My hosta garden is looking great this year. Amazingly, I haven’t had any deer nibble on any of my hosta. (Let’s hope this continues.) We have marked a few of the mature trees in our hosta garden that will need pruning this winter to let in a little more sunlight. Some areas are just getting too shady. In doing a review of the blue hostas that we have – a few are leading the pack!
Blue hosta . Why is a hosta blue? The leaves of the blue hosta are covered with a glaucous coating – or a waxy covering – which gives the leaf a blue or grey appearance. This covering protects the leaves – from sun and heat and the insects that may come a calling. This same waxy covering is found in some fruits – such as blueberries & plums. The more the waxy appearance – the bluer the leaf appears.
All hosta – even though they are considered a SHADE perennial – need some sunlight. The blues love indirect sunlight – or morning sun. The more direct sunlight it receives, the sunlight will eventually “melt” this waxy covering and cause it to fade out – or sunburn on the leaves. Overhead watering can also cause the glaucous covering to fade away. A blue hosta gets bluer and bluer with each passing year – maturing eventually at age 5 or 6.
My favorite blues – Abiqua Drinking Gourd, Love Pat, Krossa Regal, Black Hills and Deep Blue Sea. These are five that I have had in my mature hosta garden for years. HOWEVER, there are a few new comers that are definitely making a statement. Summer Squall – a medium to large hosta in only its second summer, is amazing. Bluetini – a small to medium hosta is about the cutest little clump of pretty blue leaves.. I may need to do more than one of these in my hosta collection.
The two new blues that have made the biggest impression on me this summer are Blue Lettuce and Smokey Mountains. Both have a somewhat rippled leaf and for a blue hosta – are growing vigorously.
Blue hosta can be paired with gold varieties or variegated hosta and will make a statement. Keep in mind that you should not give blue hosta the afternoon or direct sunlight!