Plants A to Z

Which Hostas Can Grow Under The Sun?

Hostas are well-known for brightening shaded areas and giving texture and color to different garden corners. While hostas are commonly referred to as "shade-tolerant" plants because they can thrive in shadow or partial shade, several cultivars can also thrive in partial sunlight.

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A few kinds benefit from their exposure to the sun, keeping their foliage vivid and beautiful. The caveat here is that while some cultivars benefit from moderate sun exposure, it is not suggested that any hosta be left in direct sunlight all day since the leaves may scorch and turn brown.

Colorful foliage may fade if it is exposed to too much sunlight. However, if provided with a suitable amount of sunlight, many hostas become more vigorous and display their most bright colors.

Sun-loving Hostas

In general, hostas with yellow/gold leaves or fragrant blossoms can survive more sun exposure than those with green, blue, or white leaves. Of course, there are always exceptions, and you can have a hosta that thrives in full light, so this isn't a hard and fast rule. Keep an eye on newly planted hostas that get a lot of sunlight and relocate them to a shady spot if the edges of the leaves start to brown.

Yellow or gold hostas, in general, can withstand partial sun without losing their brilliant yellow hue. These yellow or golden beauties will look their finest with around two hours of regular light exposure. To avoid scorched leaves, aim for the early morning sun.

Similarly, to develop their blossoms, fragrant hostas of the species Hosta plantaginea require exposure to the sun. Hosta plantaginea is one of the sunniest hosta species, flourishing in as little as four to six hours of direct sunlight.

Keep in mind that the definition of a full-sun location varies by region and even by the time of day. The sun is not as intense in the morning hours as it is at midday, and solar exposure in southern states versus northern climates can be considerably more severe.

While yellow and fragrant hostas require some sun, they do not enjoy baking or frying in them. If your sunny location is very hot or dry, consider installing drip irrigation to keep your hostas well-watered.

Hostas For Partial shade

Despite its reputation for shade tolerance, most hosta cultivars thrive in a combination of morning sun and afternoon shade. Burned leaves develop from the margins inward after too much sun exposure. The leaves will be dark, dry, and papery in appearance. Colors fade when they are exposed to too much sunlight.

The blue hostas demand the most sun protection. Blue-colored hosta leaves aren't genuinely blue. Instead, the plant has a blueish look due to a waxy coating on the green foliage.

This waxy layer melts in direct sunlight, exposing the green leaf beneath and changing the color of your plant from blue to green. During the growing season, rain can also cause the waxy layer to vanish.

White Hostas 

Hostas with white leaves or variegation are available in numerous types. Unfortunately, only trial and error can reveal which white hosta varieties can withstand full sun without burning.

The thicker the leaves, the more tolerant of the sun the hosta will be. White variegated hostas with thin leaves, such as 'White Christmas,' should be planted in moderate shade to keep their most pleasing appearance.

White variegated hostas have difficulty in that their leaves are white due to a lack of chlorophyll. If the plant is exposed to direct sunlight, its chlorophyll levels may rise, giving the leaves a green tint and making them appear less variegated.

Only expose white variegated hostas to the morning sun for the most significant effects. As a general rule, the thinner the leaves are, the less sun they should receive.

Something should be considered

The only way to tell how well your plant is coping with the sun is to observe its behavior. If your hosta is getting too much sun, there are two clear symptoms to look for:

  • You'll see browning at the tips and edges of the leaves.
  • The color of your plant's leaves will fade or become dull.

Do not be afraid to relocate your hosta if it is not performing as well as you would want. Hostas are hardy plants that may be dug up and replanted.

  • Hostas with a High Potential for Sun Tolerance

The American Hosta Society and home gardeners recommend numerous sun-tolerant kinds and cultivars based on past growth experience. Keep in mind that these recommendations are subject to change and are based on your location, exact solar exposure, and, of course, any other growth factors that may affect your plants.

  • Yellow hostas: 'August Moon, "Gold Regal,' Golden Sculpture,' Rising Sun,' Squash Casserole,' Sum and Substance,' Sun Power.'
  • 'Gold Standard,' 'Inniswood,' 'Regal Splendor,' and 'Sundance' are yellow variegated hostas.
  • Fragrant hosta: Hosta plantaginea family, includes 'Aphrodite,' 'Ming Treasure,' and 'Venus'; 'Fragrant Bouquet,' Fried Green Tomatoes,' Guacamole,' Honeybells, 'Invincible,' Royal Standard,' Summer Fragrance, 'So Sweet,' Sugar & Cream
  • 'Albomarginata,' 'Francee,' 'Minuteman,' and 'Patriot' are white variegated hostas.
  • 'Invincible' and 'Pearl Lake' are two green hosta varieties.
  • Sun Tolerance, but not in Full Sun

No blue hostas should be planted in full-sun areas as of now. You can, however, try to cultivate these blue hostas in under a sunny position.

  • Blue Hosta varieties include 'Blue Angel,' 'Elegans,' 'Halcyon,' and 'Krossa Regal.'
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Elissa Sanci
Elissa Sanci
Elissa Sanci, the owner of the website, and senior writer of New York Garden; graduated from Santa Barbara City College – a famous public school in California with many diverse training professions, and she majored in horticulture.