Hosta 'Sum and Substance' - plantain lily (2022)


Loved this large elegant hosta last summer, I have it in a large pot under planted with tulips for spring time before the plant hopefully starts growing again this year I have a small collection of smaller varieties of hosta near by which compliment it.

junebabe 22



This plant IS resistant to slugs and snails, but only when it has gor established and is a few years old. So... if you can guard it through its tender years, the leaves are too thick then for slugs and snails to eat.




Hi, usual issues. Eaten by various creatures in the garden. I have yet to determine if it made it through the winter. A shame because I really like Hostas. I think I will buy some in spring (whenever that arrives!)




I have a reakky dark corner in my garden where I can inly frow a couple of dark leaved boxes. This beautiful light green hosta really brightens up the corner and the bonus is that slugs don't seem very interested in it

(Video) Favorite Hostas by David Wilson


north lonfon


This is apparently not attractive to slugs and snails but I found that both my plants were demolished by snails within 2 weeks of planting them. They have, however come back again this year so I have used better snail killer which is helping but they are still being chomped. Crocus, you should amend the description that suggests this variety is left alone by snails and slugs.




Eaten to the ground within days, despite claims of resisting snails and slugs.




This is billed as a hosta snails and slugs won't destroy. Well I'm afraid that just didn't work fo rme and they have destroyed three of them. would not advise buying just because fo what is said about pest resistance.




(Video) Hosta - Sum and Substance│Dutch-bulbs


I would like to plant some hosta's in my woody area, but it gets quite a lot of sun. In your description it says partial to full shade, yet on the right hand side it says it actually enjoys full sun? Could you advise if this is correct as would love to have some hosta's in that area. thank you.

s wesley

Hello,Hosta's generally prefer a shadier spot, but this one is more tolerant of sun than most.

Plants for boggy area?Dear Crocus I have an area in my woodland that is really, really, boggy, can you advice on what plants would be suitable. Many thanks. Emma

emma freeman

Dear Helen Many thanks for list of plants I have ordered several of them. Regards

Crocus Helpdesk

Hello Emma, There are a few plants that will thrive in boggy soil - here are some of the best:- Gunnera manicata Osmunda regalis Carex elata Aurea Ligularia Astilbe Fanal Zantedeschia Sambucus Rodgersia Hostas I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor

emma freeman

Is it still ok to be cutting back herbaceous perennials, Lavender and Caryopteris late in the year?Dear Crocus, I didn't have time to cut back to ground level all my herbaceous perennial plants and some shrubs in the autumn, due to work and family commitments. It's difficult to get out into the garden just now as I only have a little time at the weekend. Would it be too late for me to cut everything back still between now in December and the end of February e.g hardy Geraniums, Hostas,etc. and shrubs like Lavenders and Caryopteris? I really would appreciate your advice. Many thanks Pamela

Pamela Spiers

Hello Pamela, You can do the herbaceous perennials anytime between now and spring, but the Caryopteris and Lavenders should be tackled in spring. I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor

Crocus Helpdesk

Hi Helen, Thank you for your helpful information. The snow made the decision for me, it has lain for 4 weeks now. Kind Regards Pamela

Pamela Spiers

Growing plants under Apple Trees?Could you please let me know if there are any plants that can be grown under a small Apple tree. Kind Regards Pamela

Pamela Spiers

Dear Crocus Customer Helpdesk, Could you give me some further advice please. I have identified what I think is Couch Grass amongst a border with lots of other plants. Should I try to get rid of it now and can I isolate it without damaging other precious plants? I can't lift out all the other plants. I am also planning to make changes to the same border, to limit the number of plants for next Spring. I want to move some now and wonder if it is safe to do that now? I Also, I would like to plant one more fruit tree in what is a small garden in Scotland. I have had problems during two growing seasons with a James Grieve Apple Tree. I believe the apples have scab. I would like to know what other small Apple or Pear Trees would suit the climate here. I would be really grateful for advice on all these matters. I look forward to hearing from you. Kind Regards Pamela

