Clump Forming Mature Size (HxW): 60cm x 60cm
Striptease has a very unusual “lightening strike” of white running around and through the lime green centre. The dark green leaves are centred with a bright chartreuse that fades during summer to a light green. The strip of pure white sometimes doesn't appear until plants are mature. Perennial
The mature leaves of this Hosta are huge! Gorgeous, glossy, chartreuse, heart shaped leaves and palest lavender flowers make this a real stunner. Will perform its best in moist soil with protection from the afternoon sun. The longer it is established the better it will get. Perennial.
A medium – large hosta with dark green leaves with wide irregular, chartreuse to yellow margins. Bell shaped lavender flowers in spring. This hosta is sure to brighten your shade garden. Best in a bit of sun to bring out the beautiful colouring. Perennial.
Excellent specimen plant for the front and center of the border. Bright gold foliage with light lavender white flowers. Large growing. Grows best with full morning sun. Tolerates drought, but a summer mulch is beneficial. Full sun brings out the leaf color but it is also shade tolerant.
Large 'corrugated' leaves in an attractive blue-green tone highlighted with a thunderbolt of yellow in the centre. Will form a bold clump for a shady part of the garden. Stems of white flowers appear from late spring to summer. Loves nice rich moist soil. Perennial.
Flower Colour: White Habit: Clump Forming Mature Size (HxW): 50cm x 60cm
Dramatic large leaves that are rounded and corrugated in tones of blue-green with pale yellow margins. Forms a magnificent clump especially in a shady corner. Stems of pale lavender flowers in summer. Plant in rich moist soil for best results. Perennial.