This perennial dies back to below ground level each year in autumn, then fresh new growth appears again in spring.
- Position: partial or full shade
- Soil: fertile, moist, well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: average to fast-growing
- Flowering period: July
- Hardiness: fully hardy
One of the largest of the hostas, the green leaves of ‘Empress Wu’ can grow up to a whopping 45cm long. Not only are they big, but their deep veining gives them a wonderful corrugated texture that makes them a stand-out feature in tropical or woodland-themed planting schemes. To top it all off, in early to midsummer, the generous mound of foliage is crowned with sprays of soft violet flowers.
- Garden care: Water your hosta well as soon as you plant it (avoiding the foliage if possible), and then water it regularly and thoroughly – particularly during the first growing season. You’ll get thicker, lusher leaves if you give your hostas a really good feed. An annual mulch in spring or autumn will help to keep the weeds down and is an easy way to improve soil and boost nutrient levels. Slugs and snails love hostas, so you will need to protect against them. Use an organic nematode treatment in early spring to ward them off – or pot them up into a gravel-topped pot.