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

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


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.


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.


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.


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.

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