Hosta Island Breeze Brightens the Shade Garden

hosta island breezeVirtues: Hosta Island Breeze features bold foliage that brightens any garden area with its bright gold color in spring. It continues to contribute color and substance throughout the summer. This hosta’s thick leaves are resistant to damage from pests.

Common name: ‘Island Breeze’ hosta

Botanical name: Hosta ‘Island Breeze’

Exposure: Part sun to full shade.

Season: Spring to fall, for foliage.

Flowers: Lavender tubular flowers appear atop 28-inch stems in midsummer.

Foliage: Hosta Island Breeze has thick, rounded leaves that are bright gold with a medium green margin in the spring. As summer progresses, the gold will fade to a softer yellow if the plant receives more sun; if the plant is in deeper shade, the yellow will turn soft lime green.

Habit: Herbaceous perennial with a founding habit to 12 inches tall and 18 inches wide.

Origins: Hosta Island Breeze arose as a sport (genetic mutation) of the cultivar ‘Paradise Island’, which itself was a variegated offspring of the vivid yellow ’Fire Island’. Island Breeze builds on the bold look of Paradise Island, offering brighter color, wider leaf margins and thicker leaves. Like the earlier cultivars, Hosta Island Breeze also has red petioles (leaf stems), adding to the color show.

How to grow: Plant in part sun, part shade or full shade, in average soil with good drainage. Keep the soil evenly moist the first growing season, but thereafter established plants can tolerate dry spells. Divide hosta in spring if desired. USDA Zones 3–9.

Image courtesy of Walters Gardens.

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