(Video) My top 25 favorite hostas from my shade garden 🍃 Hosta Garden tour 🍀🌿

Crocus Helpdesk

Hello Pamela, There are loads of plants that would be suitable, here are some of my favorites Bergenia Pachysandra terminalis Ferns Liriope muscari I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor

Pamela Spiers

Hello Pamela, If the surrounding plants are very close to the tree, then it may be better to tackle this in the autumn when the plants are dormant and they can be temporarily lifted and moved. Failing that,the only way to tackle it is carefully, cutting it back in manageable chunks bit by bit. Once you get the branches and most of the stem down, then you may want to grind out the stump (you can hire a stump grinder), but this is a hefty bit of kit that will damage the surrounding plants unless they are moved. If you decide to keep the stump, then I would treat the fresh cut with a strong herbicide to make sure it is killed off. I hope this helps, Helen

Crocus Helpdesk

Hello Pamela, There is an excellent page on the RHS website about how to deal with Couch Grass. As for moving plants, autumn or early spring are the best times to do all this,so wait until the plants have become dormant and then you can start. Just make sure you have the new planting hole ready for them to go straight into - with a sprinkling of bonemeal, as this will help them get settled back in. I'm afraid there are no apples that are going to be better suited to your climate in Scotland as they all need the same conditions. You could also consider Cherries, Pears and Plums as these should be fine in Scotland, but make sure you choose a self fertile variety if you are only planting one. I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor

Pamela Spiers

Dear Helen, I also have a Cherry Tree. I believe it is of the Stella variety, which has been in the ground for about 4 years. I need to take it out as it is growing far too large for my small garden. Could you please giveme advice on how to cut the tree down, without doing damage to surrounding plants. I plan to replace the Cherry Tree with a small, bush variety of Pear, suitable for our climate, probably a Conference Pear. I look forward to your advice on removal of the Cherry Tree. Many thanks Pamela

Crocus Helpdesk

Wet Soil ConditionsDear Crocus, I am currently experiencing problems with very poor soil (boggy) water, which resides in the bottom corner of my garden,an area which does not catch the sun as it is surrounded by trees. What plants or treatment do you recommend, as I do not wish to waste money on plants that will simply die. Desparate for your help, Kind Regards. Hazel

Hazel Cockayne

Hello Hazel, The best way to combat a boggy garden really depends on if the garden is waterlogged all year or not. If it is then the main way to sort this out is to put in an underground land drain. However, this can be expensive and you will probably need a contractor in to help you. A less drastic measure if it isn't too bad is to make a soak away at the lowest part of your garden - this is a big hole filled with rubble and then covered over with a membrane though which the water can drain and finally re-turfed or plant over the top. The excess water can then drain away into this hollow away from the rest of the garden. If the bogginess is more isolated, digging in sharp grit and well rotted manure will help break up the soil and improve the drainage. It is also worth choosing plants that will happy in the kind of soil that you have. Use moisture loving plants that will thrive, like ferns or Hostas. If you want to grow things that won't be happy in your soil you are best off putting them in pots where you can control the environment more easily. I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor

Crocus Helpdesk

Can I grow my Hosta in sun?Would a Hosta tolerate 3-4 hrs of bright sunlight? Thank you Anna

Anna Shapiro

Hello Anna, It really depends on what time of the day the sun hits it. If it is early or late it should be OK, but if it is in the middle of the day when the sun is hottest, then it won't be too happy.

Crocus Helpdesk

My Hostas have diedI bought 3 Hostas from you in November, but they have completely died - unfortunately disappearing into the earth so that there is nothing left at all. What happened?

Sarah Bryden

Hostas are herbaceous perennials which die right down in late autumn. Therefore it is normal for them to look 'dead' at this time of the year. Each spring they start to grow again, becoming very lush and leafy quite quickly. With this in mind, I would keep an eye on them, as they should start to show signs of new growth very soon.


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Can Sum and Substance hosta tolerate sun? ›

Unlike some hostas, which can tolerate sun, Hosta 'Sum and Substance' requires partial to full shade, as sun can scorch its leaves and stress the plant, as it needs moist soil. For best results, grow in partial to full shade, in rich, fertile, moist soil or compost.

