Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

Hosta ‘Autumn Frost’ (Handout/Garden Plus)
Hosta ‘Autumn Frost’ (Handout/Garden Plus)

A plant that will shine - no matter what the weather Add to ...

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.

More Related to this Story

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.

SOURCE AND COST

Find it for $15.95 at nurseries such as Gardens Plus (www.gardensplus.ca) in Peterborough,Ont. Visit www.marjorieharris.com for more plant and gardening information.

 

In the know

Most popular videos »

Highlights

More from The Globe and Mail

Most popular