Hosta and Sun Tolerance
Hostas do not always have to be relegated to the shadiest parts of the garden. Many varieties will tolerate sun to some degree. Our suggestions are no guarantee as to the plant’s performance. They will not look as good in afternoon sun as the same variety planted in dappled shade or morning sun. In very hot, dry summers they may have a duller look or have some burning. Additional irrigation will benefit them through long hot weeks. Keep in mind that reflected light from surrounding structures could burn a hosta, too.
The general rule is:
All morning sunshine is welcome. Full or partial afternoon shade is appreciated. Hostas loose a lot of water through their leaves and the hot sun will sap their strength rather quickly. The heat will burn the plants from the edges to the center of the leaves.
The exceptions are:
- Thick Leafed Hosta: Generally, thin leafed varieties will burn easier than thicker leafed ones.
- Fragrant Hosta: Hostas with fragrant blooms require more sun to bloom well. They can tolerate a great deal of afternoon sun: Royal Standard, Honeybells, So Sweet, Plantaginea, Fragrant Blue, Guacamole, Hoosier Harmony, Fragrant Bouquet
- Yellow and Yellow-Centered Hosta: To maintain the yellow color 1-2 hours of direct sun are needed. They will start to turn green in too much shade.
- Variegated Hosta: Because of the variegation there is less chlorophyll produced for the plant to use. Strong morning sun will do these well, but not all day.
- Hosta Observed to be More Tolerant: Observing hosta in many gardens we’ve noticed some varieties that tolerate more sun than usual:
- Blues: sieboldiana ‘Elegans’, Halcyon, Krossa Regal, Blue Umbrellas
- Variegated: Francee, undulata ‘Albo-marginata, Ginko Craig, Fire & Ice, Paul’s Glory, June, On Stage, Sagae, Patriot, Minuteman
- Green: lancifolia, ventricosa, Sum and Substance
- Yellow: August Moon, Sun Power, Gold Edger, Orange Marmalade, Golden Tiara, Dawn’s Early Light, Gold Standard