Garden design and maintenance

These are the hosta varieties that can withstand the sun

Hostas are known to brighten up shady spots and add texture and color to tricky spots in the garden. While hostas are usually referred to as “shade-tolerant” plants, which means that they grow in shade or partial shade, some varieties can also tolerate some sun. Some varieties even benefit from some sun exposure to keep their foliage vibrant and colorful. The sun also has a positive effect on flower formation. However, it is not recommended to leave the hosta in the blazing sun all the time, as otherwise the leaves can burn and turn brown. Too much sun can also cause the colorful foliage to fade. Read on to find out which hostas can handle full sun!

Hostas for full sun

white and green hosta for full sun

Hostas with yellow-gold leaves or fragrant flowers often tolerate more sun than hostas with green, blue or white leaves.

Of course, there are always exceptions, and maybe you even have a hosta that is in full sun and thrives splendidly – so there is no hard and fast rule. Keep an eye on newly planted hostas and place them in a shady spot if the leaves turn brown around the edges.

Combine hostas with different colors

In general, yellow hostas can handle a little more sun without losing their bright yellow color. About two hours of sun a day make these yellow-green beauties look their best. A location with morning sun and afternoon shade would be ideal.

The fragrant hostas of the species Hosta plantaginea also need sun to develop their flowers. The hostas of the Plantaginea family can tolerate 4 to 6 hours of sun.

Hostas prefer sun or shade?

Keep in mind that full sun will vary from area to area and even at different times of the day. The full sun in the morning hours is not as intense as the full sun at noon, and solar radiation in southern regions of Germany can be much stronger compared to northern climates. Yellow and fragrant hostas need a certain amount of sunlight, but they don’t like being in the blazing sun. So if your sunny location is extremely hot or dry, you should provide your hostas with drip irrigation so that they are well watered.

Hostas for partial shade

Hosta Halcyon for partial shade

Although they are known for their shade tolerance, most hosta varieties do well if they get some sun in the morning and some shade in the afternoon. Too much sun will result in burned leaves, starting from the edges inwards. The leaves then look brown, dry, and paper-like. Too much sun also makes the colors of the ornamental leaf fade.

Blue-leaf hostas need the most protection from the sun. The leaves of blue hostas are not really blue. Instead, a waxy layer on the green leaves gives the plant its bluish appearance. In the blazing, hot sun, this layer of wax melts and exposes the green leaf underneath, which changes the color of the plant from blue to green. Rain can also fade the waxy coating over the course of the growing season.

White hostas

Funkia Hosta with White Leaves White Feather

There are several types of hosta with white leaves or variegation. Unfortunately, the only way to find out which types of white hostas can handle full sun without getting sunburn is through trial and error. The thicker the leaves, the more sun-tolerant the hosta is. Thin-leaf hostas, like ‘White Christmas’ in the picture below, should be in partial shade to keep them looking their best.

White-green hosta variety White Christmas

One problem with pale-leaved or white variegated hostas is that the leaves are white because they contain little chlorophyll. In full sun, the chlorophyll content of the plant can increase, making the leaves green and less colorful. The best results are achieved with white variegated hostas if you plant them in a location with only morning sun. As a rule of thumb, the thinner the leaves, the less sun the plant can tolerate.

Is your hosta getting too much sun??

Hosta with sunburn

The only real gauge of how well your plant is coping with the sun is how it is doing. There are two clear signs that your hosta is getting too much sun:

  • You notice a browning of the leaf tips or the outer leaf margins.
  • Your plant’s leaves will turn pale or have faded spots.

If your hosta is not doing as well as you would like it to be, consider transplanting it. Hostas are sturdy plants and tolerate transplanting all too well.

Hostas that can take full sun

Funkie Hosta for full sun Sum and Substance

Based on previous experience, the American Hosta Society and amateur gardeners recommend some varieties and hybrids that can tolerate the sun. Note that these suggestions will vary and depend on your location, the exact amount of sunlight and of course any other location conditions.

Yellow-leaved hostas: ‘Sum and Substance’, August Moon ‘,’ Gold Regal ‘

Yellow variegated hostas: ‘Gold Standard’, ‘Inniswood’, ‘Regal Splendor’, ‘Rainforest Sunrise’

Fragrant hostas: Hosta plantaginea family, including ‘Aphrodite’, ‘Ming Treasure’ and ‘Venus’; ‘Fragrant Bouquet’, ‘Guacamole’, ‘Honeybells’,’ Invincible ‘,’ Royal Standard ‘,’ Summer Fragrance ‘,’ So Sweet ‘,’ Sugar & Cream ‘

White-bordered hostas: ‘Patriot’, ‘Albomarginata’, ‘Francee’, ‘Minuteman’

Green-leaved hostas: ‘Invincible’, ‘Pearl Lake’

These strains can handle some sunlight, not full sun

hosta halcyon sun

As mentioned earlier, blue hostas shouldn’t be planted in full sun. However, you can try planting these types of gray-blue hostas in sunny, but not full sun, locations.

Blue leaf hostas for sun: ‘Blue Angel’, ‘Elegans’, ‘Halcyon’, ‘Krossa Regal’