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Hostas, the Premier Shade Perennial

From Garden Talk with Doug by our own Doug Hensel, May 2013

This article is inspired by our beautiful, extensive selection of hostas that we have in our nursery. Walking through the aisles of hostas, I realize just how much I admire this perennial and how I enjoy showing them off to customers.

I have two varieties in my landscape. One is Frances Williams, which I have divided many times over the years. My other variety is Sum and Substance. I love this variety because of its chartreuse colored leaves and how large it grows. The new favorite that I plan to add to my gardens is called Mouse Ears. This hosta has the perfect name because its small blue-green leaves do look like mouse ears.

With so many choices of hostas, how do you know which one's right for your garden? This decision could be decided by what kind of shade you have. This will help you select the perfect kind of hosta that will grow well in your landscape. Shade is described as deep shade (no direct sun), part shade (sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon), or bright shade (under trees with some dappled sun). The blue-green leaf varieties of hostas do best in the deep shade. The variegated leaf varieties of hostas do well in deep shade, part shade, and bright shade. The bright green and chartreuse varieties of hostas do best in part shade to bright shade.

Hostas are not without their challenges with pests. One common pest is the slug (use slug bait or a saucer filled with beer placed near the hosta). Another pest is the vole (use Permatill or Vole Bloc in the soil or plant using wire baskets). And the biggest pest of all is deer (use deer deterrent sprays).

Hostas are great for edging gardens or being accent plants. Your choice of hosta could be time consuming when in our nursery, standing in front of more than 100 beautiful varieties of hostas –  the premier shade perennial.


Below is just a small sampling of varieties of hostas carried by Meadows Farms. Please note that not all locations carry every varieity so please contact your local Meadows Farms garden center for availability of these and other varieties.

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