Hosta of the Month


'Sum and Substance'

A large specimen of H. 'Sum and Substance' shown in a garden setting


Why we chose this hosta...

At Shades of Green, we chose H. 'Sum and Substance' for our "Hosta of the Month" page with excitement.  This variety is one of our favorites and has many noteworthy features.  First, it has been selected as the "2004 Hosta of the Year" by the American Hosta Grower's Association!  This variety is one of the largest hostas available.  There is a specimen of 'Sum and Substance' growing in Ohio that measures over nine feet across, likely making it the largest hosta in the world.  One could hide from the neighbors or unsuspecting company with a mature clump.   

Visitors to Shades of Green remark about this variety as they pull into the driveway.  

A personal story...

H. 'Sum and Substance' was one of the first large hostas chosen as a gift to my parents for their front yard.  The mailman, asking "What do you feed them?" and another visitor described this variety as "a hosta on steroids."  My parents even report people driving past the house more than once to look at the three clumps in their front yard.  And they also report seeing people approaching the plants, touching them just to make sure they are real.   When the plant emerges in the warmth of spring, new growth develops by inches overnight...just ask mom!

Features of this hosta...

This hosta has many ornamental features and is suitable for many uses in the landscape, but it impresses most people simply due to its size.  With a little care and good soil, any gardener should be able to grow this variety to the size of six feet across.  

Wow!  This makes for a very awesome specimen plant! 

 Thick, large, waxy golden heart-shaped leaves make this huge hosta a well known favorite.  This hosta can also be used along a garden path to give an almost tropical feel with its large, luxuriant leaves.  It holds up quite well in summer heat and its color is brighter with more sunlight.  Leaves of H. 'Sum and Substance' may be more golden in northern climates with more sunlight and more chartreuse in southern gardens.  Leaves have a white underside.  Morning sun is preferred, but be sure to avoid strong mid-day sunlight.  

Large hostas such as 'Sum and Substance' should be watered on a regular basis, an inch or more per week, and be sure to water beneath the clump as water sprinkled on the leaves tends to run off and away from the plant.  Large hostas prefer steady soil moisture, slightly acidic soil and composted matter, either spread as a mulch or mixed in the soil at planting time.  This hosta is hardy in USDA zones 3 to 8.  The plant has pale lilac flowers in late summer that tend to be so large they droop over, but bloom scapes may be cut off after flowering is complete.  

This variety was introduced to the hosta world by Paul Aden of New York.  Thank you, Paul!


'Sum and Substance' is one of the most impressive hostas ever introduced! 

Available at Shades of Green!

We hope this information is helpful! 

Tim and Bonnie

H. 'Sum and Substance' 

at Shades of Green