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Hosta 'Sum and Substance'

Massive satiny gold leaves make this one of the most prized of all hosta specimens.
Item: HosSuAnSu

Closed for 2012.


Sum and Substance is considered one of the finest hostas ever introduced. Large round satiny leaves can reach over two feet across. These giant chartreuse clumps will reach 6' wide under typical garden conditions. With careful placement and great soils this show-stopper can reach a whopping 10' wide!


Widely known as shade plants, Hostas do not do well in deep shade. A high tree canopy or full exposure to the northern sky suites them well. Hosta 'Sum and Substance' will also do well with full sun in the morning, but will most likely scorch if exposed to afternoon sun.

Hostas love deep rich soil. Use a garden or pitch fork to loosen soil to a depth of 12+ ". Amend soil heavily with materials such as shredded leaves, compost, or well-aged manure. A heavy layer of mulch can help keep moisture in, but can also harbor slugs one of hosta's primary pests. Soil PH should be relatively neutral so avoid acidifying organic materials like peat moss.

Hostas planted in rich soils need little fertilizer, however, a balanced fertilizer can be applied bi-monthly through mid summer. Do not fertilize late in the season. This produces a flush of growth that makes plants susceptible to winter damage.

Although hostas tolerate dry soils considerably well, adequate moisture should be provided to keep them healthy and looking their best. Dry conditions can severely slow growth and make plants more susceptible to leaf-burn. A deep watering of several hours is preferred over frequent shallow waterings.

Hosta 'Sum and Substance' can be divided in spring through early summer or about a month before last frost date (giving roots time to heal). If dividing when if full-leaf, cut back leaves of each division to match the size of the root ball. A division with a large amount of leaves and small amount of roots will struggle.

Pests & Diseases

Slugs and snails are the primary pest. They can be controlled with chemicals (more effective) or beer traps (less effective). Chemical controls can be very toxic to pets and wildlife. Copper strips and diatomaceous earth have also been reported to be effective.

Deer love hostas! There are numerous different ways to discourage deer including fences, bitter chemicals applied to leaves, and a host of deer repellant devices. Smaller animals such as rabbits will occasionally bother hostas but this is the exception rather than the norm.

The HVX virus is one of the most destructive and contagious viruses of hostas. Numerous articles have been written about the symptoms and how to avoid contamination. Proper tool hygiene is imperative. Diseased plants should be immediately discarded. All Provenance Perennial Hostas (including Hosta 'Sum and Substance') are virus indexed (tested). For more information, search for HVX in your browser. Other than the HVX virus, hostas are relatively disease free.


Plant Size:
You are purchasing Hosta 'Sum and Substance' as a commercial growers plug. Although smaller than the typical mail-order plant pots, the plants are often healthier and better-rooted. We have had great success planting these directly into our gardens. Within a month or two plants are indistiguishable from those that were transplanted at a larger size. The smaller pot size allows us to offer these designer plants at significantly discounted prices and low shipping rates. Plants will appear similar to the illustration.

We typically ship on Mondays (during the spring it sometimes takes a