Gardeners choose hosta plants for shady areas of the garden because these plants can thrive with very little exposure to sunlight. In fact, hostas exposed to excessive amounts of sunlight suffer from scorching and leaf discoloration. Propagated from rhizomes, hosta plants thrive in well-drained soils. Divide the rhizomes every few years to increase the number of hosta plants. Like most plants, hostas possess both common and botanical names. Differentiate between the diverse varieties of hosta plants by identifying them according to their botanical names.
This native of Japan produces dark green leaves with shiny undersides. Commonly called the Thomas Hogg hosta, the H. Decorata displays deep blue blossoms in the middle of summer. This plant matures at a short height between 8 and 10 inches. The H. Decorata prefers moderate climates, such as those in Ohio. It withstands freezing temperatures and flourishes in fertile soils.
This hosta also goes by the name of Aureo-marginata. H. Fortunsi forms clumps about 18 inches high and 24 to 30 inches wide. It tolerates a variety of growing conditions and continues growing late into the season. This variety of hosta produces pale lavender flowers in the middle of spring and thrives in the Midwestern states. A hearty variety of hosta, the H. Fortunsi withstands periods of droughts and neglect.
The H. Lancifolia sends up shoots early in the spring. These green shoots produce lavender-colored blossoms late in the growing season. The H. Lancifolia reaches a mature height near 14 inches and forms dense mounds in the landscape. It grows well inside shady, protected areas in moderate climate zones, including Tennessee and Oklahoma.
In ideal conditions, this variety of hosta plant grows as tall as 30 inches. At maturity, the H. Sieboldiana forms wide mounds measuring up to 6 and 7 feet wide. It produces mauve buds that open into fragrant white blossoms early in the growing season, and the heavily textured leaves add additional interest among other landscape plants. One type of H. Sieboldiana, Frances Williams, displays heart-shaped leaves in shades of blue-green with yellowish margins. A subtropical variety of hosta, this plant grows well in Florida, Texas and parts of California. It thrives in areas of moderate to high humidity.
H. Ventricosa produces heart-shaped leaves in shades of dark green. These leaves form a rounded clump in shady areas of the landscape.This variety of hosta originated in China and Korea. Blue and purple blossoms appear on long stems during the middle of the summer in areas with warm climates, such as Alabama and Georgia. The H. Ventricosa hosta plant grows 20 to 24 inches tall and reaches a width between 30 and 38 inches.