Hosta for a dark, dark corner

jamie81(4b)July 23, 2013

Do any of you have suggestions for a hosta that will thrive in a dark corner of my yard? Its bordering a wetland, so it gets plenty of moisture, but its not a wet area.

The cattails and the neighbors pine trees shade it, so it really gets no direct sun. But the trees are far enough away so there is no root competition (that is for Ken)

The green and white one grows like crazy in that area and the gold standards are huge. Fire & ice seems to do pretty well, but its not getting very big. I have tried Frances William and Blue Wedgewood and they did not do well.

Is anyone growing one that really likes deep shade?

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I have a dark corner of my lot.... nothing thrives there. But I will say that Satisfaction has done better than the rest in that corner.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 9:39AM
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robo (z6a)

Would it be true that the greener it is, the better it will do because it can maximize the little light it gets with the green area of the leaf? This might explain why the blues didn't do so great.

I had a corner of my yard in the absolute deepest of shade I was about to try some giant hosta in, however my neighbour just cut down her giant evergreen and now it's still...well, deep shade, just not pitch black over there. I'm glad she cut it down before I got the area planted! The tiny spindly azalea the well meaning previous owners had planted there doesn't know what to do with itself now! It may actually bloom next year!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 10:17AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

here is why various fail

fire and ice.. too much white for too dark.. besides the fact its NOT a vigorous hosta for many of us ... about 10 failed for me [yeah .. i know.. a bunch of peeps will say its the biggest hosta they have.. lol] ....

FW and BW both have tokudama/sieboldian heritage... and HATE... with a passion... wet cold feet ... especially in spring ...

it is not surprising.. that the workhorse undulata works there ... any of its brethren will also ....

so try to stay away from any big blue types.... and you ought to be all set ...

GS has about 50 million offspring... if one works.. they all should ....

if its too dark.. yellows might not get deep yellow ... its a chlorophyll thing...

skys the limit.. my point is.. somehow or another you picked two of the worst possible type of hosta for the spot.. with over 3000 to choose from.. lol


    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 10:23AM
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I knew you would have an opinion on this, ken.

The only reason I picked the two worst possible types of hosta is they were plants I could afford to lose. I have multiples of those two, so I gave it a shot.

So, stay away from blues, and yellows (except for gold standard), and whites....

How about my shrinking Black Hills? Dark greens should do well???

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 11:23AM
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bragu_DSM 5

my s. elegans and potomac pride seem to do well in deeper shade.

Perhaps I am lucky.


    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 11:27PM
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Thanks dave. I have a duplicate elegans, I will give that a shot.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 5:56AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5


you said DEEP DEEP SHADE ....

but then you are growing GS .. i presume successfully.. including color...

so i dont know if its as dark as you think..

as far as yellows.. all you can do is try them.. and if they tend toward green.. then its too dark...

but it isnt going to kill them... just not color up ... the way you want...

so if you have extra in the yellow/gold range ... then go for it...

bragu says those noted by him.. grow in dark.. i dont know if his area is swampy like yours...

you have TWO variables .. light level.. and damp ... how they play off each other.. its specific to your little slice of eden.. we can discuss it ad nauseum... but it will be for you to see how it works out ...

go for it with your duplicates ... that is what they are for... unless you want to throw on on the driveway ... lol...


    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 8:06AM
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leafwatcher(zone 5)

What about Empress Wu? would those big green leaves be able to pull in the energy from what little light the spot has?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 4:40PM
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Well, that would be interesting to try. I have the room.

But Ken is saying the dark green Black hills wouldn't work.

Not sure why.....

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 4:56PM
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idiothe(4 MN)

I'm with Ken - I wouldn't do any of the big blues of sieboldiana heritage there. That would include Elegans.

I grow Black Hills in the deepest shade... never touched by direct or even dappled sun... it is slowish, but they are beautiful. They are not growing in wet soil, though...

My nominee would be Elatior - giant plant, good grower in deep shade... or even better, Victory. That problem spot could turn into a star venue if you got a Victory to maturity there...

or maybe list some more of your extras.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 7:02PM
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to heck with extras! I need to go shopping.....

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 7:12PM
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bragu_DSM 5

you need to bind them with TAPE if you put them in the driveway ...

so deep deep is deeper than deep?

deep and damp

what's damp?

my 2 yr drought just keeps on "deepening" and deepening

^_^ -- ~


    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 7:34PM
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donrawson(Z 5)

Two hostas which are absolutely beautiful if planted in medium or deep shade are Carnival and Dust Devil. They are much more attractive when planted in a lot of shade then when planted in sun or light shade.

Another hosta to consider is Queen Josephine. If planted in sun or light shade, it will look ratty by mid-summer. But if Queen Josephine is planted in a lot of shade, it will look exquisite until late fall.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 7:37PM
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Thanks for all the great suggestions. There are sooo many hosta. It really helps a lot when someone says, here, look at this one, it might work. I end up looking up something I've never heard of, and they are all so nice.

Don, all three of those are on my list. Anything that you can describe as absolutely beautiful or exquisite, that should grow in a lot of shade, is something I need to try.

And Jim, Victory deserves a chance too.

Now, I just need to master taking some pictures, so you can see what I am talking about when I ask all these questions.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 5:01AM
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