Monday, August 31, 2020

Top Ten Hostas to Brighten Up Your Shade Garden

The Shining Hosta in full bloom

Top Ten  Hostas to Brighten up your Shade Garden

Shady garden spaces don't have to be bland. There are the usual colorful shade perennials like the usual suspects like Astilbe, Foxglove and Bleeding Hearts. Those are good perennial shade garden plants to use in adding some bright colors to a shady garden spot.

But have you ever considered incorporating bright-colored hostas into your shade garden layout?

Here at Sunset Hosta Farm, we grow and sell the hostas we love. We have a good selection of bright leafed hostas.

Here are our top ten recommendations. Click on the name to see more information.

Small Hostas

Size: Small
Height: 12” Width up to 20”
Amber Tiara has thick chartreuse oval-shaped leaves with a blunt tip. It forms an attractive dense mound. The flowers are light purple on 22” scapes in late summer. Sure to brighten up your hosta garden.

Size: Small
Height: 10” Width up to 30”
A sport of H 'Sea Fire', Saint Elmo's Fire is a true beauty that is noted for its showy yellow leaves. As the season progresses, the leaves turn light green with pretty white margins. A very attractive bi-colored foliage display. It's a stunner!

Medium Hostas 

Size: Medium
Height: 18: Width up to 44”
The leaves of Grand Tiara are thick, heart-shaped, ovate and wavy. The gold margin is much wider than 'Golden Tiara' which gives the effect of a golden yellow leaf with a center splash of green. Good sun tolerance. The morning sun enhances the leaf color. In summer, the clumps are literally smothered with scapes of purple flowers making it one of the most popular Tiaras.

Size: Medium
Height: 16” Width up to 37”
June's leaves are of thick substance, 6” long and 4” wide at full growth making it very slug resistant. It sports a nice gold center and blue-green margins. The leaf center will turn green if sited in deep shade. Pretty lavender blooms in the summer. A sport of the popular H. Halcyon. Very pretty as well as sun tolerant. Part of our Hosta of the Year series. (2001)

Size: Medium
Height: 18” Width up to 30”
The reverse sport of H. Patriot, this hosta features dark green margins and white centers. The leaves are of very heavy substance. It displays pale lavender flowers in mid-summer. A great specimen plant and a real beauty. Always on top of the customer favorite list and one of the best white-centered hostas ever!

The Shining

Size: Medium
Height: 20” Width up to 36”
This fast-growing beauty of the hosta world is especially charming when in bloom. Unlike most hostas, this bright mound of gold foliage produces gorgeous white to light lavender fragrant flowers in late summer. It displays the best color with half a day of sun. A stunner, and one you will want to use as a specimen plant or as a focal point.

Large to Very Large Hostas

Size: Large
Height: 22” Width up to 40”
If you want a bright yellow color and you want it fast, this is the hosta for you. Dancing Queen has deep veins and heavily textured leaves. It emerges bright yellow in the spring and fades to pale yellow over the summer. Lavender flowers contrast nicely with the golden foliage in mid-summer. 

 Place near dark blue or green hostas and watch it stand out. A fast, reliable grower. Plant in bright a.m.. sun for its best color.


Size: Large
Height: 24” Width up to 54”
Guacamole is one fast grower and will fill an area quickly. It forms large, dense clumps and thrives in partial shade where the sun can brighten the leaf centers. Its avocado green leaves are shiny with a dark green wide margin. The leaves are moderately folded. Fragrant white blooms appear in early summer making it perfect for planting near walkways, patios, decks or paths. Very sun tolerant. 2002 Hosta of the Year!

Size: Very Large
Height: 36” Width up to 72”

One of the largest hostas available today and one of the earliest hostas to emerge in the spring. It has broadly ovate leaves which form a huge mound of lime green leaves with a glossy texture. The leaves of Sum and Substance change to yellow when exposed to more sunlight. It has pale lavender blooms in mid-summer. It's sun and heat tolerant. Deserved the distinction of Hosta of the Year in 2004.


Size: Large
Height: 28” Width up to 70”
Sun Power forms clumps of upright vase-shaped arching brilliant gold leaves that are more intense when grown in the sun but it will also simply glow in shadier spots. It has pale lavender to white flowers in mid-summer. Also drought tolerant. This hosta will hold its color until frost.

Fire Island Hosta for a shade garden


Incorporate some bright-colored hostas into the shady portion of your garden today!


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