The Q&A Archives: Light Exposure and Hosta Color

Question: I have a hosta that is mostly white with very little green variegation. Itstarts out white, but by mid-summer, the newer leaves have much more green, almost completely green. Do I need to have it in more shade? It's in partial sunright now. Can I prune catalpa trees into a more bush or dwarf tree type of deal? Their leaves are beautiful foliage. Sandy Brown Akron, OH

Answer: You're right about the hosta color being affected by light exposure, but I'm not sure which way it works. I've seen plants that boost their chlorophyll production in shade in order to take advantage of whatever light they do get, and others pale in the shade for some reason. You could experiment by moving it into more shade to see what will happen. Keep me posted! You can grow your catalpa as a shrub if it is still young. In early spring before active growth, cut the tree almost to the ground. Feed and water it well throughout the summer and it should sprout vigorous young growth with extra-large leaves. So they say. Sounds sorta risky to me, but if your tree is 5 years old or less, it may be worth trying! Experimentation again!

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