'Lemon Lime' and 'Pineapple Juice' hostas line a walkway
Photo: Alison Rosa
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Sun Tolerance and Color

Hosta foliage is long-lasting, peeking up through the soil in late spring and remaining until fall, though hot climates will sap color before late September. In early or midsummer, tall spikes extend from the center of the plant and fill with white or lavender trumpet-shaped flowers that last through August. Some gardeners choose to prune them off, redirecting energy and focus back to the showier foliage.

Pay a little attention to where you plant hostas and you'll be rewarded with bright color and good growth. Most do best with 3 to 6 hours of morning sun. The brighter chartreuse and gold cultivars tolerate more sun. Mostly white hostas usually don't fare well in shade because they lack the chlorophyll required to make food. Afternoon sun, especially in the South, will stress plants and fade leaves. Blue hostas are particularly susceptible to too much sun, which softens the naturally occurring protective wax that keeps them blue, reverting them back to their true green color.

Shown: Lining a walkway with 'Lemon Lime' mini hostas creates a clean border and allows taller varieties, such as golden 'Pineapple Juice' (upper right), to stand out.
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