WHY YOU SHOULD PLANT IT
Hostas are among the most reliable plants in the garden: No matter what kind of weather is thrown at them, they always tend to look good. ‘Autumn Frost’ – which descends from the greatest of all the blue hostas, H. ‘Halcyon’ – has been bred to be more tolerant of heat, drought and all other ills except slugs. It starts off with yellow margins that turn a creamy white over the season, but the misty blue centre stays true. It also has purple scapes with lavender flowers that are hummingbird magnets.
WHERE TO PLANT IT
Keep it out of the late-day sun. It will thrive in part to full shade inorganic-rich, well-drained soil. Though it will tolerate drought, it does need to be watered regularly until it’s established. It is also a fantastic container plant under the same conditions. H. ‘Autumn Frost,’ a Zone 4 specimen, grows to 30 by 60 centimetres; its scapes can rise another 30 centimetres in height.
WHAT IT OFFERS
Because it’s bred as a tetraploid, ‘Autumn Frost’ has twice as many chromosomes as normal hostas,which are diploids. It is therefore twice as tough and weather-resistant as other hostas. In the future, this is what we are going to have to look for in plants; severe weather can be rough on most of them, but hostas seem to be able to take it. This one is a show stopper and should be placed so you can see it easily either in the ground or in a pot. Don’t overcrowd it with other plants – it needs room to breathe and show off.
In terms of pairings, it’s staggering with a fern such as Athyrium ‘Ghost,’ as each picks up the pale blue in the other’s foliage.
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