Hosta sieboldiana var. elegans

This perennial dies back to below ground level each year in autumn, then fresh new growth appears again in spring.

  • Position: partial or full shade
  • Soil: fertile, moist, well-drained soil
  • Rate of growth: average
  • Flowering period: June and July
  • Hardiness: fully hardy
    Huge, sculptural, corrugated grey-blue leaves are topped with spikes of trumpet-shaped flowers of the palest lilac from early summer (which is earlier than many of the other hostas). When the plant has finished flowering, the seed pods split into tiny, star-like segments, which is also quite attractive. The striking leaves of this plaintain lily make a dramatic full stop at a woodland edge, where they contrast beautifully with ferns and other foliage plants. Once established, its foliage will also help suppress weeds.
  • Garden care: Water your hosta well as soon as you plant it (avoiding the foliage if possible), and then water it regularly and thoroughly – particularly during the first growing season. You’ll get thicker, lusher leaves if you give your hostas a really good feed. An annual mulch in spring or autumn will help to keep the weeds down and is an easy way to improve soil and boost nutrient levels. Slugs and snails love hostas, so you will need to protect against them. Use an organic nematode treatment in early spring to ward them off – or pot them up into a gravel-topped pot.

Hosta sieboldiana var. elegans (Giant blue hosta)

Botanical name

Hosta sieboldiana var. elegans

Other names

Giant blue hosta, Hosta glauca, Hosta ‘Blue Angel’, Hosta ‘Robusta’, Hosta ‘Elegans’


Hosta Hosta


H. sieboldiana var. elegans – H. sieboldiana var. elegans is a clump-forming perennial with large, rounded, heart-shaped, grey-blue leaves and spikes of lilac-tinged, trumpet-shaped, white flowers in late summer.






RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit)

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White, Pale-purple in Summer

Silvery-grey, Blue in Summer

How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Slugs , Snails , Vine weevil

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Where to grow

Hosta sieboldiana var. elegans (Giant blue hosta) will reach a height of 1m and a spread of 1m after 2-5 years.

Suggested uses

City, Cottage/Informal, Flower Arranging, Beds and borders, Ground Cover, Containers, Underplanting


Plant in fertile and moist, but well-drained, soil sheltered from cold, dry winds. Grows well in slightly acid or neutral soils, but will also grow in alkaline soils if enriched. Shallow, chalky soils can cause leaves to yellow. Partial shade is best, but

Soil type

Clay, Loamy

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Neutral


Partial Shade


North, East, West



UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

USDA zones

Zone 10, Zone 9, Zone 8, Zone 7, Zone 6

Defra’s Risk register #1

Plant name

Hosta sieboldiana var. elegans (Giant blue hosta)

Common pest name

Scientific pest name

Hosta virus X


Virus or Viroid

Current status in UK

Present (Limited)

Likelihood to spread in UK (1 is very low – 5 is very high)

Impact (1 is very low – 5 is very high)

General biosecurity comments

Virus affecting Hosta; present in the UK since at least the early 2000’s. Mechanically transmitted so spread can be reduced by good hygiene practices and use of healthy propagating material within the industry.

About this section

Our plants are under greater threat than ever before. There is increasing movement of plants and other material traded from an increasing variety of sources. This increases the chances of exotic pests arriving with imported goods and travellers, as well as by natural means. Shoot is working with Defra to help members to do their part in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive risks.

Traveling or importing plants? Please read “Don’t risk it” advice here

Suspected outbreak?

Date updated: 7th March 2019 For more information visit:

Hosta sieboldiana var. elegans

Elegans Plantain Lily, Hosta Elegans

Herbaceous Perennial

Outstanding Qualities
The queen of all the large blue hostas, Hosta sieboldiana var. elegans makes a bold statement in the garden. Huge wide blue leaves make an impressive dense mound. The leaves are heavy in texture and have a wonderful corrugated look. In summer flowers stems rise just above the foliage and display near white flowers in dense spikes. Although, no hosta is immune to slugs this one does show some resistance, especially once the foliage matures

Culture Notes
Hostas prefer a location in light to open shade, although Hosta sieboldiana var. elegans will tolerate full sun with adequate moisture. Plant it in a location with rich moist to well-drained soils. Most hosta will tolerate sandy sites as well as clay. During dry weather provide regular watering, especially in sandy soils. Flowers can be removed once the blooms have faded and the foliage can be cut to the ground in fall.

—Courtesy Great Plant Picks

Growing Conditions

Zone: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Water Use: Average

Exposure: Part Shade, Shade, Morning Sun, Filtered Sun, Open Shade, Bright Shade


Size: 24″ – 30″ tall x 30″ – 36″ wide
Shape: Mounding, Upright
Foliage Texture: Bold, Bold / Coarse
Foliage Color: Blue / Gray / Silver

Plant Features: Attracts Bees and Butterflies, Attracts Hummingbirds, Container, Fabulous Foliage, Foliage, Groundcover, Low Maintenance
Flower Color: White
Bloom Time: Summer

Uses and Applications

Landscape Uses: Beds and Borders, Container, Container Gardens, Groundcover, Mixed Beds, Mixed Border
Special Uses: Container / Window Box, Slug / Snail Resistant
Wildlife: Bees, Hummingbirds

