RENEGADE GARDENER

The lone voice of horticultural reason

“Hostas are a shade plant, and don’t tolerate sun.”

 Not quite correct. Some hostas need some direct sunlight in order to look their best.

In deep shade, just about any hosta will grow smaller leaves, develop more slowly, and lack zip. Most like a little direct sunlight during the day to look their best.

This is especially true of those with yellow or gold leaves, which need, and easily tolerate, upwards to three hours of direct sun to develop rich color. I have one, Oreo Margarita ‘William Shatner,” that didn’t look at all attractive until I moved it a spot offering two hours of morning sun. (OK, so I remember the real name of this one, the magnificent H. montana ‘Aureomarginata.’)

True, the blues don’t like direct sun, and will bleach out. The all-green varieties like it dappled, but those with variegated leaves incorporating yellow, gold, cream or white need some direct sun or you’ll be disappointed.

Remember, you can’t kill a hosta. Experiment with the amount of direct sunlight, from one to three hours, and find the condition that best suits the ones you grow.

Don Engebretson
The Renegade Gardener