- Position: partial or full shade
- Soil: fertile, moist, well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: fast-growing
- Flowering period: July and August
- Hardiness: fully hardy
A smart hosta, with heart-shaped, olive-green, puckered leaves beautifully offset by neat white margins. Spikes of trumpet-shaped, lavender-blue flowers appear in July and August and, provided they are protected from slug and snail damage, the leaves retain their freshness until the end of September. This pretty plaintain makes a statement on its own in a large container, or try it as a bright full stop in a shady area under deciduous trees.
- 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 a container.
Water your hostas well as soon as you plant them 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.