Which Hostas Can Grow in the Sun?

Photo by chris robert on Unsplash

Yewhort is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Hostas, known for their lush foliage and elegant blooms, are beloved by gardeners for their versatility and adaptability to various growing conditions. While hostas are often associated with shade gardens, there are many varieties that thrive in full sun, providing gardeners with an array of options to incorporate these stunning plants into their sunny landscapes. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore a curated list of hostas that excel in full sun conditions, along with tips for growing and caring for them.


Why Grow Hostas in Full Sun?

Traditionally, hostas are considered shade-loving plants, valued for their ability to brighten up shady corners of the garden. However, many hosta varieties can tolerate and even thrive in full sun, provided they receive adequate moisture and soil conditions. Growing hostas in full sun can offer several benefits, including:

  1. Enhanced Foliage Color: Exposure to full sun can intensify the colors of hosta foliage, resulting in richer greens, deeper blues, and more vibrant variegation.
  2. Compact Growth: Hostas grown in full sun often exhibit more compact growth habits, with shorter stems and denser foliage compared to their counterparts in shade.
  3. Increased Flower Production: Full sun exposure can promote robust flowering in certain hosta varieties, adding an extra layer of beauty to the garden with their elegant blooms.


Best Hostas for Full Sun

Stained Glass

This striking hosta features large, glossy leaves with gold centers surrounded by dark green margins. It thrives in full sun to partial shade and produces lavender flowers in midsummer, attracting pollinators to the garden.


‘Guacamole’ is prized for its bold, chartreuse foliage and fragrant, lavender flowers. It performs well in full sun to partial shade and adds a vibrant pop of color to garden borders and containers.

Sun Power

As its name suggests, ‘Sun Power’ is a sun-tolerant hosta with thick, corrugated leaves that can withstand direct sunlight without burning. It produces pale lavender flowers in midsummer and forms a dense mound of foliage, making it an excellent choice for sunny landscapes.

Sum and Substance

This large, robust hosta boasts enormous, heart-shaped leaves that can reach up to 3 feet in diameter. ‘Sum and Substance’ thrives in full sun to partial shade and produces pale lavender flowers on tall stems in midsummer.


‘June’ is prized for its striking variegated foliage, featuring blue-green leaves with golden-yellow margins that become creamy white in full sun. This compact hosta is ideal for brightening up sunny borders and rock gardens.

First Frost

With its blue-green leaves and creamy white margins that turn to a soft yellow in full sun, ‘First Frost’ is a stunning addition to any sunny garden. It produces lavender flowers in midsummer and forms neat mounds of foliage.

Gold Standard

This classic hosta features bold, golden-yellow leaves with dark green margins that become more pronounced in full sun. ‘Gold Standard’ thrives in sunny locations and produces lavender flowers on tall spikes in midsummer.


Growing and Caring for Hostas in Full Sun

Soil and Drainage

Plant hostas in well-draining soil rich in organic matter to promote healthy root growth. Ensure adequate drainage to prevent waterlogging, which can lead to root rot.


Provide regular watering, especially during hot, dry periods, to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Mulching around the base of the plants can help retain moisture and regulate soil temperature.


Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in spring to provide nutrients for healthy growth and blooming. Avoid over-fertilizing, as excessive nitrogen can result in lush foliage at the expense of flowers.


Divide overcrowded hosta clumps every few years in early spring or late summer to rejuvenate the plants and maintain vigor. Replant divisions in well-prepared soil and water thoroughly to encourage establishment.

By selecting the right hosta varieties and providing proper care, gardeners can enjoy the beauty and versatility of these stunning plants in full sun landscapes. Whether used as focal points, ground covers, or accent plants, hostas add texture, color, and charm to sunny gardens, enhancing their appeal and creating a vibrant outdoor oasis for years to come.



1. What happens if hostas get too much sun?

Hostas are generally considered shade-loving plants, but many varieties can tolerate and even thrive in full sun conditions, provided they receive adequate moisture and care. However, if hostas receive too much sun without sufficient moisture or protection, they may experience leaf scorching, leaf bleaching, or wilting.

The foliage may become faded, yellowed, or develop brown spots or edges. Additionally, excessive sun exposure can cause the plants to become stressed, making them more susceptible to pests and diseases. To prevent sun damage, provide hostas with regular watering, mulching, and afternoon shade in hot climates.

2. What is the easiest hosta to grow?

Several hosta varieties are known for their ease of cultivation and adaptability to various growing conditions. One of the easiest hostas to grow is ‘Halcyon.’ This medium-sized hosta features blue-green foliage and performs well in a range of light conditions, from full shade to partial sun.