How big do Sum and Substance hostas get? ›

'Sum and Substance' is an immense hosta growing to 30" high and 60" in diameter. Features large (20" x 15"), heart-shaped, thick-textured, glossy yellow leaves which turn golden over time with proper sun exposure and racemes of bell-shaped, fragrant, white flowers on scapes up to 38".

Is a Plantain Lily the same as a hosta? ›

Plantain Lily, Funkia (Hosta) Ridiculously easy-to-grow and long-lived, Hostas (Plantain Lilies) are shade-loving perennials that are highly prized by gardeners for their elegance and attractive foliage.

How do you divide the sum and substance hosta? ›

Grow very quickly. So you want to divide them to keep the plants healthy. They grow from spring

Where is the best place to plant hostas? ›

Where to Plant Hostas. To plant hostas, select a spot that receives partial to full shade. Most types of hostas can withstand morning sun but prefer a shady setting. It's important to know that these perennials grow best in soil that's fertile and full of organic matter.

Will hostas grow in full shade? ›

It's for good reason—hostas absolutely love shade. Indeed, they languish in the hot afternoon sun so your shady landscape will provide them just the right conditions.

Do hostas make good house plants? ›

In general, hostas are shade-loving plants. This makes them well suited for indoor growing, where light conditions are usually somewhat dim, especially during the winter months. However, few plants will tolerate complete deep shade, and hostas are no exception.

What is the bluest hosta? ›

'Popo' and 'Baby Bunting' are the bluest of the miniatures. These tiny selections sport leaves that are bluish-green on delightfully compact mounds.

Do hostas plants come back every year? ›

Hostas are perennials, which means they will come back bigger and better every year. Most hostas grow well in Zones 3 to 9. These versatile shade plants form a mound of leaves but vary greatly by variety, offering differences in plant size, leaf shape, and leaf color.

What do you do with plantain lilies in the winter? ›

With Plantain Lilies that are shade lovers, there is no proper cut as they are summer green shrubs. As a result, the leaves will change color in fall and rot in winter. It is best to leave the rotten leaf on the plant until spring, even if they do not look beautiful.

Can you grow hostas in pots? ›

Hostas are among those perennials that do very well growing in the confines of containers. They come in thousands of cultivars and they are easy to care for, making them the perfect plant for busy or distracted gardeners.

What time of year do you divide hostas? ›

The best time of year to divide hostas is late summer (August or early September). But don't worry if you forget—you can divide hostas any time from spring to fall.

What is the best time to transplant hostas? ›

Early fall is probably the absolute best time to tackle transplanting hostas because soil is still warm from long summer days, which means hosta roots will grow quickly. Spring transplanting also works fine as long as you wait until soil has warmed up a bit.

How often can you split hostas? ›

Hostas should be divided every three to five years, depending on the size and health of the plant. The best season to divide or transplant hostas is in the spring because temperatures are cooler in and the foliage hasn't developed yet, so plants won't be water stressed.

Are hostas better in pots or ground? ›

If you have a shady yard, deck or patio, consider planting one or more of this popular shade plant in containers. Arrange them in groupings with pots of various sizes. You could also display hostas in pots underneath a tree where it's hard to dig in a garden because of the root.

How many hostas should I plant together? ›

Plant each small hosta approximately 28 inches (70 cm) apart. Plant each medium hosta approximately 40 inches (1 m) apart. Plant each large hosta approximately 60 inches (150 cm) apart. Plant each Giant hosta approximately 80 inches (2 m) apart.

What is the best fertilizer for hostas? ›

Best Fertilizer For Hostas

The best hosta plant food is a slow release NPK 10-10-10 fertilizer. Those three numbers stand for the amount of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium in the fertilizer. Slow release fertilizers feed the plant each time it rains or the plant is watered.

How many years do hostas live? ›

Hostas require little care and will live to be 30 or more years if properly cared for. While most known for thriving in the shade garden, the reality is more nuanced. The ideal situation is dappled shade.

