Plant FinderPlant Finder Graphic
Zone
Zones vary by species.
Partial SunNo Sun
Partial, Shade
Regular Water
Moderate

Hosta

Plantain Lily

Perennials

Large clumps of big, fresh-looking spring leaves makethese perfect understory plants; spikes of blue, lavender, or white trumpet-shaped flowers are a summer bonus. Leaves may be heart-shaped, lance-shaped, oval, or nearly round; they can be glossy or dull, smooth or textured, straight or wavy edged. Mounds range from3–4 in. across to 5 ft. in diameter. Foliage runs from lime to dark green, greenish gold, gray, and blue, with many variegated forms whose colors vary with climate and soil type.

New varieties are legion. To get what you want, buy the plant in full leaf or from a reputablemail-order specialist. All are native to eastern Asia.

Though hostas are shade lovers, some tolerate sun, especially in cool-summer zones (those with white or yellow in leaves are least sun-tolerant). Plants grown in sun will be more compact and will producemore flowers. All go dormant in winter (even in mild climates), collapsing to almost nothing.

Hosta hybrids

There are many hundreds of possibilities. Size given at the start of each listing is for foliage clump. Performancein Zones 22–24 will vary, but all are worth a try in these areas.

You Might Also Like...

Arisaema

Curious rather than beautiful relatives of calla (Zantedeschia), attractive both to children ...

Pittosporum eugenioides

From New Zealand. To 20–40 ft. tall, 15–30 ft. wide. Often seen as a high hedge or screen ...

Aucuba japonica 'Variegata'

Often called gold dust plant, this is the best-known aucuba. It has dark green leaves spotted with yel...

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

View Maps Learn More

Advertisement