Guacamole HostaHosta plantaginea Guacamole’
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Hosta plantaginea Guacamole’
Outdoor Growing zone
Partial Sun, Shade
The ‘Guacamole’ Hosta is a bold perennial plant with big, foot-long leaves that grow into a dense mound of foliage, about 18 inches high and spreading to be 4 feet across. The leaves are a wonderful shade of chartreuse green, with an irregular border of a slightly more blue shade. This great plant will brighten all the shady parts of your garden with a color that never fades to plain old green. In late summer it carries tall stems of fragrant white flowers – a great bonus. As well, this plant grows much better in hot zones than almost any other hosta – the perfect plant for the south-east.
Plant the ‘Guacamole’ Hosta in partial shade or full light shade, such as beneath deciduous trees or in the north shadow of a building. It grows in all zones, from 2 to 9, in most soil types, preferring rich, moist, well-drained soil for its best growth. It is virtually maintenance free – just remove the flower stems when the last blooms have faded. It is generally pest free, and usually less bothered by deer than many other hosta varieties.
It is impossible to over-rate the value of plants with lime or yellow-green colors in a garden. They are especially useful in shade, because ordinary green leaves can easily disappear into the gloom, while those chartreuse and lime-green leaves ‘pop’ with color, even in the darkest corners, and really bring your shade garden to life. It’s a color that we never tire of, and that always brings beauty to boring areas.
When that wonderful color comes on a plant with big, bold leaves, forming a dense, weed-proof mound, and needing almost no care, then what a bonus, and how desirable is a plant like that? You will be amazed when you plant the ‘Guacamole’ Hosta in your garden, and the beauty it will bring. This tough and reliable plant is especially notable for growing well in the hottest zones, where most other hosta fail. It doesn’t need the winter chilling that they do, so if you have failed with these plants in your area, here is the plant that will bring you success.
The ‘Guacamole’ Hosta is a broad, spreading plant, with foliage growing up to 18 inches tall and spreading 3 or even 4 feet wide. One plant will fill a large space, and just a few will cover a big area. The leaves are almost 12 inches long and 8 inches wide, and they are produced abundantly, forming a solid mass. They are smooth, glossy and oval in shape, with noticeable long veins running their length. The color is wonderful, a rich, chartreuse green that is indeed like a giant bowl of everyone’s favorite avocado treat. The edge of the leaf is sometimes a little darker, and more bluish, adding depth and richness to the look. Unlike many other plants, this beautiful color is held throughout the season, with only the slightest darkening after the spring flush. In cooler areas the leaves die in fall, leaving the ground bare for the winter, but in warmer zones this plant is more or less evergreen.
Around mid-summer, or later in cool zones, stems up to 3 feet tall grow up, carrying white flowers that are incredibly fragrant – a relatively rare experience with hosta plants. These nod gently in the summer heat, and you can cut them for flower arrangements too.
Like other hosta plants, the ‘Guacamole’ Hosta is perfect for all those shady areas of your garden, to fill empty spaces, edge pathways and driveways, and brighten gloomy spots. This plant is perfect in all gardens, from formal beds to woodland settings, bringing brightness and light. It can also be grown in pots and planters, and that’s a perfect way to brighten a shady terrace or balcony.
This plant is hardy across the country, all the way from chilly zone 2 into frost-free zone 9. It is one a small, select group of hosta plants that have proved reliable growers in zones 8 and 9, where winters are too short and warm for most other types.
In the coldest zones this plant will tolerate significant amounts of sun, but in most places partial shade is ideal – with no more than a few hours of morning sun. It grows well in the dappled shade beneath trees as well as along the base of north-facing walls. Avoid very deep shade beneath evergreens, but for general shady areas, you can’t beat the ‘Guacamole’ Hosta. The ideal soil, for the biggest growth, is rich, moist and well-drained, but this tough plant will grow in almost all soils. Mature plants have good resistance to summer dry periods, but regular watering is always best.
This plant is largely maintenance free. Remove the dead leaves when they fall, although even that isn’t strictly necessary. Cut back the flower stems low down when the blooms are over, and that is all it takes to have this plant perfect for years and years. It rarely suffers from any pest or disease problems, and deer generally leave it alone – certainly more than they do with other hosta varieties. Older plants can be split in spring or early fall, meaning after a few years you will have as many plants as you need.
The ‘Guacamole’ Hosta is a complex hybrid plant, but most of its parentage is from a species of hosta called Hosta plantaginea. That plant is known for its fragrant white flowers, which are larger and more attractive than the flowers of other hosta. This is a plant found growing wild on the floors of forests in central and eastern areas of southern China, and it is that southern habitat that makes it also grow so well in our southern zones. Several garden varieties have been created from it, and all fragrant hosta plants have it as a major parent. One called ‘Fragrant Bouquet’ was released in 1982 by the hosta breeder Paul Aden. A plant of that variety was being grown by Bob Solberg, the ‘King of Hostas’, at his Green Hill Hostas Nursery in Franklinton, North Carolina. From it a unique part grew, with chartreuse-green leaves, which he named ‘Guacamole’. It was released in 1994.
Whether you are an experienced hosta grower, or new to these great plants, you can’t ‘grow wrong’ with the ‘Guacamole’ Hosta. You will love it’s boldness, how easy it is to grow, even in hot zones, and that fabulous color. Oh, let’s not forget those fragrant blooms too. Order your plants now, because this is a favorite variety of many gardeners, and our stock never stays around long – we hate to see it go.