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Sun Tolerant Hostas: Popular Hostas To Grow In Sun

Sun Tolerant Hostas: Popular Hostas To Grow In Sun


By: Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden

Hostas addinteresting foliage to areas in need of large, spreading and colorful leaves.Hostas are most often considered shade plants. It’s true that most hosta plantsshould grow in a partial shade or dappled sun area to keep leaves from burning,but there are now many sun-loving hostas available for the garden.

About Hostas for Sunny Spots

Newer hostas for sunny spots areappearing in the market with the claim of being hostas that tolerate the sun.Yet, there are hostas for sun that have grown for decades in many well-plantedgardens too.

These plants can grow happily inareas that make morning sun available to them. Afternoon shade is a necessity,especially during those hot summer days. Further success comes from consistentwatering and planting them in rich soil. Add a layer of organic mulch to helphold and conserve moisture.

Sun Tolerant Hostas

Let’s take a look at what’savailable and see how well these hybrids grow in a sunny spot. Sun-lovinghostas may help fill your landscaping needs. Those with yellow leaves or genesof the Hosta plantaginea family areamong the best hosta plants to grow in sun. Interestingly, those with fragrantblooms grow best in full morning sun.

  • Sun Power – A bright gold hosta holding color well when planted in morning sun. Grows vigorously with twisted, wavy leaves and pointed tips. Lavender flowers.
  • Stained Glass – A sport of Guacamole with gold center colors that are brighter and wide green bands around edges. Fragrant, lavender bloom.
  • Sun Mouse – A miniature hosta with rippled leaves that are bright gold in morning sun. This member of the Mouse hosta collection, developed by grower Tony Avent, is so new that nobody is yet sure how much sun it will tolerate. Try it if you want to experiment.
  • Guacamole – The 2002 Hosta of the Year, this is a large leaf specimen with wide green border and chartreuse in the center. Veins are lined with dark green in some conditions. A rapid grower with fragrant flowers, this is proof that sun-tolerant hostas have existed for years.
  • Regal Splendor – Also a Hosta of the Year, in 2003, this one has large, interesting leaves as well. It has gold margins with mostly blue-green leaves. It is a sport of Krossa Regal, another blue-leaved plant. Great tolerance of morning sun, flowers are lavender.

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The Best Hostas to Plant in Sun

Not all hostas are made for the shade. Learn how to grow sun-tolerant hostas successfully and which varieties do best.

Hosta 'Guacamole'

'Guacamole' is a medium-sized hosta with wide, oval leaves the color of—yep, you guessed it—guacamole. The avocado-colored leaves also feature darker green veins and margins. Its white flowers that appear in midsummer are extremely fragrant.

'Guacamole' is a medium-sized hosta with wide, oval leaves the color of—yep, you guessed it—guacamole. The avocado-colored leaves also feature darker green veins and margins. Its white flowers that appear in midsummer are extremely fragrant.

Related To:

Hosta 'Sum and Substance'

Botanical Names: Hosta ‘Sum and Substance,’ Hosta ‘Guacamole,’ Hosta ‘Stained Glass,’ Hosta ‘August Moon,’ Hosta ‘Fortunei Hyacinthina,’ Hosta ‘Fortunei Aureomarginata,’ Hosta plantaginea, Hosta ‘Ambrosia,’ Hosta ‘Fried Green Tomatoes,’ Hosta ‘Sun Power,’ Hosta ‘Fried Bananas’

Did you know you could buy hostas for sun? Despite being called full sun hostas, these plants aren’t like a coneflower or daisy that can take eight hours of intense sun. Rather, hostas that withstand sun are referred to as sun tolerant hostas. That means they can take some sun — definitely a little more than most of their shade-loving hosta cousins — but still need protection from hot afternoon sun. Hostas for sun share some common characteristics.

Many of the sun tolerant hostas tend to have thicker leaves. Often the full sun hostas also have very textural leaves with patterns that are embossed, puckered, pleated, wrinkled, or ruffled. Botanically, these leaves are described as being rugose. Many gardeners refer to these types of leaves as corrugated. Hostas with rugose leaves also tend to be more slug resistant.

Hosta 'August Moon'

The leaves of 'August Moon' are a light yellow-green that turns gold over time if exposed to enough sunlight. This large hosta can reach a height of 3 feet and a spread of 5 feet wide.

The leaves of 'August Moon' are a light yellow-green that turns gold over time if exposed to enough sunlight. This large hosta can reach a height of 3 feet and a spread of 5 feet wide.

Examples of rugose type hostas for sun include Hosta ‘Sum and Substance,’ Hosta ‘Guacamole,’ Hosta ‘Stained Glass’ and Hosta ‘August Moon.’ Many of the Hosta fortunei hybrids and sports also have rugose leaves, including Hosta ‘Fortunei Hyacinthina’ and Hosta ‘Fortunei Aureomarginata.’

Many hostas with fragrant flowers fall into the sun tolerant hostas group. These hostas usually have a touch of Hosta plantaginea in their family tree. Hosta plantaginea, which is a sun tolerant hosta, is a Chinese native that opens white flowers in late summer at dusk, releasing a heady perfume. Other fragrant varieties of hostas for sun include Hosta ‘Ambrosia’ and Hosta ‘Fried Green Tomatoes.’

Hostas for sun also feature many varieties with gold or yellow tone leaves. These lighter colored hostas do tend to burn in full sun, so plan to provide protection from the hottest afternoon sun. Hosta ‘Sun Power’ unfurls bright chartreuse leaves that splash gold into a planting, while Hosta ‘Fried Bananas’ brings a real glow to any landscape with its shiny gold leaves.

The thing to know about sun tolerant hostas is that while they withstand more sun than traditional shade-loving hostas, they do need protection from sun during the hottest part of the day. In Zone 6 and north, hostas can tolerate more sun than in warmer zones. In the hottest zones, even sun tolerant hostas will have a tough time withstanding more than a few hours of sun.

In all growing zones, hostas for sun thrive best when they have plenty of moisture. Plan to water sun tolerant hostas more than their cousins growing in cooler, shady conditions. Also maintain a thick mulch over soil on sun tolerant hostas to help conserve soil moisture. As you plan which hostas for sun fit your landscape needs, visit local nurseries in August and check out the hostas. The ones that don’t have burnt leaves are sturdy sun tolerant hostas that you can count on to perform in your yard.


1) Yellow Hostas

General yellow hostas are the most common type. They grow well in full sun, as well as partial shade. (Beware of planting them in a location with full shade, as they won’t grow as large and may not bloom. Some of these varietals include Sun Power, Rising Sun, Gold Regal, and Squash Casserole.

As you can tell by the names of the first two types, they’ll do quite well in full sun. The rest, such as August Moon, Sum, and Golden Sculpture, will grow well in sunny areas, too.


Best Hostas for Shade in Part Sun and Part Shade

14. Humpback Whale Hosta

Easy to grow Humpback Whale has large blue-green corrugated leaves. The waves of blue green foliage resembles the deep oceans which the namesake calls home. The broad leaf features a hump in the middle where the tip dips downward similar to the tail of the marine mammal as it sinks to the lower ocean. Light lavender to white blooms appear in the Summer. Grows in zones 3 to 8 in part Sun and part shade. Reaches 3 feet tall with a spread between 4 to 7 feet wide! The lavender blooms attract hummingbirds and butterflies. The massive Humpback Whale likes moist soil.


Watch the video: Hostas in Pots