Earth Sky Time

In the garden and beyond

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Lotsa Hosta

sum and substance

 ‘Sum and Substance’

This botanical behemoth is the star of my front yard garden. As you can see, its gigantic, glossy leaves are a vivid chartreuse and turn golden green in dappled light. Though generally known as shade loving plants, some hostas like ‘Sum and Substance’ can take a considerable amount of sun.

‘Sum and Substance (1980)  has won many awards and is an all-time favorite on the American Hosta Society Popularity Poll. To call it huge is almost an understatement: the leaves are approximately 30 inches high and 60 inches wide.

In late July ‘Sum and Substance’ sends up fragrant, pale lilac flower scapes that bloom through mid-August, making this area of the garden a haven for hummingbirds.

Many people are tempted to divide their fancy large specimen hostas. Few know that these giants can take take up to six years to regain their enormous size. This specimen of ‘Sum and Substance’ took 8 years to come into its glory. When a hosta expert told me that these plants do best when left undisturbed, I listened.