Hosta Search

(Question)

I’m trying to find a hosta that has huge leaves and grows in a flower shape as opposed to water fall and has a lot of white on the outer edges. Mostly white is preferable so you can see it from a distance.

The reason is because I’ve planted and split 35 hostas three times already but it seems like I can’t see them from a distance. Currently I have one that has a lot of white but it’s form is a water fall and it looks messy. I’ve already split them to 11 but now I prefer the formed. I started with plain green and I couldn’t see them at all from a distance.

I would really appreciate it if you could recommend a hosta with the specs above and if you happen to know a place where I could purchase a lot of them so I could finish it this year (approximately 35) so I don’t have to wait until I fatten them so I can split them (although love doing it). I live in Richmond Hill.

 

(Answer)

Note that hostas that have predominantly white leaves are tricky to keep healthy. This is in large part because it is important for the plant to have some green (the pigment is called chlorophyll) in the leaves, so it can produce enough food to survive.   If the hosta does not have some green leaf tissue, it will die. White leaf tissue may be more likely to burn from too much sun, and as the plant must make its own food, it does so more slowly than the green hostas, which are richer in chlorophyll.

Here are two examples of hostas with marginal variegation (i.e., white/light colour on the outside of the leaves):

  • Hosta ‘Patriot’ is a mounding plant with leaves edged in pure white, which should show up well in your garden. Its flowers are lavender in colour.
  • The leaves of Hosta ‘Blue Ivory’ are creamy white on the margin and bluish in the centre. The white brightens as summer progresses, while the blue deepens to blue-green, producing a nice contrast. It may take a few seasons to develop this precise variegation. Flowers are lavender.

Be careful not to site these hostas in areas where they may be scorched by too much sun. This is especially important where the margins are white; yellow-coloured variegated varieties actually like a couple of hours of direct sunlight daily.

And a couple of hostas with medio variegation (lighter colour in the centre than the margin of the leaves) might be of interest as these plants would be quite easy to see from a distance:

  • Hosta ‘Fire and Ice’ has white-centred leaves, with dark green leaf margins. It grows upright, as opposed to in a mound and its leaves have been described as looking like “snowy flames”. The flowers are lavender. As it has a large proportion of white on the leaves, it is relatively slow-growing.
  • Hosta ‘Cool as a Cucumber’ mounds nicely and has lavender flowers.

I’m not sure what you mean by “flower shape” versus “waterfall” in terms of hostas.  You may want to contact someone at the Ontario Hosta Society for recommendations (see https://www.ontariohostasociety.com ) Although we are not permitted to recommend any particular source for plants, the Hosta Society website also includes contact information for several suppliers, which may be helpful in your search. (see (https://www.ontariohostasociety.com/index.php/suppliers ) Consider also contacting your local nurseries for further suggestions.

All the best in finding the perfect hostas!