The yellow in a hosta is a genetic absence of chlorophyll, which makes the leaves appear different shades of yellow. As yellow hostas contain fewer food-producing chloroplasts, annual fertilizing is important. (Note: Around 2003, the American Hosta Society changed its show terminology from “gold-leafed” to “yellow-leafed.” Chartreuse hostas are considered to be in the green category.)
Yellow Hostas Need More Sun
As a general rule, a yellow hosta needs to be planted in a sunnier location to keep its color vibrant. The yellow color may fade to green without at least two hours of full sun daily. Some glossy, chartreuse hostas change to yellow when exposed to more light, like H. ‘Sum and Substance.’ Yellow or yellow-centered hostas are often sun-resistant.
The temperature of a full-sun area can vary by the time of day and by your location (southern versus northern United States, high altitude versus low altitude). Even though yellow hostas need some sun exposure, any hosta in full sun will need to be watered frequently.
Overhead watering during the middle of the day can cause water droplets to magnify the sun’s rays and burn the leaves. Hostas grown in full sun will often turn to a lighter color and the leaves can elongate. Yellow hostas are most vulnerable to sun damage early in the season when the leaves are expanding. This is when trees have not gotten all of their leaves back yet.
Using Yellow Hostas in the Garden
Yellow hostas add color, brightness and contrast to the garden. Their luminescent leaves glow at dusk, dawn or on rainy or overcast days. Planting next to green or blue foliage makes all of the different colors stand out. However, over-planting yellow hostas in a blue or green border can produce a spotty effect, so position them carefully!
Some Yellow Hostas
August Moon, Captain Kirk, Curly Fries, Dancing Queen, Daybreak, Eye Catcher, Fire Island, Happy Dayz, Island Breeze, Key West, Ladybug, Lemon Love Note, Liberty, Maui Buttercups, Old Glory, Paradigm, Pot of Gold, Prairie Moon, Queen Josephine, Rainbow’s End, Rainforest Sunrise, Stained Glass, Sum and Substance.
For a list of ALL the yellow hostas we currently offer, please visit our Buy Hostas page and search for ‘yellow hostas’.