Archive for Thursday, April 19, 2001

Hostas add a little color to your yard

April 19, 2001

Courtesy of ARA Content

Hostas are as popular as ever among consumers. But today's most popular variety goes beyond just your basic green and white it's actually blue.

"Consumers are absolutely in love with blue hostas," says Gordy Oslund, owner of a mail-order company called Shady Oaks Nursery.

Of all the hostas they currently feature, less than 15 percent are considered blue, yet the blues continue to outsell all the others.

He believes the reason thehostas are so popular is American gardeners are becoming more knowledgeable.

"Gardeners now realize that other hostas exist besides the basic green and white ones that their parents or grandparents used to grow," he said.

He also feels that the building boom of past years has helped the industry.

"Shade gardening is becoming more and more prevalent as homeowners face increasing amounts of shade from their maturing landscape.

As a homeowner's trees grow, so does the amount of shade that those trees cast," Oslund said.

Blue hostas appear blue because each leaf is covered with a waxy coating.

Depending on the variety, some blue hostas appear greenish-blue, while others can be almost powdery blue.

"No matter how blue a hosta is, all will appear greener when grown in too much sun," Oslund said. "Blue hostas appear bluest when grown in medium to heavy shade."

Because of the waxy coating, these hostas have thicker and tougher leaves which are harder for slugs and snails to eat.

These pests will often seek out more tender foliage elsewhere before nibbling on these hostas.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.