Hosta sieboldiana 'Elegans'

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 8 Professionals
Common Name: hosta
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asparagaceae
Zone: 4 to 9
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to July
Bloom Description: Mostly white with a lavender tinge
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Good Cut
Leaf: Colorful
Attracts: Hummingbirds
Tolerate: Heavy Shade, Black Walnut

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Best in light shade with some morning sun. Tolerant of a wide range of soil conditions. Performs best in rich, moist, organic soils with a preference for consistent moisture during the growing season. Plants have tolerance for some dry shade once established. Water is best applied directly to the soil beneath the leaves. Divide plants as needed in spring or autumn. Division is usually easiest in early spring before the leaves unfurl.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Hosta sieboldiana is a large hosta native to Japan. It is a clump-forming perennial that typically matures in a spreading foliage mound to 24" tall and to 48-60" wide. Thick, puckered, cupped, wide-oval, green leaves (to 14” long and 12” wide) have distinctive veining, cuspidate tips and cordate lobes. Leaves often emerge smoky-blue in spring. Funnel-shaped, mostly white (sometimes lilac tinged at the base) flowers appear in early to mid summer in racemes located slightly below to slightly above the foliage atop upright leafy scapes rising to 25" tall. Plants sold in commerce today under this species name may in reality be forms of the popular H. sieboldiana 'Elegans'.

Genus name honors Austrian botanist Nicholas Thomas Host (1761-1834) and was first established in 1812. The genus was subsequently renamed in 1817 as Funkia in honor of botanist Heinrich Christian Funk under the belief at that time that Hosta was an invalid name. Hosta was finally reinstated as the genus name in 1905 by the International Botanical Congress.

Specific epithet honors German doctor Philipp Franz van Siebold (1796-1866) who introduced many Japanese plants into European gardens.

'Elegans' grows to 30" tall and 48" in diameter. It features large (13" x 10"), heart-shaped, thick-textured, heavily corrugated, surface-cupped, blue-green leaves and racemes of funnel-shaped, mostly white flowers with a violet tinge on scapes up to 36". This species is a slow grower and will take several years to reach mature shape. May also be listed as Hosta sieboldiana var. elegans.

Problems

Slugs and snails are attracted to the foliage, chewing jagged holes in the leaves, and if left unchecked, can cause serious damage over a fairly short period of time. Leaf spots and crown rot are less frequent problems. Otherwise, hostas are virtually pest-free and are considered ideal low-maintenance garden perennials. Leaves, particularly of exposed plants, can be severely damaged by hail storms.

Garden Uses

Hostas are a mainstay of shade gardens. This hosta is effective in groups or massed. It is also effective as an edging plant. Mix with other perennials in shady borders, shade gardens or woodland gardens.

This very large hosta may be best utilized as a specimen or large clump planting.