Monday, June 21, 2010

Focus on Plants - Hosta

In the shade garden, there is no other shade plant that has such a large variety of cultivars as the Hosta. For leaf size you can go from the gigantic 20”x15” leaf on the Sum and Substance Hosta all the way down to the tiny 3”x3” leaf on the Blue Mouse Ears Hosta. Sum and Substance will have a mature size of 36” tall and 60” wide, while Blue Mouse Ears will only get 6” tall and 10” wide. When it comes to colors, there are almost endless combinations of solid and variegated colors. For solid colors, Hostas can come in shades of blue-green, yellow-gold and several shades of green. For the variegated Hosta, color combination can involve shades of green, blue-green, yellow or white.

Hostas will first poke out of the ground in mid to late spring, depending upon the variety. The lush leaves will unfold and add a tropical feel to the shade garden. In summer, flower stalks will appear above the foliage. Flower colors tend to be lavender to white, but not particularly showy, some varieties having a slight fragrance. In fall , after a couple of heavy frosts, the plant will die back to the ground, you can remove the spent foliage and wait until spring for the Hosta to add rich color and texture to your shade garden next year.

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