Hostas are very versatile plants and most need some full sun. However, not all hostas have the same requirements. Some varieties need more sun than others, so it’s important to know the needs of the variety you’re planting. Generally speaking, most hostas need 4 hours of full sun daily, but there are some varieties that can tolerate full shade. Overexposure to the sun, however, is bad for all varieties. If your hostas get too much sun it can ruin their health and appearance.
How Many Hours of Sun Do Hostas Need?
Most hostas varieties should have at least 4 hours of sun per day and will thrive and grow in such an environment. However, hostas with gold or yellow-tipped leaves should have 6 hours of sun each day. This is because “yellow” varieties are the most sun-loving of all hostas. There are many different yellow hostas, but the “sun power” variety is one of the most common.
- Most hostas need 4–6 hours of sun daily.
- Yellow hostas are the most sun tolerant.
- White-tipped hostas need only 4 hours of direct sunlight.
- Blue-tipped hostas thrive in the shade.
- Most varieties of hosta do well with morning sun and afternoon shade.
Hostas with white or blue-tipped leaves need less sun. They fall into the 4-hours-per-day range. Blue hostas are also called “waxy hostas.” This variety is very shade tolerant and can survive without full sun. White hostas, such as the “White Christmas” variety, do best with even 4 hours of full sun, preferably in the morning followed by shade in the afternoon.
Can Hostas Grow in Indirect Sunlight?
Most hostas varieties can grow in indirect sunlight and will not suffer any major detrimental effects due to lack of full sun. They will typically grow a bit fuller and feature a more vibrant color if they get at least some full sun, though.
- Virtually all hostas can grow in indirect sunlight.
- Some hostas may not grow quite as full if they don’t receive any direct sun.
- Full sun ensures the vibrant color of hostas.
Blue hostas will grow just as lush and full in indirect sunlight as they do in direct sunlight, so if you’re planning to grow your hostas in indirect light, blue varieties are the best choice.
Can Hostas Grow in Shade?
Only blue hostas will thrive in full shade. The other varieties do need some sun to maintain their beautiful appearance. If they get no full sun, they may be smaller and paler than those that receive direct sunlight. However, hostas will not die in full shade, even varieties that love the sun.
- Only blue hostas flourish in full shade.
- Most hosta varieties need some full sun to maintain their attractive appearance.
- In general, hostas are not harmed by shady planting locations.
If you are not picky about their appearance, you can grow essentially any type of hosta in shade. If, on the other hand, you want them to look their best, make sure you only plant blue hostas in the shade.
What Happens if Hostas Don’t Get Enough Sun?
If hostas don’t get enough sun, they typically don’t grow as full and lush. The leaves may be smaller, but they may grow thicker. Therefore, instead of large leaves that spread out, you may end up with smaller, fatter leaves.
- Sun-deprived hostas don’t grow as lush and full.
- Smaller, thicker leaves may develop if they are sun-deprived.
- Hostas that don’t get proper sunlight may grow too slowly and never mature.
Hostas that don’t get enough sun may grow very slowly or never reach maturity. However, this usually takes being significantly sun-deprived, as virtually all varieties are somewhat shade tolerant.
Can Hostas Get Too Much Sun?
All varieties of hostas can get too much sun. They are actually very susceptible to sun scorch. Yellow varieties tolerate sun the best, but no variety should be left in day-long sun. Hostas simply don’t thrive in harsh, direct sunlight, so this should always be avoided. Even with varieties that like sun, it is best to give them their sun in the morning and provide shade in the afternoon.
- All hostas can get too much sun.
- Thick-leaved hostas are more sun tolerant than thin-leaved hostas.
- Curling, cracked leaves indicate too much sun.
- Discolored leaves and wilting occur from too much sun.
Interestingly, because there are over 70 varieties, it’s sometimes difficult to tell if you have sun-tolerant hostas, since their colors can sometimes look similar. A good rule to use in this situation is to simply feel the leaves. Hostas with thicker leaves are more sun-tolerant than hostas with thin leaves. Therefore, varieties with the thinnest leaves should not be exposed to strong sun. Signs of overexposure to the sun include curling and cracking of the leaves. The leaves may also turn yellow or brown, and the entire plant may wilt and eventually die.
How Much Sun Do Hostas Require?
Some hostas varieties need up to 6 hours of sun, while some thrive in the shade. This all depends on which variety you choose to grow.
- Most hostas need about 4 hours of full sun daily.
- Excessive sun can ruin the health and appearance of hostas.
- Yellow hostas are the most sun tolerant.
- Blue hostas are best grown in the shade
- Leaf thickness can help you determine how much sun your hostas can tolerate.
Since hostas are a great plant to fill up any space in your garden that needs some pizzazz, invest in a few this year and upgrade the look of your garden.