A perfect addition to any shade garden, the white feather hosta is a herbaceous perennial plant primarily grown for its unique foliage and decorative potential. Its leaves are white when opening, and then over the following weeks, the leaves transform into green-white. In mid-summer, fragrant and funnel-shaped lavender flowers bloom above the foliage. All-white leaves are rare for a hosta plant. They have become a must-have commodity for hosta enthusiasts. They make an excellent option for lightening up shaded gardens, as well as for planting in containers.
Whether you plant your white feather hostas indoors or outdoors, you can expect a magical color transformation in the summer months, when green pigment first becomes visible on its hosta leaves. The plant's leaves use up the green pigment to fuel its photosynthesis growth cycle.
|Botanical Name||Liliaceae genus|
|Common Name||White feather hosta|
|Mature Size||20 to 24 inches|
|Sun Exposure||Partial, shade|
|Soil Type||Moist but well-drained|
|Soil pH||Acidic, neutral, alkaline (6.5 to 7.5)|
|Hardiness Zones||3 to 9|
|Native Area||Northeast Asia|
White Feather Hosta Care
These plants are relatively easy to grow. They require minimal care and maintenance. Since these plants lack chlorophyll, they grow slowly and, in many cases, will barely achieve full growth. All plants need green pigmentation to make their food. At some stage of their development, the white feather hosta develops its green tissue or chloroplast to survive.
Unfortunately, the thin white hosta leaves are a delicacy for slugs and snails (as well as rabbits and deer). You may have to employ protective measures, including plastic bird netting, spraying, or slug baits.
These plants cannot tolerate direct sunlight and will grow best in full shade. It would help if you protected the white feather hosta from the sun to prevent its thin, light-colored leaves from scorching.
Most hosta plants require more water than an average plant. Make sure you do not drown the soil.
When planting your white feather hosta, choose a well-drained, humus-rich garden soil. They will grow best in slightly acidic or slightly alkaline soil.
Temperature and Humidity
You must always shelter these shade-loving plants from cold, dry winds. They are warm-weather plants that will not survive long after the first frost of the season.
When planting a white feather hosta, gardeners will have to take additional steps to enrich the soil with organic manure adequately. Proper fertilization will help boost the soil's capacity to retain water and improve soil nutrition—both crucial for successfully growing these plants.
- 'Fire Island': Prized for its golden leaves
- 'Patriot': Two-toned foliage plant
- 'Frances Williams': Trumpet-shaped, variegated leaves
- 'Halycon': Among the most popular hostas; blue-green leaves
The white feather hosta can be pruned in a few different ways. You can deadhead them by using sharp shears to cut the flower stalks near the plant base, or they can be cut back after the first frost. You can also prune these plants to help deal with any damage done by pests. Remove any leaves that have already been eaten by slugs, rabbits, or any other insects or animals in the garden.
Propagating White Feather Hostas
Hostas can typically be propagated very easily, although it can be challenging to divide its tough root clumps. Divide the plants in early spring or fall by digging up the root ball and dividing it into small clumps of roots and leaves before replanting.
How to Grow White Feather Hostas From Seed
Growing white feather hostas from seed are much like any other perennial. They need warmth (at least 65 F) and moisture until the seedlings sprout. A peat-based planting substrate that is well-draining works best. Hostas also need air around their root structures. Hosta seeds do not need light to germinate, so a planting depth of 1/4 inch works well. Hostas germinate within 7 to 14 days. If kept at about 80 F, they might even sprout within 3 days. After 6 to 8 weeks, you can transplant the hosta outdoors.
Potting and Repotting White Feather Hostas
Since you need to keep these plants in shady areas, many gardeners will plant their white feather hostas in a large pot or container. In containers, you can easily move the plant around to protect leaves from the scorching sun.
In the winter, hosta plants naturally die back to enter dormancy. The leaves will wither, and the plant will appear dead. You can also help the process by cutting back the hosta leaves to the ground after the first frost. It may seem like a drastic move, but don’t worry; you will have beautiful plants again in the spring. Get rid of dead foliage, which also tends to shelter viruses and other pathogens.