The Mighty Hosta

Five hostas that love the Charlotte area's mild climate
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Much loved for its large showy leaves and dainty blooms, the hosta is a favorite of novice and expert gardeners alike. There are literally thousands of varieties—ranging from mini hostas that grow just a few inches in diameter to giant varieties that can grow to a few feet across— enough to merit an entire encyclopedia (witness The Hostapedia: An Encyclopedia of Hostas by Mark Zilis). Sherry Hall, development and public relations officer for Wing Haven Gardens and Bird Sanctuary (and resident hosta expert), handpicked five varieties that thrive in Charlotte.

 

FIRST FROST HOSTA

Leaves are blue-green with gold edges.

Grows up to sixteen inches tall and thirty-six inches across.

Flowers are very pale lavender.

Why this hosta? All hostas are hardy, but this one is especially so—it’s even named for its ability to look gorgeous right up to the first frost of the season.

 

 

 

SUM & SUBSTANCE HOSTA

Leaves are a bright, glossy chartreuse and heart-shaped.

Grows up to thirty inches tall and sixty inches wide.

Flowers are nearly white.

Why this hosta? It’s a botanical giant—this large hosta makes a great space filler.

 

 

 

 

BLUE ANGEL HOSTA

Leaves are blue, heavily textured, and can grow up to eighteen inches across.

Grows up to three feet tall and four feet wide.

Flowers are light lavender to white.

Why this hosta? Its blue color and large size make it a standout.

 

 

 

 

JUNE HOSTA

Leaves are blue-green with a light yellow or gold center.

Grows up to one foot tall and two to two and a half feet across.

Flowers are pale lavender.

 

FRANCEE HOSTA

Leaves are medium to dark green with white edges.

Grows up to fourteen inches tall and thirty-six inches across.

Flowers are pale lavender.

 

PLANTING CARE AND TIPS

Plant in shady areas: Any time after mid-September and before the first frost of the season will do.

Mark their Locations: Hostas go into a period of dormancy during the winter, so if you’re planning to plant spring bulbs or other plants, be sure to note where your hostas are so that you don’t disturb the plants’ crowns when they’ve gone into hibernation.                                                                                                          

Divide and conquer: As they grow, some varieties of hostas can get pretty large—but they’re easily split into smaller plants: just dig them up, pull them apart, and re-plant.

Pest control: Slugs and voles (small mole-like rodents) love hostas. To help keep them at bay, add PermaTill to the soil when you plant your hostas and spread diatomaceous earth or Sluggo, an organic snail-and-slug repellent, around each plant.

Categories: Dwell, Outdoor Living