Hosta undulata ‘Thomas Hogg’ –
Bold statement in shade
Hosta ‘Thomas Hogg’ makes a bold statement. It has impressively large leaves and an unmissable presence, because of its grand stature.
Each leaf is decorated with wavy ivory edges, and sage green splashes, against an emerald green background.
So you really can’t miss Hosta undulata ‘Thomas Hogg’.
Summer spires of lilac trumpets also make a big statement on 60cm. stems.
Then it follows up with vivid yellow autumn foliage,
Both flower stems and leaves are wonderful in a cut flower arrangement.
Where to grow in the garden
‘Thomas Hogg’ is a medium to large growing Hosta, particularly noted for its vigour and rapid increase. So you soon get a big clump of that striking foliage, which is very capable of suppressing weeds under trees and shrubs. With multiple plants you can really make a good groundcover.
Prefers Shade to Deep Shade, though ‘Thomas Hogg’ can happily have some gentle Morning Sun, or Dappled Shade under trees.
Useful companion & ground-cover
Hostas are exceptionally good companions with early bulbs such as daffodils, as they have their timing just right to emerge with their glorious Hosta foliage, and cover up the dirty tea towels that the bulb foliage has become as it dies back.
They look spectacular mass planted, in either single or mixed variety, or as edges in the shade.
Keeping them in raised big tubs in the shade also gives you the opportunity to keep the snails at bay easily, as well as have a spectacular feature.
Both the flower spires and the leaves make lovely cut flowers and vase specimens.
Surprisingly dry tolerant
Hostas are surprisingly dry tolerant once established.
So despite an incorrect reputation, they are not thirsty plants once they have got their roots down.
Consequently drying out a little between waterings is actually to their taste.
They are reliably frost hardy, enjoy average to fertile soil with compost, and are happiest in a pH range just on either side of neutral.
So not hard to please at all.
– Height with flowers: Lilac spires of trumpets to 60cm. approx.
– Width: ‘Thomas Hogg will quickly make a circle of 60cm. diameter approx.
– Position: Part Shade to Full Shade, though ‘Thomas Hogg’ will tolerate gentle Dappled Sun and Morning Sun.
– Soil: They enjoy average to fertile soil, and are happiest a pH in a range just on either side of neutral between 5.5 and 7.5. They love humus and organic matter in the soil. Clay soil will need to be opened up with compost for them.
– Frost: Very frost hardy to well below minus 10C.
– Growth: Herbaceous perennial clump. Deciduous in the winter and giving a colourful autumn foliage colour change.
– Fragrance: Not particularly for ‘Thomas Hogg’, though some Hostas are deliciously fragrant.
– Beneficial to wildlife: Bees of all breeds and small honey-eating birds love foraging the trumpet flowers for nectar. Holes bored in the base of the trumpet mean a big bee was too fat to get in.
– Beware: Hosta leaf shoots and flowers are prized as delicious food in Japan, and they are not toxic to humans. However they are very toxic to dogs, cats and horses if eaten. Sadly deer follow the Japanese, and eat them with enthusiasm and no upset tummies.
– Care: Easy care once established, and protected from slugs and snails (and deer).
– Deer & Rabbit resistant: Rabbits and deer love eating them.
– Origin: Ground zero for Hostas was the shady forests of China. But even over 2,000 years ago gardeners in China, Japan, and Korea were collecting, trading and breeding them. They had taken European gardeners by storm by the 1830’s, when they began to be traded out of Japan.
– History: Thomas Hogg came from a line of English nurserymen. But when Thomas was just a snippet, his family emigrated to America, where they established a nursery on Manhattan Island, New York (imagine the value of the nursery site now!). Thomas grew to become a trusted friend to President Abraham Lincoln alongside his nursery career. So when Japan was forcibly opened to American traders in 1855, and Lincoln found himself needing a trustworthy consul in Japan, Thomas was on the sailing ship bound for Japan by 1862. Thus began his life long love affair with Hostas, which he despatched home by the to his brother back at the nursery, by the shipload.