Do hostas need a lot of water? ›

In an ideal hosta garden, the plants would receive generous watering all season long. A slow, deep soaking of around an inch of water per week through the growing season is perfect. A single deep soak every week is always better than multiple, light waterings.

Which hosta is best for shade? ›

'Halcyon' Known botanically as Hosta 'Halcyon,' this leafy perennial brings blue tones to shade gardens. Like all blue hostas, Hosta 'Halcyon' leaves get their blue hue from a waxy layer that reflects light in a way that makes the leaf appear blue.

What is the most beautiful hosta? ›

One of the most elegant of all hostas, 'Tokudama Flavocircinalis' features heart-shaped blue leaves with a pale green edge. The leaves have an attractive corrugated texture that's a great contrast to hostas with smoother leaf surfaces. This hosta flowers in early summer with white blooms.

What kind of hostas get really big? ›

The Empress Wu, Sum & Substance, and Gentle Giant Hostas are the largest commonly available hostas, typically growing to a spread of 5′-6′ wide. Giant hostas reach their full size after five years, although it may take longer if they're not getting the nutrients and sunlight that they need.

Is Epsom salts good for hostas? ›

Can I use Epsom Salt on hostas? Yes! Epsom Salt is full of magnesium. It will give your hostas a great boost if applied to the ground or the leaves.

Is hosta poisonous to dogs? ›

Hosta (pictured above): Its leaves, flowers and roots are poisonous to cats and dogs, so make sure your pet does not take a fancy to them. If they do, expect to see signs of depression, followed by vomiting and diarrhoea.

Can hosta grow in water? ›

Hostas need continuous water restoration. You need to water these plants well because they love water. They have big leaves, so a large amount of water evaporates quickly, which is why they can grow in water.

How do you take care of a plantain lily plant? ›

How to Care for the Plaintain Lily : Gardening & Plant Care - YouTube

Why did my blue hosta turn green? ›

Most blue-leafed hostas become green at some time during the growing season when their waxy surface is not as reflective as it once was. The wax seems to almost melt off with exposure to hot sun, harsh watering, or some pesticide sprays.

How fast do hostas multiply? ›

How Fast Do Hostas Spread? This depends on the species. Fast growers may produce 20 offshoots a year. Slow growers may only produce 4 new plants every year.

How long does it take for a hosta to grow to full size? ›

The time it takes for a hosta to reach the size listed as its mature size depends on each individual hosta. Smaller and more vigorous hostas can reach mature sizes in 3 to 5 years. Giant and slower growing hostas can take 5 to 7 years to reach their potential.

What is the hosta of the Year for 2022? ›

2022 - Hosta SHADOWLAND® 'Diamond Lake'

Will hostas grow back if you cut them down? ›

If you have even been so unfortunate to have your hostas visited by deer during the growing season, you are probably well aware that even when they munch down the plant to within inches of the ground, the hosta will regrow its foliage time and time again. This is important to remember for late summer and fall care.

What month do hostas bloom? ›

Hostas bloom for about three weeks, usually somewhere between May and September, depending on the variety. Each plant sends up several long stalks, called scapes, with flower buds along its length.

Should you cut down hostas for winter? ›

Hostas are a perennial plant, meaning that it's leaves die back in the winter. Known for having large waxy leaves that produce long stalks with blooms, this easy to care for plant will need to be cut back in the fall.

Do I need to cover hostas for frost? ›

When should I cover my hostas? You need to cover the hosta in the spring for late frosts. From the time the first leaves come out of the ground, watch the weather forecast. As soon as you hear that a frost is coming, cover the hosta.

How often should I water a plantain lily? ›

Blue Angel Plantain Lily needs 0.8 cups of water every 9 days when it doesn't get direct sunlight and is potted in a 5.0" pot. Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.

How often do you water a hosta? ›

Like many perennial plants, watering a hosta deeply will be imperative – on average, they require about an inch (2.5 cm.) of water each week. By establishing a weekly watering schedule, plants can develop a more robust root system that is better able to access water deep in the soil.

What do you do with hostas in pots over winter? ›

Once the coldest part of winter has passed, usually by late February or early March, the container can be placed back outside and you can begin to water. Another option for overwintering container hostas is to simply remove the plant from the container and trench in the garden temporarily over the winter months.

