question about hostas tolerance in relation to color

MarinewifencApril 6, 2013

Is there any relation at all between the color of the hosta and it's ability to tolerate heat / sun. I live in a very hot area so I am wondering if there are any i should avoid. I only have one hosta so I have nothing to compare it to in this area.

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Babka NorCal 9b

Didn't you say you lived in NC? You don't list your USDA Zone. I don't think you are VERY hot...compared to Dallas TX, for example). I think the "able to tolerate sun" relates more to your latitude than to the heat. I'm out here 50 miles south of San Francisco. Hostas do very well with an east exposure here. More than that will cook them. Up in Canada they can take just about full sun. If you put in a few and they get fried on the edges, you can always move them. They will tell you if they are happy.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 2:04AM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Duplicate...Why does it do this?

This post was edited by Babka on Sun, Apr 7, 13 at 2:14

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 2:05AM
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Substance is important. In my experience thinner hostas, especially those with a lot of white on them, melt out more easily. An example from my garden is, Undulata. I've had the best luck with a couple of fortunei group, Fortunei Aureomarginata and Francee went through the last couple of summers in full sun, including consecutive days in June, with 15 hours of sun over 90ú. In fact it was nearly 100ú. Striptease had a only a few brown leaves and I cut them off. I find the plantaginea group not as tolerant of full sun, but they do need half a day of sun for those nice smelly flowers. I have mine in sun until 1 pm.

Some yellow hostas have been said to keep their bright yellow longer in the sun. I've tried this with Sum and Substance and it fried. However a couple of small ones have worked out for me in sun, for example Gold Edger.

That being said, I prefer to plant my hosta in the part shade. They don't need as much water and are prettier to me. In shade they keep their bright green. As Babka said - morning sun is best and she is one of our hot weather experts. Keep in mind, I'm in MN.

Happy hosta shopping.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 7:36AM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

I'm in Dallas. (I grow in pots, so I can move them.) They do fine in full sun until about May 15, then I have to move them to shade. They're fine in morning sun, but they burn in afternoon sun. So, for me it's related to the time of year and day.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 8:13AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

blue is a waxy coating on the leaf surface .. that can get hot and be worn off by hard rain or the sprinkler ... or rubbed off ...

especially if the wax is in hot sun ...

white tissue is a nothing to the functioning of the leaf.. a total drain... and in sun.. will simply brown out and turn crisp ... some plants can take it .... others just fry .. but never die ... they actually grow better in more sun.. they just look like carp earlier in the season


    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 9:49AM
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oops I am zone 8a south eastern nc, coastal area.

I've only had two hostas, one green and patriot, patriot hated sun and he only got it in the late evening 5pm on. never let him stay there long enough to crisp or brown, but looked upset. My green one didn't seem to mind, it's a dark green and I am unsure of it's name but it had one. I know they can't take much sun here, so the designated areas for them in my garden are full shade absolutely no sun ever, and late afternoon sun.

i got a couple new ones now but they are just starting to unfurl and i have them in full sun now but potted and will need to move to shade once it gets hotter. patriot was my only experience with white so i wasn't sure if it was the plant or the color. i want a yellow one too and a blue so wasn't sure what they can and can't take.

We get 90-110 weather from as early as may to as late as sept, with high humidity.

ive never put one in the ground here but was going to this year since i have so many other potted plants, and when it storms (only hurricane or tornado) bad i have to move my potted to the garage which becomes a PITA when my husbands deployed or doing field training and i have to do it myself. maybe it's time to invest in some kind of garden cart.

im back and forth on whether or not to go in the ground or stick to containers. i have clay soil, you could make a pot with it, but when i walked around the other garden areas i saw a lot of old mulch decomposed to the point of being soil, so ive been thinking of lifting the garden mat and planting, and then when it comes time to move i can jst dig them up put a new landscape mat down and cover it back up with mulch to look like it was when we got here.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 4:09PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

I would stick to the pots. People grow them here in the ground, but not without heroic soil preparation. (I also have clay and it's alkaline on top of that.) You'll do best with a well draining potting soil. For me, they have a tendency to rot in heavy soil or moisture control potting soil.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 6:35PM
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Yeah, like BK notes, avoide the moisture control version of potting soil. It will rot your hosta.

I know all about the hurricane stuff, and pots can become lethal missiles in high winds. But if you make some raised beds with landscape fabric beneath, your hosta can be in the ground and not have to be moved. At the time you must move, put those babies in small doubled plastic bags from the grocery store regardless of the season, and take them with you. Who would know but what that empty raised bed had contained veggies or annual flowers?

It is always a good idea to mark where your hosta are in the ground in case they are dormant when you wish to dig them up. When we moved south and took the hosta, I'd dug them up before they went dormant, put them in small pots, let them get dormant, and then when we moved they came south asleep and never skipped a beat. Most I had transported in a big plastic tote.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 9:14PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

Often, being able to grow hosta in warmer climates is attributed to growing in pots. That may, or may not be true, but many of us think so. The theory is that the hosta get more cold than they would in the ground. Someone said 45 days of chilling temperatures is required for hosta to survive. (It wasn't said what that chilling temperature was.)

I had no luck in the ground, but didn't do the heroic soil preparation, either.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 9:06AM
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