The first caladium described, Caladium bicolor, was a comparatively drab green-and-white plant collected in 1773…
Texas gardeners dealing with shade know that finding tough perennials that look great in shaded gardens can be difficult. If you find yourself with maturing trees and increasing amounts of shade, don’t despair: transform the space with some of our favorite perennials with fabulous foliage, like Hostas.
Hostas do best in evenly moist, richly amended and well-draining soil, so adding compost and expanded shale to the bed will make them happy. They’re herbaceous perennials, meaning that they die down to the root crown in the winter (they go completely dormant and sprout forth again in spring). Some Hostas don’t mind a little morning sun, but dappled or all day shade is best. While pests are few; snails, slugs and pill bugs will eat them—but they can be kept at bay with periodic applications of Sluggo Plus or similar products.
Hostas come in a wide range of leaf color, texture and sizes. They also bloom white to lavender tubular flowers, some with a fragrance, on tall stalks high above the foliage—and hummingbirds love them! Check out a few of our favorite varieties, and take advantage of our June 2016 Grow Card special on hostas (while supplies last).
Hosta ‘Wide Brim’ – One of the smaller hostas, growing to about 16” tall but up to 3’ wide. It creates a lovely mound of dark green leaves with irregular variegation of buttercream.
Hosta ‘Elegans’ – This stunning variety can get 3’ tall by 4’ wide, so give it some room. The leaves can get up to 10-13” across and are heavily veined giving it the appearance of it being corrugated. The color of the leaves is a beautiful smoky blue and are slightly heart shaped. You can’t go wrong with this beauty.
Hosta ‘Gold Standard’ – This one will surely brighten that shady garden corner. The leaves will emerge a light green and become increasingly gold as the season warms. A bit of morning sun will enhance the color even more. It too has irregular variegation of dark green in some of the leaves. It will stand at 30” tall by up to 4’ wide.
Hosta ‘Blue Angel’– Another hosta with huge leaves (up to 16”) in the most amazing blue-green color. It just gets better, and bigger, each year!
Speak to our garden advisors to learn more about gardening in shade in Texas.