African Garden + winter

Why Would Anyone Want to Grow Hostas? Reason #7
Hosta 'Candy Hearts' in full autumn color with Corylus avellana 'Red Majestic'

I know there are native plant snobs out there, who would rather pave over their garden than plant Hostas. I am not one of them. It's hard to knock a plant that survives drought, deluge, heat, humidity and Zone 5 winters. It also has wildlife value, which I wrote about last year for Beautiful Wildlife Gardens. As if all that isn't reason enough to grow them, they shine like beacons in the fall garden.

All year long, I mostly ignore Hosta 'Candy Hearts', but in October and November, it demands attention as its plain green leaves morph into sold gold. (See above image.) Even before the leaves fully turn, the rising autumnal hints of Hosta foliage coloration are entrancing.

Hosta 'Krossa Regal' reaching its full color potential.

Even chartreuse-foliaged cultivars turn a spectacular color.

Hosta 'Maui Buttercups' at peak coloration

While this is pretty special, the variegated Hostas can be even better.

Hosta 'Dream Weaver'
Hosta 'Olive Bailey Langdon' at peak color
Hosta 'Sweet Home Chicago'

There is one caveat - these leaves have been around all summer, so any damage from hail or slugs can mar the show. (None of these images have been altered.)

Hosta 'Striptease'

Although from a distance, the damage is easier to ignore,

Hosta 'Striptease in bottom right, with Cornus alternifolia in back

this is just another reason to see out slug-resistant cultivars, such as the unbeatable 'June',

among the last of the Hostas here at Squirrelhaven to start the autumn transformation. Some years, the show lasts longer than others, but inevitably, they all collapse to be tidied away for next spring.

Hostas 'Krossa Regal' in front and 'Olive Bailey Langdon'

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Why Would Anyone Want to Grow Hostas? Reason #7 + winter