June 2008 Plant Profile: Hosta ‘June’

photo by Carolyn Jones

This month’s perennial plant pick is appropriately named ‘June’. This has been one of the finest variegated Hostas ever introduced because of its exceptional color, substance and humble vigor. It is a mutation of the ever popular blue cultivar ‘Halcyon’ (in fact, you can see both varieties growing next to each other in Bed 7 to see the resemblance). Hostas are hot right now with such a diverse selection available. Traditionally thought to be staples in the full shade garden, many hostas, particularly the gold and variegated cultivars, benefit from a considerable amount of light to intensify the color of the foliage.

The beauty of ‘June’ is not only in its gold leaves streaked with a blue-green edge, but for its thickness in leaf that slugs seem to leave alone. Many visitors ask us why our hostas are so healthy and relatively “hole-free”. All Hostas in general require a good, rich soil with lots of organic matter and regular watering throughout the summer. Slugs are a nuisance in early spring when the hostas first come up. There are several different products available out there, but since we avoid using chemicals in the garden, we attribute our healthy hostas to our gravel paths which slugs can’t easily maneuver in. Slug bait or not, Hosta ‘June’ is one resilient must have for the shade OR sun garden or in a container!