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Hosta Color Changes

Hostas are a favorite among gardeners for their stunning variety of colors and textures. Their leaves come in a kaleidoscope of shades, from buttery yellow to deep forest green and powdery blue. But the magic does not stop there! Many hostas put on a dazzling color-changing display throughout the growing season.

Hosta Hue Shifts:

Hostas showcase three main types of color transformations:

  • Viridescence: These hostas start with vibrant hues like yellow, chartreuse, or whitish-green, then gradually transform into deeper greens as the season progresses.
  • Lutescence: Get ready for a lightening act! Lutescent hostas become progressively lighter throughout the season. Expect a shift from chartreuse to yellow or a deepening of lighter greens.
  • Albescence: Albescent hostas start yellow or chartreuse and then lighten dramatically, transforming into stunning white tones.

The Science Behind the Blue:

The captivating blue hues of some hostas are an illusion caused by a waxy coating on the leaves. This coating reflects light, making the leaves appear blue. The amount of chlorophyll present also plays a role, with some blues appearing lighter or darker. However, this beautiful blue is not permanent. As the season progresses and the waxy coating is exposed to heat, harsh watering, or certain pesticides, it can diminish, causing the leaves to lose their blue shimmer.

Tips for Maintaining Blue Hostas:

  • Choose wisely: Select newer blue varieties known for their exceptional waxy coating.
  • Light matters: Plant your hostas where they receive ample indirect or filtered light. Early morning sun is ideal in most areas. Most importantly, protect them from the harsh afternoon sun.
  • Gentle care: Avoid practices that can rub off the waxy coating, such as high-pressure irrigation or petroleum-based pesticides.

Examples of Hosta Color Transformations:

  • Hosta montana 'Aureomarginata': Despite its name suggesting a gold margin, this hosta's yellowish margin fades to creamy white, then often lightens even further to white in summer.
  • Hosta 'Sea Fire': This aptly named hosta emerges with a bright yellow that rivals daffodils in spring. However, summer brings a transformation, turning the leaves a lush tropical green.
  • Hosta 'Gold Standard': Do not be fooled by the name! Early spring growth is green or chartreuse, not gold. The characteristic golden center develops later in the season.
  • Hosta 'Undulata Mediopicta': The white centers of this variety often succumb to summer heat, transforming into a green "frosting" before turning entirely green.
  • Hosta 'Remember Me': This hosta is a true chameleon. It emerges with bright gold leaves edged in blue-green, but by midsummer, the centers become ivory or white. The change is so dramatic, it can be unrecognizable from its spring form.

With their ever-changing color palette and fascinating foliage, hostas offer a captivating display throughout the growing season. So, add some hostas to your garden and enjoy their vibrant transformations!

If there are no plants listed, we may be sold out this season.