More Design Considerations

Seasons of Interest: Spring, Summer, Fall, Three Season Garden, Three Season Interest
Maintenance Level: Low Maintenance, Deadheading, Divide Plants to Rejuvenate
Behavior: Clumping
Collections: Great Plant Pick

Hosta ‘Elegans’

View this plant in a garden

Plant Size (check one):

Large (leaf 81-144 square inches; plant 18”-28” tall)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 °C (-40 °F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 °C (-35 °F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 °C (-30 °F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 °C (-25 °F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade

Other details:

Unknown – Tell us

Patent Information:


Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Growing Habit:


Growth Rate:


Leaf Shape:


Broadly Ovate

Leaf Appearance:


Degree to which the appearance is present:


Leaf Texture (top):

Glaucous Bloom

Leaf Texture (bottom):

Glaucous Bloom

Leaf Substance:

1 (Thick)

Leaf Color:

Intensely Blue-Green

Color of Leaf Margin:

No margin

Number of Vein Pairs:

16 to 18

Appearance of Margin:

Margin Width:

No margin

Bloom Time:


Flower Shape:


Flower Fragrance:

No fragrance

Does it set seed?:

Yes; seed is viable

Bloom Color:

Pure White

Foliage Color:

Unknown – Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown – Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown – Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Chelsea, Alabama

Dothan, Alabama

Enterprise, Alabama

Jonesboro, Arkansas

Dublin, California

San Francisco, California

Clifton, Colorado

Hamden, Connecticut

West Haven, Connecticut

Washington, District of Columbia

Bonifay, Florida

Alpharetta, Georgia

Augusta, Georgia

Lawrenceville, Georgia

Marietta, Georgia

Royston, Georgia

Nilwood, Illinois

Washington, Illinois

Woodridge, Illinois

Elberfeld, Indiana

Granger, Indiana

Shawnee Mission, Kansas

Henderson, Kentucky

Slidell, Louisiana

Adamstown, Maryland

Hagerstown, Maryland

Boxford, Massachusetts

Hopkinton, Massachusetts

Lexington, Massachusetts

Rochdale, Massachusetts

Bellaire, Michigan

Dearborn Heights, Michigan

Plainwell, Michigan

Royal Oak, Michigan

Traverse City, Michigan

Minneapolis, Minnesota

New Ulm, Minnesota

Madison, Mississippi

Natchez, Mississippi

Moberly, Missouri

Billings, Montana

Cape May Court House, New Jersey

Alden, New York

Croton On Hudson, New York

Granville, New York

Greene, New York(2 reports)

Ithaca, New York

Rochester, New York

Wallkill, New York

Kernersville, North Carolina

Pittsboro, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina

Wilmington, North Carolina

Medora, North Dakota

Cincinnati, Ohio

Galloway, Ohio

Glouster, Ohio

Portland, Oregon

Salem, Oregon

Norristown, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pottstown, Pennsylvania

Newport, Rhode Island

Inman, South Carolina

Christiana, Tennessee

Rockwood, Tennessee

Toone, Tennessee

Colmesneil, Texas

Decatur, Texas

Hereford, Texas

Houston, Texas

Rowlett, Texas

Farmington, Utah

Big Stone Gap, Virginia

Leesburg, Virginia

Newport News, Virginia

Oakton, Virginia

Portsmouth, Virginia

Richlands, Virginia

Bainbridge Island, Washington

Kalama, Washington

Newport, Washington

Olympia, Washington

Charleston, West Virginia

Appleton, Wisconsin

Augusta, Wisconsin

Dodgeville, Wisconsin

Eau Claire, Wisconsin

Marion, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Verona, Wisconsin

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Hosta sieboldiana var. elegans

Glaucous (blue-ish) leaves and very pale blue flowers. To 1.5 ft tall.

The Hostas are described as herbaceous perennials (they die down every winter and reappear the following spring) and come from China, Japan and Korea where – apparently – they’re a popular part of some people’s diet . Not surprisingly really because anyone who’s grown them knows they’re also popular with rabbits, deer and – particularly – slugs. Dealing with the slug problem is important.

There are many methods used for dealing with slugs (mostly involving, salt, Guinness and lemons) but we use the the highly toxic (to slugs) metaldehyde (Slug Pellets) on the nursery where it poses no threat to other wildlife. You may or may not wish to use this in the garden. Going out with a torch and a penknife (the slug attacks at night) is also popular. It hardly needs me to point out that when beasts come out destroying your treasured plants, one can become quite vindictive…

Hostas will grow best on fairly rich soil but prefer shade. They appear in March, die down in November and flower in late summer. They used to be called Funkias (after Heinrich Funk of course) but the taxonomists thought better of it and renamed them Hostas (after Nicholas Host of course). Shame really. We rather liked Funkias.

Propagated by division

Features Hardiness rating

Hardy anywhere in Britain below approximately 1000ft (300m)

This is only meant as a guide. Please remember we’re always on hand to give advice about plants and their frost hardiness.

Please remember that these coloured labels are only a rough guide.

General Point about Plant Hardiness: The commonly held belief that it’s better to ‘plant small’ is perfectly true with herbaceous plants, but not necessarily true with woody plants. They need some ‘wood’ on them to survive severe cold – so plants of marginal hardiness in very cold areas should really be planted LARGER, rather than smaller, wherever possible.

Ground Cover, Herbaceous, Pots, Shade, Soil – Clay, Soil – Dry/Well drained, Soil – Soggy

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