The Q&A Archives: Full-sun Hostas

Question: I would like to start planting hostas in my gardens. I love the way they look. All the nursery centers say that they can only be grown in shady areas. Some of my friends say they can be grown in full sun. Are there any particular hostas that are grown in sunny gardens? I believe there are alot of different varieties of hostas, according to their color, that can tolerate partial to full sun. Can you list some varieties for me? Thank You

Answer: In general, hostas do prefer shade. However, with a well prepared soil amply supplied with organic matter plus ample watering plus a summer mulch, it is possible to grow some hostas in increasing amounts of sun. Morning sun is of course gentler and cooler than afternoon sun, and your chances of success are best if the plants are protected from the hot noon sun and hot afternoon sun. You might experiment and see what works for you, then when you find one that is happy in the light you have, add more of that one. A number of golden hostas with the word "sun" in their names such as "Sun Power" and "Sun Flare" seem to tolerate sun better and "Sum and Substance" is said to tolerate full sun; H. plantaginea is also tolerant of at least a 3/4 dat of sun; in my experience the "blue" hostas tolerate sun the least. It is also possible to create shade, for example by planting flowering shrubs and trees or even erecting an arbor, lattice or trellis panels covered with a flowering vine. I hope this gives you some ideas.

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