Hosta are the classic shade plant. There are many different sizes, leaf colors, leaf shapes, and leaf texture. Hosta are easy to grow, demanding only a well drained soil. They prefer partly shady areas and a rich, organic well drained soils with a little moisture (not wetness). all soil types will benefit from adding large quantities of organic matter. Adding large quantities of organic matter improves the moisture retention of the soil, the aeration of the soil, loosens the soils for easy root penetration, and improves the microbial life in the soil, and its general fertility. The more easily the roots are able to penetrate the soil, and have nutrients available the larger and faster, the plant will grow.
While Hosta do prefer some shade from the hot afternoon sun, they can withstand more sun than one would think, if enough moisture is given. While full sunshine will not kill Hosta, it sure can make them look bad. As a general rule the blue Hosta do need more shade to look their best. By and large the gold's will tolerate higher amounts of light. The green and the fragrant Hosta, either sports or hybrids from H. plantaginea (the August Lily) with shiny light green leaves and 5" long white very fragrant flowers in August, tolerate quite a bit of sun. The white variegation on some Hosta will burn with too much light, so caution should be exercised when using these plants.
They are heavy feeders and will benefit from fertilizer application, especially in the spring when they are actively growing. We suggest a slow release fertilizer, such as Fertilrich, early in the season supplemented by a liquid fertilizer like MiracleGro, every four weeks during the spring and early summer. Hosta do not need regular division to keep them healthy and vigorous. Actually the less they are divided, the better. Hosta need at least 4 or 5 years of undisturbed growth to mature, and the textures and character of the foliage gets better and better as the plants age.
Hosta do not need much winter protection. Heavy mulch may do more harm than good because it may give cover to voles and slugs. Voles are tailless field mice that burrow underground, especially in areas close to the woods. They feed on the underground rhizomes and can destroy a clump in a short time. Other pests are slugs and deer. Some varieties can show some resistance to slugs. Hail can damage the leaf considerably but does no lasting damage.
Some of the hosta on this list are not being grown by us anymore. Many still are. Many of the hosta we are growing are being listed on this page Hosta 2002. Any questions, please call or e-mail Bob Amberg.
In the summer of 2002, we had a very hot, dry month of July. As August started, we saw a few cases of Crown Rot on hosta and daylilies. This has traditionally been a Southern problem. It is a very serious problem and all gardeners should be aware of it and what to do. Please take a few minutes and visit our page on Crown Rot.
White edged-"Francee"-Heart shaped leaves - rich green with a white edge. 22" h x 36" w, "Ground Master"-. Leaves have an undulating white margin. Ground cover variety excellent for controlling weed growth, rapid grower. Abundant lavender flowers . 16" h x 12" w. "Minuteman" - Crisp 3/4 inch pure white margin which wraps around a 3 inch, rich, glossy green center that maintains its dramatic color in heat and partial sun. Medium grower that forms a clump 16 by 24 inches at maturity. Pale lavender flowers.
White or gold centered-"Gold Standard"- Award winner with light green leaves with dark margins in spring with centers turning gold by summer. 26"h x 40"w. "Great Expectations"- 8" wide gold cream, irregular blue streaked margins, masses of white flowers, to 3/4 sun, 22". "Striptease"-Pictured on the left, a beautiful hosta that develops a thin white strip between the gold center and green edge.
Gold edged-"Frances Williams" -Textured blue-green leaves with a wide yellow margin. Off-white flowers,22" h x 30". "Shade Fanfare"- Green leaves with a wide creamy edge. Tall lavender flowers. 18" h x 24" w. "Twilight"- Heavy substance, shiny leaf surface with wide yellow margins, " Wide Brim"- Blue-green leaves with wide creamy gold edge. Lavender flowers. 18" h x 36" w.
Blue-"Blue Angel" - huge blue leaves for a tropical look, white hyacinth like flowers, 48". "Blue Umbrella"- A quickly maturing hosta with blue-green, textured leaves,22" h x 36" w, "Bressingham Blue"- Large cup shaped blue-green leaves. White flowers, 28" h x 48" w, "Halcyon"- Very blue, heart shaped leaves. Lilac-blue flowers. One of the best! 15" h x 28" w; Zone 3-9, "Krossa Regal"- Large, blue-gray leaves form a vase shaped clump. Bell shaped lilac flowers on very tall scapes. 30" h x 40" w, "Love Pat"- heavily corrugated deep blue green leaves with good substance. 21"h x 50"w. "Pacific Blue Edger"- A very vigorous small blue that grows into an eye-appealing mound. The leaves have thick texture, 8" x 12". "Serendipity"- Very blue, heart shaped leaves. Rapid grower with white, bell shaped flowers. 14"h x 10" w. H. sieboldiana "Elegans"- A large hosta with blue-green heart shaped leaves. Off-white flowers. 36" h x 50" w
Gold-"August Moon"- Pale green foliage, deepening to gold as plant matures. Lavender flowers. 26" h x 36" w. "Gold Regal" - Pointed, yellow-chartreuse leaves are held upright and outward, at an angle. Purple flowers on 42" scapes in July. 16" high by 24" wide. "Sum and Substance"- Very large gold thick leaves. Tall lavender flowers. 30" h x 48" w,
Green-Most of these green leafed types are forms of H. plantaginea, also known as the August Lily, with shiny light green leaves and 5" long white very fragrant flowers in August. "Royal Standard" - Large bright green leaves. Tall, trumpet shaped, white flowers. Rapid grower.24" h x 48" w