Plant DetailShow Menu

Hosta

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
HOS-tah
Description

Hostas are herbaceous perennial plants in the Lily family.  The family name was previously Agavaceae.  They are native to Asia and grow to an average height of 1.5-2.5 feet tall. Their form is clumping or mount forming with short sometimes stoloniferous rhizomes.  Plant Hostas in partial to full shade in soil rich in organic matter.

Most species of Hosta are grown for their large, striking foliage rather than their flowers. Blue leaved forms require shade, while green leaved types can take more sun.  They blooming late summer to early fall with white to lilac tubular flowers.   Divide Hostas in the early spring as leaves emerge from the ground.  

Utilize them mass planted in perennial beds, under tall trees, pools, rock gardens, planters, edging,  or naturalized areas.  They are slightly salt tolerant.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Acaulescent herb with parallel-veined leaves
  • Petioles sheathing, sulcate, subpeltate
  • Inflorescence scapose raceme, leafy-bracteated
  • Corollas tubular abruptly bell-shaped apically

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Slugs and chewing insects are occasional pests.  Leaf spot and rots are disease problems.  These plants are frequently damaged (loved!) by deer

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Annuals, Perennials, Vines, and Groundcovers" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens. 

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscapes:
Shaded Slope Floating Garden Courtyard Garden Wild Side- A Shady Garden Four-Season Garden Shaded Slope Juniper Level Botanic Gardens: Part Sun-Part Shade Gardens Garden "Bed" Wild Side- A Shady Garden Four-Season Garden Shaded Slope Garden Treasures Border Garden- Pathway Cottage Style Foundation Planting Juniper Level Botanic Gardens: Front Shade Garden Wild Side- A Shady Garden Border Garden- Pathway Juniper Level Botanic Gardens: Front Shade Garden Four-Season Garden Juniper Level Botanic Gardens: Part Sun-Part Shade Gardens Path Garden Shade Garden Asian Garden- Pathway Fairy Garden Birdbath Nook Collector’s Garden Shade Garden Coastal Entryway Garden Border Garden- Pathway Juniper Level Botanic Gardens: Part Sun-Part Shade Gardens
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Blue Mammoth', 'Blue Mouse Ears', 'Bressingham Blue', 'Cowlick', 'Empress Wu', 'Fire Island', 'Francee', 'Guacamole', 'Halcyon', 'Kiwi Full Monty', "Patriot", 'Ripple Effect', 'School Mouse', Sun and Substance, 'Super Nova', 'Twist of Lime', 'Wrinkle in Time'
Tags:
#white#deciduous#fragrant flowers#lilac#perennial#white flowers#purple flowers#shade tolerant#salt tolerant#low maintenance#apvg#mass planting#lilac flowers#ncemgva2018#cpp#edging#summer flowers#deer browsing plant#rock gardens#borders#fantz#partial shade tolerant#HS302#apvg-p#heavy shade tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Blue Mammoth', 'Blue Mouse Ears', 'Bressingham Blue', 'Cowlick', 'Empress Wu', 'Fire Island', 'Francee', 'Guacamole', 'Halcyon', 'Kiwi Full Monty', "Patriot", 'Ripple Effect', 'School Mouse', Sun and Substance, 'Super Nova', 'Twist of Lime', 'Wrinkle in Time'
Tags:
#white#deciduous#fragrant flowers#lilac#perennial#white flowers#purple flowers#shade tolerant#salt tolerant#low maintenance#apvg#mass planting#lilac flowers#ncemgva2018#cpp#edging#summer flowers#deer browsing plant#rock gardens#borders#fantz#partial shade tolerant#HS302#apvg-p#heavy shade tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Hosta
    Family:
    Liliaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Japan, China, hybrid origin
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    shade, slightly salt tolerant
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Perennial
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Description:
    Flowers are white or lilac. A scapose raceme bearing large leafy bracts and small bracts; leafy bracts often drying and persisting; inflorescence axis erect to spreading. Salverform-campanulate to funnelform; perianth tube narrow, abruptly flaring into a bell-shaped with 6 free lobes, white to anthocyanin pigmented.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Cream/Tan
    Green
    Variegated
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Oblong
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Large, in a basal rosette, sheathing, fleshy, ovate to elliptic to oblong, acute, attenuate, entire, parallel-veined, green to variegated to reddish-purple; petiole elongate, sulcate, sheathing.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Pond
    Landscape Theme:
    Rock Garden
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Heavy Shade
    Salt