Do Hostas Flower? Plus Answers To 9 Other Hosta Bloom Questions

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do hostas flower

Hostas are primarily grown for their dynamic foliage and shade-friendly nature. So if you’re new to them, it’s easy to wonder, “Do Hostas Flower?”

Yes, the vast majority of Hostas produce flowers. Depending on the species, they’ll emerge somewhere between Summer and Fall. However, there are some Hosta varieties that don’t produce flowers. They are much less common though.

Non-Flowering Hostas

There aren’t many non-flowering Hostas. The only ones that I’m aware of are in the species Hosta clausa.

It’s arguable whether or not the traditional Hosta clausa blooms. You might be wondering how this could be.

Well, it does produce purple flower buds. They just don’t open.

Clausa means closed, which refers to these closed flower buds. Eventually, the buds just fall off of the plant.

Hosta clausa var. Stolonifera is truly non-flowering. Instead, this Hosta spreads by sending out underground runners. These types of Hostas can be difficult to contain.

Both the traditional Hosta clausa and var. Stolonifera are difficult to find at garden centers.

When Do Hostas Flower?

Depending on the species, Hostas flower between Summer and Fall.

I recommend mixing and matching a few different varieties that bloom at different times. This way, you’ll be able to spread out the length of time that you have blooms in your garden.

Here are some easy pairings that you could make:

  • June and Francee Hostas bloom from June to July
  • Guacamole and Patriot Hostas bloom from July to August
  • August Moon or Autumn Frost Hostas bloom from Late Summer into Fall. In fact, most Hosta plantaginea varieties bloom in August.

Hosta Flower Colors

Hosta flowers range from white to pink to lavender to violet to purple and everywhere in between. They may be violet on the outside and white on the inside, white with lavender stripes, or speckled white and purple. There are hundreds of unique variations.

Hummingbirds and pollinators are naturally attracted to these colorful blooms. They also enjoy drinking from these bell-shaped flowers.

How Long Do Hosta Flowers Last?

Each individual Hosta flower doesn’t last very long. In fact, they generally only last about a day.

However, there may be 50 or more flowers on each flower scape (stalk) that it sends up. These blooms don’t all open at the same time, so they will continue to open over several days to a week or so.

Each individual Hosta plant can send up multiple flower stalks every bloom season. In fact, in ideal conditions, they’ll send up around ten flower scapes.

Overall, this bloom cycle lasts about 4 weeks. So even though the blooms themselves are short-lived, there is plenty to enjoy. I’d go as far as to say that Hosta flowers are underappreciated.

Some gardeners create flower arrangements with Hosta bloom scapes and leaves. New blooms will continue to open while the stalks are in a vase. I’ve even heard that some county fairs have Hosta arrangement contests.

What Do I Do After My Hostas are Done Blooming?

Once every bloom on the stalk is spent, I recommend snipping it off. Move the leaves aside and snip the scape off underneath the foliage line. This way you aren’t left with a pincushion effect from all of the cut stalks sticking out of the plant.

This prevents the stalk from producing seeds. It also promotes the production of new flowers.

You might think “What if I want my plant to produce seeds?” And it’s fine if you do, but keep in mind that the plants you’ll grow from the seeds will be very different from the parent.

Do Hostas Flower Every Year?

Yes, they SHOULD flower every year.

If you’re unfamiliar with this concept, not every plant flowers every year. Some plants, like biennials, don’t flower every year. But Hostas are not biennials.

They should flower at the same time every year. If your plant flowered the first year you had it and then didn’t flower the next year, there is likely another issue at play.

do hostas flower in a nursery
Photo by Christin Noelle

What To Do If Your Hosta Isn’t Flowering

So you know you’ve planted a flowering variety and their typical bloom season has come and gone. There are several reasons that your Hosta might not be flowering.

1. It’s Still Getting Situated

Did you plant it this year? If so, it’s possible that the plant is getting adjusted to its new planting location and didn’t worry about producing flowers this year.

This happens from time to time. Being transplanted to a new location is stressful. You may have planted it right when it would normally be preparing flowers and it was disrupted.

2. It’s Not Getting Enough Water

Plants need water to produce flowers. Therefore, if you’re having a dry spring or summer and you don’t provide any extra water, you might find yourself without any blooms.

Hostas need about an inch of water every week. I recommend watering them deeply 2 to 3 times per week if this is their first growing season in your garden.

If they’ve been in your landscape for a year or two, provide a deep watering once a week during dry weather.

3. Your Hosta Isn’t Receiving Enough Sun

You might say: “Wait a minute… I thought Hostas were shade plants!”

Hostas ARE shade-friendly plants, but they’re not full shade plants. This is a common misconception. They still need some sunlight to produce flowers. In fact, every plant does. This is why many of the full shade plants you see, like ferns, don’t bloom.

An hour or two of direct sunlight or several hours of filtered sun will make all of the difference. I cover sun exposure more in my Hosta care guide.

If you really don’t want to move them, see if there are some tree limbs that you can remove to let a little light shine through.

Are Hosta Flowers Fragrant?

Some Hosta flowers are very fragrant!

The most notable species of fragrant Hostas is Hosta plantaginea. It’s aptly named the Fragrant Plantain Lily.

The Aphrodite, Heaven Scent, and White Shoulders Hosta are three very fragrant H. plantaginea breeds.

Otherwise, it’s not so difficult to find breeds that are known for their fragrance. Many of them have fragrant in their names!

Here are some fragrant selections:

  • Fragrant Gold – As the name implies, this is a gold-leafed variety with delectably sweet-smelling, whitish-lavender flowers
  • Fragrant Blue – This beauty has chalky blue, heart-shaped leaves with fragrant lavender flowers. I love this one.
  • Fragrant Bouquet – This is a granny-smith green variety with variegated yellow leaf edges. Its flowers are white and violet with a fantastic scent.
  • Summer Fragrance – Another variegated variety with dark green leaves and creamy white edges. This is a fast-grower with dark lavender flowers.

Final Thoughts on the Question: Do Hostas Flower?

Now, hopefully, you know more about Hosta blooms than you ever thought you’d need to know!

To recap:

  • Most varieties produce flowers
  • They bloom between Summer and Fall
  • Each flower lasts about a day, but each stalk has around 50 flowers
  • Overall, they’re in bloom for about 4 weeks
  • If they’re not blooming, it could be getting situated or it may not be getting enough sun or water.
  • Some varieties are quite fragrant. Namely varieties in the Hosta plantaginea species.

Thank you for reading! If you have any questions or comments, leave them below.

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