Hosta: A Shade Garden Staple

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Hosta is a fabulous plant for the shade garden. Although it does bloom, hosta are famous for their gorgeous foliage ranging from green to blue to chartreuse, many with variegation. They range in size from miniatures growing to just 4 inches across to giant cultivars growing up to six feet tall and wide. Leaves are generally heart-shaped or oblong with small white or lavender blooms showing up on spikes above the leaves in summer. Hosta are tough and forgiving perennials that spread each year. They grow rapidly during spring with ample rainfall and look great into fall.

Planting Hosta

Hosta prefer a spot in shade or part shade. Some varieties tolerate more sun than others. Hostas are perfect for the woodland garden as they prefer moist, well draining soil. Plant them in soil rich in organic matter, amending existing soil if necessary for best results. Space them according to the mature size of the cultivar because of the wide variety of sizes available. They work well planted along side contrasting foliage of other hosta, ferns, astilbe, heuchera, tiarella & heucherella and other shade plants with a backdrop of azaleas, rhododendrons, hydrangea and other shade loving shrubs.

Hosta Cultivars

We have a wide range of hostas availabe in all colors and sizes. Below is a gallery of hosta typically available at Atlantic Gardening Company during the growing season.

Abiqua Drinking Gourd
This large blue hosta had the most deeply cupped foliage of any cultivar for a truly unique look in the garden.  White flowers mid summer. Can grow to 24” tall by 42” wide.

Aureo Marginata
Green & gold foliage with tall spikes of lavender blooms.

Blue Cadet
Blue green heart shaped leaves.  Moderate grower reaching 16” in height.

Blue Wedgewood
A medium hosta with a dense mound of wedge-shaped, cupped, blue-green leaves.  Pale lavender blooms. Grows to 14” tall.

Empress Wu
Largest hosta reaching an impressive 4 ft. tall and 5-6 ft. wide mound. Dark green heart-shaped foliage and lavender flowers.

Bold, heart-shaped leaves in dark green edged in white create a dramatic contrast in the garden. 2ft tall x 4 ft wide.

Francis Williams
Bold heart-shaped leaves in blue-green with yellowish-green edges. White flowers on 2-foot stems. (photo unavailable)

Fire Island
Pointy leaves in chartreuse with red petioles. Lavender flowers. Small growing to just 10-14 in. tall and 2 ft. wide.

Fire & Ice
This hosta is striking!  Pure white foliage centers with dark green edging.  Leaves are slightly twisted. Lavender flowers in midsummer.  Midsize 14-16” tall and 12-32” wide.

First Frost
Robust foliage looks great until frost!  Rich blue-green leaves edged in creamy yellow that fades to white.  Adaptable.  Grows to 16” tall & 36” wide.  Light lavender flowers.

Great Expectations
Large blue-green leaves with chartreuse centers & margins that fade to green.  Pale lavender flowers.2 ft tall x 3 ft wide.

Avocado green, veined foliage with dark green margins. Light sun brightens leaves. Fragrant white flowers resembling small lilies tower over leaves on three foot stems. Grows 1-3 ft. tall and wide.  Developed in North Carolina.

Bluish leaves contrast brilliantly with irregular creamy gold centers.  Lavender flowers. Best color comes with a little morning sun.  Stands out in the garden!  A shorter hosta growing just 12” tall and spreading to 30” wide.

Mayflower Moon
Leaves feature intense corrugation in chartreuse, turning more golden as they age. Perfect as a bright accent in the shade garden and a wonderful contrast to darker hostas. Grows to 18” tall by 24” wide.

Paul’s Glory
Stunning variegation!  Leaves feature deep green margins with creamy yellow centers turning white in summer. Grows to 2 ft by 3ft.

Praying Hands
Unusual, tight, slender twisted leaves – green with cream edges, ruffled into a tubular shape. Lavender flowers. Small reaching just 14-18 in. tall and 18-23 in. wide.

Rosedale Golden Goose
Large, golden-yellow, heart shaped leaves with corrugation and deep veins.  Slug resistant.  Grows to 30” tall and 48” wide.

An array of colors!  Seducer forms a mound of beautiful dark green leaves with a chartreuse to gold margin with a hint of white in-between.  Summer heat intensifies the unique coloration.  Near-white flowers.  Grows to 24” tall and 38” wide.

Sum & Substance
One of the largest and most popular hostas. Huge chartreuse leaves up to two feet long. 2 ft. tall by 5 ft. wide.

Sun Power
Bright yellow-green leaves narrower than most hostas. Tolerates sun and requires some sunlight for best coloring. 2 ft. tall by 4 ft. wide.

Touch of Class
A gorgeous color combo!  Thin chartreuse centers surrounded by very wide blue-green borders.  A dramatic selection for the garden. Just 12” tall by 18” wide.

White Edge
Emerald green leaves with splashed white edges.  15-18” tall and wide.