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Hosta ‘King Size’

This is one of the largest of the Hostas – a sport of the wonderfully named Hosta ‘Empress Wu’. She grows to 2ft tall. Very pale blue flowers.

The Hostas are described as herbaceous perennials (they die down every winter and reappear the following spring) and come from China, Japan and Korea where – apparently – they’re a popular part of some people’s diet . Not surprisingly really because anyone who’s grown them knows they’re also popular with rabbits, deer and – particularly – slugs. Dealing with the slug problem is important.

There are many methods used for dealing with slugs (mostly involving, salt, Guinness and lemons) but we use the the highly toxic (to slugs) metaldehyde (Slug Pellets) on the nursery where it poses no threat to other wildlife. You may or may not wish to use this in the garden. Going out with a torch and a penknife (the slug attacks at night) is also popular. It hardly needs me to point out that when beasts come out destroying your treasured plants, one can become quite vindictive…

Hostas will grow best on fairly rich soil but prefer shade. They appear in March, die down in November and flower in late summer. They used to be called Funkias (after Heinrich Funk of course) but the taxonomists thought better of it and renamed them Hostas (after Nicholas Host of course). Shame really. We rather liked Funkias. Try saying “Come and look at my Funkia ‘Empress Wu’ ” and keeping a straight face.

Propagated by division

Hardiness traffic light green

Hardiness level Green

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Hardy anywhere in Britain below approximately 1000ft (300m)

This is only meant as a guide. Please remember we're always on hand to give advice about plants and their frost hardiness.

Please remember that these coloured labels are only a rough guide.

General Point about Plant Hardiness: The commonly held belief that it's better to 'plant small' is perfectly true with herbaceous plants, but not necessarily true with woody plants. They need some 'wood' on them to survive severe cold - so plants of marginal hardiness in very cold areas should really be planted LARGER, rather than smaller, wherever possible.