Giant Hostas

Give your yard larger-than-life style with giant hostas.
By: Julie A Martens
Substantial Sum and Substance Hosta

Substantial Sum and Substance Hosta

Photo by: DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Garden Design, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Make your yard the talk of the block with giant hostas. These oversize perennials embody easy-care beauty in a plant that’s fuss free. Giant hostas unfurl leaves in many hues, including blue, gold and variegated patterns. The gargantuan plants may also be sun tolerant and can boast slug resistance. Learn more about giant hostas and how to showcase them in your garden.

Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ is one of the classic giant hostas. Its leaves can grow up to 2 feet across and vary in color, from green to chartreuse to gold, depending on how much sun the plant receives. Individual plants of Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ grow 3 to 4 feet high and an easy 6 feet across. There’s actually a record-holding ‘Sum and Substance’ hosta plant that measures 114 inches (nearly 10 feet) across and stands 48 inches high.

Another giant hosta well-known for its gargantuan size is Hosta ‘Empress Wu.’ This oversize charmer forms a can’t-miss clump—up to 48 inches tall by 70 inches across. It definitely is a stand out in the landscape. By midsummer, flowers appear on a 54-inch-tall stalk.

Other large hostas include Hosta ‘Sagae,’ which grows 31 inches tall by 70 inches wide. Leaves unfurl in a striking blue tone with wavy white margins. This is not only a slug resistant hosta with wrinkled and thickened leaves, it also falls into the hostas for sun category. Hosta ‘Sagae’ usually takes 5 years to reach maturity.

Hosta ‘Great Expectations’ is another beautiful giant hosta that grows up to 20 inches tall and 40 inches wide. Thick, corrugated leaves make this hosta slug resistant and stage a spectacular show through the growing season. Leaf margins are blue-green and wrap around a center that kicks off spring with chartreuse, then fades to yellow and ultimately white through the growing season. The depth of each color varies depending on light intensity.

Growing giant hostas starts with choosing the right varieties. Then it’s a matter of providing just-right care to encourage plants to reach their full size. Give plants plenty of elbow room. Avoid overcrowding with nearby plantings, especially trees. Many giant hostas fail to achieve their full potential due to competing tree roots that swipe water and nutrients from soil.

It’s also vital to give giant hostas a steady water supply. Keep soil around plants moist to prevent leaves from wilting and to encourage fullest leaf formation. A mulch layer over soil is another key to supplying giant hostas with adequate moisture. Mulch helps slow water loss from soil, keeping it available to plant roots.

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