Hosta Plantain Lily
Our Hosta varieties currently in stock include the green leaved variety Hosta Halcyon and the Variegated (green with white margin) Hosta Francee. Both Hosta Halcyon and Hosta Francee have received the RHS award of garden merit. Both produce purple flowers.
Hostas (also known as the Plantain Lily) are one of the most dependable and useful perennial plants available to gardeners. Most notable for their large leaves, they are also prized for their flowers, which, depending on the variety, may be fragrant and are excellent cut flowers. However, gardeners usually choose Hostas for the beautiful leaves, which are an excellent ground cover in a variety of planting situations.
The thick shoots of the Hosta plant start to emerge from the ground in mid to late spring, after most of the spring flowering bulbs have bloomed. They rapidly grow and spread, creating a broad, low clump of foliage. Depending on the variety, individual Hosta leaves may be as long as a metre or more in length! Leaves may be a solid shade of green or blue-green, or feature variegated shades. In autumn, the leaves die back after a hard frost. For mass plantings, space 40 cm apart.
Native to the forests of eastern Asia, Hostas thrive in dappled to partial shade, in moist, humus-rich soil. They will grow in full sun if given enough moisture. They are hardy throughout the UK, and being both salt and pollution-tolerant, do equally well in coastal regions and in city gardens. However, they are susceptible to deer, so care should be taken in country plantings. Slugs can also present problems for Hostas.
A single Hosta can make an excellent container plant for a rooftop terrace or a patio, and a specimen plant in a mixed border provides a reliable foliage backdrop for flowering plants. It is a good idea to pair a Hosta planting with spring-flowering bulbs, as the leaves emerge and spread as the bulb foliage starts to die back and become unsightly. Hostas are also an excellent choice for a mass planting in a shady area, such as under trees where sun-loving plants will not grow.