Don’t touch the hosta, dahling!

Like this Hosta ‘Halcyon’, many of the prettiest hostas have what’s called a glaucous leaf – with a waxy coating that gives it a whitish frosting or bloom. The glaucous texture intensifies the blue of blue-leaf hostas and gives yellow or white markings a powdery glow.

Unfortunately, this coating easily rubs off if the leaves are touched. And it doesn’t return. We don’t like that.

Hostas are often planted underneath things in shade, so gravity makes things fall on them. Like the petal in the picture. When this happens, and in my garden it happens a lot, it’s important to brush off or, if you can, levitate away the debris ever, so, carefully.

Besides ‘Halcyon’, cultivars in my “no touching!” category are the much-admired ‘June’ (at right) and true blues ‘Fragrant Bouquet’ and ‘Tokudama.’

Since she was constantly being bombarded by rose petals, I recently moved June to a more open situation. Thanks to that, she is bloomier. My Tokudama has been enmeshed in maple roots for so many years, I’d be scared to move it. So I practice my touchless flicking technique – right down the petiole – on the inevitable blanket of immature maple keys each spring.

Hot weather (if we ever get any) can make the glaucous blues particularly vulnerable. So take care, and be a good host to your frosty hosta. Hands off!

1 comment

  1. Would be good to have a soft brush just for this purpose. I'm thinking a big fat makeup brush might be just the thing. Need to experiment with some different kinds.

    Or maybe a very very small dustbuster. Operated by elves, of course.

    Failing that, the brush.

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