- Position: partial or full shade
- Soil: fertile, moist, well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: July and August
- Hardiness: fully hardy
Huge, sculptural, corrugated grey-blue leaves are topped with spikes of trumpet-shaped flowers of the palest lilac in July and August. When the plant has finished flowering, the seed pods split into tiny, star-like segments. The striking leaves of this plaintain lily make a dramatic full stop at a woodland edge, where they contrast beautifully with ferns and other foliage plants. 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.
“Probably the most quilted hosta leaves of all with seersucker bumps - held upright on long stems for maximum impact and butter-yellow autumn colour as well”
Val Bourne - Garden Writer