Also known as plantain lily, hostas produce showy sprays of fragrant white or lavender flowers. But gardeners grow them more for their stunning leaves, which unfurl from a central hub in a strikingly tidy way. The leaves are works of art, with crisp patterns on oval, heart or lance shapes. Colors include cream, light to dark green, chartreuse, gray and blue-green. Hostas aren't entirely carefree, since slugs and snails can pose a problem. To deter them, scatter iron phosphate pellets (sold for this purpose) around plants. Or choose naturally resistant varieties, which have heavily textured or waxy leaves; these include 'Blue Mouse Ears,' 'First Frost,' 'Krossa Regal' and 'Hadspen Blue.'
The thousands of hosta varieties grow from 3 inches to 5 feet across and up to 3 feet tall. Does best in partial or full sun, with regular water. Perennial in zones 3-9