Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’


Outstanding Qualities

Hosta 'Sum and Substance' is a giant among this group of outstanding foliage plants. When grown well and established, its mammoth, chartreuse leaves -- which can reach 20 inches wide and 3 feet long from petiole to tip -- create a six-foot-wide mound that stops you in your tracks. This cultivar makes the perfect focal point in the woodland garden or shady border, and, unlike many hostas, its leaves are not eaten by slugs. Complement it with regal ferns or Dicentra spectabilis 'Gold Heart'.

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: silver, variegated, yellow

Great Color Partners: purple, pink, dark green

Culture Notes

This hosta is very hardy and easy to grow. The thick waxy leaves are less susceptible to slug damage than with other hostas, but occasionally control is still necessary. Plant it in light to open shade for the best foliage color and most vigorous growth. It prefers a rich moist to well-drained soil, but will tolerate clay and sand. Water regularly or, once established, it may only need occasional summer watering depending on the site. Plants in sandy soils may need regular watering to stay looking their best. Cut the foliage to the ground in fall once it begins to fade.

© Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Quick Facts

Plant Type: perennial

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 3 ft. 0 in. (0.91 m.)

Plant Width/Spread: 6 ft. 0 in. (1.83 m.)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 4 to 10

Sun/Light Exposure: light to open shade

Water Requirements: regular watering during dry months