Hosta 'Sum and Substance'
A huge hosta that actually enjoys full sun, with chartreuse-yellow foliage turning to a gold fountain - the lavender flowers are a mere distraction
- Position: partial or full shade
- Soil: fertile, moist, well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: average to fast-growing
- Flowering period: July and August
- Hardiness: fully hardy
This tough hosta has huge, corrugated yellow-green leaves that seem to ward off slugs and snails. Spikes of pale lilac flowers appear in July. This plaintain lily makes a bold statement in a large container in a shady courtyard. In a border, it looks stunning close to an entrance or path, or among other plants with distinctive foliage, such as ferns. Although it will cope with some sun, the leaves are best shaded from the midday sun and sheltered from cold, drying winds. Once established, its layers of leaves will suppress weeds, too.
- Garden care: You'll get thicker, lusher leaves if you give your hostas a really good feed. An annual mulch in spring or autumn will help to keep the weeds down and is an easy way to improve soil and boost nutrient levels. Add a generous mulch of about 5-10cm (2-4in) deep of garden compost or leaf mould around the plant. Spraying the leaves regularly with a high nitrogen fertiliser during the growing season will also help to boost leaf size. Slugs and snails love hostas, so you will need to protect against them. Use an organic nematode treatment in early spring to ward off slugs. Or simply stick to planting it in a container.
Water your hosta well as soon as you plant it and from then on water regularly during their first growing season. Give them a water about once or twice a week around the base of the plant, avoiding the leaves. Little and often can be disatrous as it encourages the plant to produce roots closer to the surface in a desperate quest for moisture.
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