Hosta is a herbaceous perennial, which means it will die back in autumn to bare earth with new growth emerging, usually quite late around May time. Although the earth looks bare, Hosta return reliably each year.
Hostas are grown for their impressive foliage, which is very varied both in size and colour. There are Hostas with bright green leaves, striped leaves, grey and blue leaves, gold and green and all different shades of green. Hosta vary in size, some are no more than a few centimetres up to giant Hostas, which can grow up to a metre across and which make a dramatic statement in a border.
In terms of leaf colour, most Hosta grow best planted in semi shade, although the yellow-leaved Hostas will endure more sun. Hostas mix well in borders, but also make a bold statement when planted on their own. When planting a Hosta, remember its eventual size and leaf shape because some Hostas grow very large and can congest a border. Too close and the Hosta will over shadow anything nearby, although if it's also a shade loving plant, the combination may work. I have found common spotted orchid quietly growing in the shade under the leaves of a large Hosta.
If you are planting Hosta in a shady spot which is ideal growing conditions, some varieties will look better in shade than others. The blue leaved Hostas can look a bit dull in shade, and the yellow leaved will not do as well in shade. The best varieties for shade are those with green and yellow variegation on their leaves, such as Hosta fortunei var.aureomarginata (AGM)