Monday, May 23, 2011

Not all Hostas are Created Equal

For a long time, I didn't like Hostas. But then again, I was only familiar with Hosta lancifolia and it's little purple flower spikes above skinny, medium green leaves. It seemed to be in everyone's garden, along the side of buildings and even along the road as if they were a common wildflower.

But somewhere along the way, I was introduced to new varieties of Hostas and my opinion began to change. I saw plants with big leaves, small leaves, white flowers and so many different leaf colors: blue-gray, lime, green/green variegation, green/white variegation - just to name a few.

Now, I'm a converted fan. I love seeing the plant emerge from the ground in the spring. The tightly rolled leaves standing straight and tall until they finally burst open and spread their wings, I mean leaves. And then, their mound of color and texture begins to brighten even the shadiest spot.

When it rains, the water droplets hang onto the leaf a bit longer than necessary to create an even more beautiful effect.

I think they look great when different plant varieties are clustered together in a woodland area of the garden. But no matter how you have them planted or displayed, they are truly a treasure to the garden.


  1. Although I have been trying to plant more native plants, I still leave room for hostas. I inherited some with this house and they make a beautiful edge along the back and north side of our workshop. My favorites are ones with huge, blue leaves. I, too, love how they emerge in Spring.

  2. Hi Kate, I agree that hostas are indispensable for the shade garden. I especially like the varieties that are variegated with ribbons of cream. I find the cream lights up even the shadiest of spots in the garden.

  3. LIke you, I wasn't a big fan, but I have so much shade that I've learned to LOVE them. There are so many varieties and easy to maintain. Unfortunately the deer also love them (some varieties more than others) and tend to eat them as they are coming into full bloom. :)

  4. I am definitely a novice when it comes to planing, what are the benefits of having a hostas in your garden?

  5. Hi Cooling Systems - Hostas are great for shade/part shade in the garden. There are many different varieties with various colors and variegation to the leaves. They stay low and create a mound effect. But like Laura said, the deer do enjoy them, so if you live in an area with deer, probably best not to plant them.

  6. I wish we could grow these here in SA. According to my gardening books it is simply too hot here in South Africa - but luckily I get to enjoy them by visiting your blog :)


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