Lemon Lime and Sum & Substance


Lemon LIme Hosta

Lemon Lime Hosta

All of my hostas are looking great! All of the small to medium size hostas have completely emerged but the large to huge hostas are still unfurling their leaves.

Lemon Lime is a small hosta with wavy yellow-green pointed leaves that grows anywhere from 5 to 10 inches tall. It has a tightly formed clump and makes a great border plant. In mid summer pale lavender flowers appear atop a 13 to 15 inch scape.

Hosta are my favorite leaf plants. I have been growing hosta since 1992 and belong to the American Hosta Society as well as our local hosta society. Between 1996 and 2007 I was into hybridizing hosta and had over 1200 different variety of hosta, nearly 2000 plants not including the 1500 to 2000 seedlings I was growing. I actually still have tens of thousands of hosta seed in the freezer in small envelopes, labeled with all of the crossing of plants.

During my years of hybridizing I registered several plants with the American Hosta Society. I don’t grow as many plants any more but I do love growing them so I wanted to share a few pictures!

Sum and Substance hosta

Sum and Substance Hosta

Sum and Substance is a huge hosta that will grow to a height of 3 to 4 feet under the right conditions. The Sum and Substance above is 6 feet is diameter and nearly 4 feet tall. These pictures don’t really do this plant justice. The leaves are huge, the largest leaf this plant is 16 inches wide and 21-1/4 inches long. Later in the summer there will be lavender flowers on tall scapes. Sum and Substance can grow in full sun but you will more than likely get some burning on the edges of the leaves and it will require more water. Ideal conditions would be morning sun and afternoon shade.

Hostas will thrive in acidic soil and will grow larger than normal under ideal soil conditions as well as the right amount of water and fertilizer. They love coffee grinds mixed into the soil and fish emulsion often. When watering do not get water on the leaves especially during the hot time of the day.

Sum and Substance hosta

If you want to learn more about hostas I would suggest you join the American Hosta Society.

I will post more hosta pictures in the up coming week!

Enjoy your weekend, be sure to have some fun and laugh!


Check out my Bluebird Houses, they make great gift and you will enjoy watching the Bluebird nest!

two blue birds one on birdhouse and the other eating mealwroms





25 thoughts on “Lemon Lime and Sum & Substance

  1. Oh how I miss my hostas—I had hostas planted at our other house, years ago. Where we are now is more a location for direct sun–meaning I don’t have the shade loving plants I once enjoyed.
    I’m impressed with your horticultural skills!
    As always Michael, I learn something new each time I read your posts—thank you and happy weekend–

  2. Wow, sounds like hostas are/were more than a hobby for you Michael. That Lemon Lime one is a lovely colour! Hope you have a fun weekend too. 😉

    • It was a hobby until I begin to get more involved with the American Hosta Society, writing numerous articles for the AHS publications, traveling, teaching and speaking at gardening clubs and master gardening programs, competing at hosta leaf shows, organizing plant sales,..etc. When I was first introduced to hybridizing hosta by Mary Chastian who is a well known hosta hybridizer and a few other hybridizers I spent a lot of time learning from them. Before I knew it I was hybridizing and adding plants to my collection daily. I needed more and more unique hostas, streaked hostas, for cross pollination. At one point I had 10,000 – 15,000 plus seedlings growing under lights in my basement. I really enjoyed it but it consumed me and my time but I had the most beautiful hosta gardens ever! 🙂

        • Voles can be a huge problem! I like Red October as well and used it a lot when I was hybridizing. Red October and a few others help he get a lot of seedlings with red and maroon color on the petioles. A few other plants with red petioles I grow are, Cherry Tart, Fire Island, One Man’s Treasure, Designer Genes, Peach Salsa and Paradise Island.

          Your pictures are beautiful, love your Red October! 🙂 Bob does a great job with the Hosta Library!

  3. How interesting that you were into hybridizing hosta, Michael! I, too, love hostas and have quite a few varieties growing about our yard. They’re finally leafing out and I’ll be dividing some to transplant in new areas.

    • good evening Susan!! Don’t you just love hostas!! They are fun to grow and so many different variety, sizes and colors! I bet you have a beautiful yard, I would love to see some of your hostas! I loved it and was soon one of the top hybridizers in the AHS. I also had a small tissue culture lab. What was a hobby turned into competition with the others. Not only hybridizing, tissue culture, writing articles, teaching, speaking, etc..etc.. I was always getting ready for garden tours every couple of weeks. Many times I would have 300-400 people tour my gardens a day. Fun and a lot of recognition but it all turned into a lot of work! Send some pictures of your hostas if we get a chance! 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend.

      Here is a link you might like: http://www.hostalibrary.org/

  4. I love hostas and had quite a few at my last house. Where I live now, the previous owner put down landscape fabric and rock.. ugg.. now when I try to put new plants in it’s a huge pain and the soil is so bad nothing grows:( It’s interesting that you were able to learn so much about hostas and hybridize them.. very impressive!!

    • Hi Barbara! A good friend of mine has the rock so that he never has to plant anything as he is not much of a gardener. Since I live on a mountain, our soil is very rocky so I have to add a lot of compost. 🙂

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