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Hosta 'Great Expectations'

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Photo Courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.
 Common Name: Hosta
  • Lives up to its name! A slow grower, but well worth the wait

  • Thick, puckered, broadly ovate leaves are slug resistant

  • Wide, irregular, blue-green margins surround an ever-changing center; starts out chartreuse in the spring, turns to yellow, then to creamy yellow, and finally to white (colors vary with light levels)

  • Fern green streaks are painted between the margin and center of each leaf; every leaf is unique

  • Dense masses of white flowers are displayed just above the foliage on 24" scapes in early to midsummer

  • A sport of H. sieboldiana 'Elegans'

Hostas are exceedingly popular perennials in today's gardens due to their versatility in the landscape. Their subtle colors, tall flower scapes, and broad, coarse leaves fill a niche in garden designs that few other plants can achieve. Their large leaves provide excellent coverage for dying bulb foliage. Hostas also grow well in city environments where the air may be polluted by car exhaust, etc.

Breeder: Paul Aden

Origin: Not Native to North America

Characteristics:



Height:
  20 Inches
Spread:
  40 Inches
Scape Height:
  24 Inches
Flower Color:
  White Shades
Foliage Color:
  Variegated
Hardiness Zone:
3,4,5,6,7,8,9
Find Your Zone
Sun or Shade?:
  Part shade (4-6 hrs. direct sun)
  Full shade (< 4 hrs. direct sun)
Wet or dry?:
  Average water needs
  Consistent water needs
Want to see wings?:
  Attracts hummingbirds
How fast should it grow?:
  Slow
When should it bloom?:
  Early summer
  Midsummer
How's your soil?:
  Average Soil
  Fertile Soil
Sweet or Sour Soil?:
  Acidic Soil (pH < 7.0)
  Neutral Soil (pH = 7.0)
What's your garden style?:
  Container/Patio
  Woodland/Shade
  Eclectic

Attributes:

Border plants
Container
Cut flower or foliage
Specimen or focal point
Easy to grow

Awards:

  American Hosta Society Alex J. Summers Distinguished Merit Award (Awarded to an AHS member for outstanding service to the Society and/or the development of the Hosta genus) 1992
  American Hosta Society President's Exhibitor Trophy 1994
  American Hosta Society Best Variegated Leaf Award 1994
  American Hosta Society Best Variegated Hosta in a Garden Award 1997

Homeowner Growing & Maintenance Tips:

Hostas grow best in moist, well-drained, highly organic soils with a pH between 5.5 and 7.5. Sandy loam is better than clay because it provides more aeration for the roots. High-filtered or dappled sunlight is necessary for clean, healthy growth. Morning sun is tolerable and will help to intensify the leaf colors, but hot afternoon sun is usually deadly to hostas. They are most at home in shady, woodland settings and often work well as specimen or edging plants.

Hostas are very easy to propagate through division. This can be done at any time during the growing season with little or no affect on the growth of the parent plant. Since each division should have at least 3 eyes, plants should be allowed to mature for several years before being divided.

Especially in northern zones, hostas should be mulched with a layer of finely shredded organic material to prevent heaving in the winter. Mulch is beneficial because it retains moisture around the plant's roots, but it is also the ideal place for slugs to hide. Watch for holes in the center of the leaves. If they are present, so are slugs. Applying a slug bait in early spring when new shoots are beginning to emerge will help to reduce the slug population. After a few years when plants are firmly established, the mulch can be removed completely, which should eliminate the slug problem altogether. Also be sure to clean all hosta foliage out of the garden in early winter after the plants have gone dormant. By doing so, you will be ridding the area of the eggs of slugs and other leaf-eating insects.


Companions:

Common/Botanical Name
Zones  
Cimicifuga ramosa 'James Compton'
Common Name: Snakeroot-Black
4,5,6,7,8
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Dicentra 'Luxuriant'
Common Name: Bleeding Heart-Fern-leaved
3,4,5,6,7,8,9
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Astilbe 'Ostrich Plume' ('Straussenfeder')
Common Name: Astilbe-Tall Japanese
4,5,6,7,8,9
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Corydalis lutea
Common Name: Corydalis-Yellow
5,6,7
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Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola'
Common Name: Grass-Ornamental
5,6,7,8,9
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Heuchera 'Frosted Violet' PP15085 COPF
Common Name: Coral Bells
4,5,6,7,8,9
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Aruncus dioicus
Common Name: Goat's Beard
3,4,5,6,7
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Tricyrtis formosana 'Gilt Edge'
Common Name: Toad Lily-Formosa
4,5,6,7,8
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History:

Hostas have gone by many names, including Funkia, Plantain Lily, Giboosi, and Hemerocallis.

While every effort has been made to describe this plant accurately, please keep in mind that the height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates throughout the country. The description of this plant was written based on our experience growing it in Michigan (USDA hardiness zone 5) and on numerous outside resources.