What do you feed hostas in pots? ›

Once established in a pot feed your hostas to keep them happy. High nitrogen feeds for the leaves and high potash feeds for the flowers.

Which hostas do slugs not like? ›

'Sum & Substance' has plain, soft green leaves which are huge and being slightly shiny are said to be the most slug and snail resistant of all hostas. Plant these with Zantedeschia which produces whorls of pure white flowers to accentuate the curls and curves of the hosta leaves.

Is fragrant bouquet hosta sun tolerant? ›

The attractive leaves are slightly wrinkled and wavy. Vigorous grower that will brighten up the shade garden. Can handle lots of sun exposure and still look great!

How big do fire and ice hostas get? ›

'Fire and Ice' forms a rather compact, upright mound of leaves that grows 1 to 1.5 ft. tall and 1 to 2 ft. wide.

Can Frances Williams hosta take sun? ›

They are among the most popular hosta plants, thanks to their thick variegated leaves, which are oval-shaped and can grow to be up to a foot long.
How to Grow Frances Williams Hosta.
Botanical NameHosta sieboldiana 'Frances Williams'
Sun ExposurePartial shade, full shade
Soil TypeMoist but well-drained
9 more rows
1 Sept 2021

What is a natural slug repellent? ›

There are a handful of plants which are believed to be a natural repellent for slugs. What you need: Slug repelling plants “ Living Green suggest that wormwood, rue, fennel, anise, and rosemary are the best slug repelling plants.

Do hostas like blood and bone? ›

We suggest that hostas are fed with a top-dress feed such as fish, blood and bone at the start of the growing season and then a water in feed as an when they look like they may need it.

What is the smallest hosta? ›

Mini hostas grow less than 5 inches tall and have leaves about the size of a pinky fingernail. These hostas are not good candidates for beds or borders as they are too small to be appreciated there and would be overwhelmed by other plants. They perform best in containers and crevices.

Which hostas can take the most sun? ›

Hosta plantaginea is one of the most sun-tolerant hosta species, thriving even in four to six hours of sun exposure.

How many hours of sun can hostas tolerate? ›

At best, Hostas like sun in moderate amounts. The varieties I recommended above can tolerate around 6 hours of morning sun. They'll likely burn up with 6 hours of intense afternoon sun or 6 hours of morning sun with even just 2 hours of afternoon sun.

Which hosta has the most fragrant flowers? ›

plantaginea 'Ming Treasure' (Zilis 1995). These are all quite superb in their vigor and large very fragrant flowers in the late summer months. The fragrant hosta that created the most stir was a double flowered form of Hosta plantaginea.

Can Fire and Ice Hosta take sun? ›

The optimum amount of sun or shade each plant needs to thrive: Full Sun (6+ hours), Part Sun (4-6 hours), Full Shade (up to 4 hours). Plant is not sold online. Please try a local retailer.

What is the bluest hosta? ›

'Popo' and 'Baby Bunting' are the bluest of the miniatures. These tiny selections sport leaves that are bluish-green on delightfully compact mounds.

Can hostas be grown as houseplants? ›

Though hostas are traditionally grown outside, they can make great houseplants if grown in containers under proper conditions. Unlike most other houseplants, hostas require an annual dormant period in chilled conditions to thrive.

Are hostas poisonous to dogs? ›

Hosta (pictured above): Its leaves, flowers and roots are poisonous to cats and dogs, so make sure your pet does not take a fancy to them. If they do, expect to see signs of depression, followed by vomiting and diarrhoea.

Are hostas perennials? ›

If you're not familiar with hostas, they're easy-care perennials. Hostas thrive under trees, on the north side of your home or garage, or other places that don't get much direct sun. Because they're perennial, they come back every year -- you only need to plant them once.

How big do Big Daddy hostas get? ›

'Big Daddy' is a large, blue-leaved hosta that grows in a mound to 28" tall and to 40" wide.


1. Breck's Mammoth 3 pc. Giant Hosta Sum & Substance on QVC
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