‘Halcyon’ is low-maintenance, drought-tolerant, and resistant to pests and diseases, making it an excellent choice for beginner gardeners or those seeking a fuss-free plant for their garden.

3. What is the most beautiful hosta?

Beauty is subjective, and the “most beautiful” hosta may vary depending on personal preferences and garden aesthetics. However, one hosta variety that is widely regarded for its beauty is ‘June.’ This striking hosta features variegated foliage with blue-green leaves and golden-yellow margins that become creamy white in full sun. ‘June’ is prized for its vibrant coloration, compact growth habit, and attractive leaf shape, making it a standout addition to any garden.

4. Small hostas for sun

While many hostas are known for their large, bold foliage, there are also several small varieties that thrive in sunny locations. Some small hostas suitable for full sun include:

  • ‘Mini Skirt’: This compact hosta features small, heart-shaped leaves with creamy white margins and green centers. ‘Mini Skirt’ is ideal for sunny borders, rock gardens, or container plantings.
  • ‘Tiny Tears’: As its name suggests, ‘Tiny Tears’ is a miniature hosta with tiny, lance-shaped leaves and a dense, spreading habit. It forms a low mound of foliage and produces lavender flowers in summer.
  • ‘Little Treasure’: ‘Little Treasure’ is a petite hosta with narrow, lance-shaped leaves and a tidy, compact growth habit. It thrives in full sun and produces lavender flowers on short stems in midsummer.

These small hosta varieties are perfect for brightening up sunny spots in the garden, providing texture, color, and interest in compact spaces or containers. With proper care and attention, they can add charm and beauty to any sunny landscape.

5. What is the most sun-tolerant hosta?

The most sun-tolerant hosta varieties are typically those with thicker, more leathery leaves and lighter-colored foliage. Some hostas that are known for their ability to tolerate more sun include:

  • ‘Sun Power’: This hosta has thick, corrugated leaves that can withstand direct sunlight without burning. It’s known for its sun tolerance and vibrant green foliage.
  • ‘Halcyon’: While ‘Halcyon’ is often grown in partial shade, it can tolerate some sun, especially if provided with adequate moisture. Its blue-green foliage is attractive and can hold up well in brighter light conditions.
  • ‘June’: ‘June’ is another hosta variety that can tolerate more sun than others, particularly if planted in well-draining soil and provided with consistent moisture. Its variegated foliage adds interest to sunny spots in the garden.

While these hostas can tolerate more sun than others, it’s essential to remember that even sun-tolerant varieties may still benefit from some protection during the hottest part of the day, especially in regions with intense sunlight or high temperatures.

6. How much heat can hostas tolerate?

Hostas generally prefer cooler temperatures and can struggle in hot, humid climates. However, their tolerance for heat can vary depending on the variety and growing conditions. In general, hostas can tolerate moderate heat if provided with adequate moisture, shade, and protection from intense sunlight.

They may benefit from mulching to conserve soil moisture and planting in locations with dappled or filtered sunlight rather than full sun. Providing supplemental watering during hot, dry periods can also help hostas cope with heat stress and maintain healthy foliage.

7. What is the hardiest hosta?

Hostas are known for their resilience and adaptability to various climates, but some varieties are particularly hardy and tolerant of cold temperatures. One of the hardiest hosta varieties is ‘Patriot.’ It features bold, dark green leaves with crisp white margins and is prized for its vigor and durability. ‘Patriot’ can withstand frost and freezing temperatures and is suitable for growing in USDA hardiness zones 3-9.

8. What is the best placement for hostas?

The best placement for hostas depends on factors such as light levels, soil conditions, and climate. In general, hostas thrive in shaded or partially shaded areas with moist, well-draining soil rich in organic matter. Ideal locations include:

  • Under Trees: Hostas are well-suited to growing under trees or in areas where they receive dappled sunlight throughout the day. The filtered light and protection from direct sunlight help prevent leaf burn and promote healthy foliage.
  • Along Borders: Planting hostas along borders or edges of garden beds provides a natural transition between shaded and sunny areas. This placement allows hostas to receive some sunlight while still benefiting from protection provided by nearby structures or plants.
  • In Containers: Hostas can also be grown in containers on patios, balconies, or other outdoor spaces. Choose large containers with ample drainage holes and fill them with well-draining potting mix. Place containers in partially shaded areas to prevent heat stress and maintain soil moisture.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here