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Growing Concerns: Look for paisley pattern in gardens this spring

January 6, 2019

Hosta is a popular plant in the shade garden due to its versatility in the landscape.

With so many cultivars to choose from, the American Hosta Growers Association has been selecting a Hosta of the Year since 1996. The Hosta of the Year must be dependable, widely available and moderately priced.

The 2019 Hosta of the Year is “Lakeside Paisley Print,” which was introduced by Mary Chastain, of Tennessee. “Lakeside Paisley Print” is the offspring of two unnamed seedling parents. Lakeside hosta must thrive in a variety of conditions, exhibit a good rate of natural increase for dividing, have foliage with “good substance” and unique characteristics. In the hosta world, foliage with “good substance” means thicker leaves which often exhibit slug resistance.

“Lakeside Paisley Print” is classified as a small cultivar, 10 inches tall with a spread of 20 inches. The wavy, edged leaves have a unique cream variegation in the center of the leaf. The shape of the variegation is often described as a white feather. The combination of the heart-shaped green leaf and white feather variegation create a paisley print. The thick leaves have good substance, making this hosta slug-resistant.

The pale lavender flowers appear midsummer, standing 24 inches tall. Remove spent flower stalks to prevent seed formation. Seed formation drains energy from the plant. Seedlings will not be true-to-type.

“Lakeside Paisley Print” is hardy to USDA hardiness Zone 2. Rochester is in USDA hardiness Zone 4, also suitable to “Lakeside Paisley Print.” This hosta performs best in humus-rich, moist, well-drained soil with part to full shade.

This cultivar is a small hosta with a moderate growth rate. The cream-colored, feather-shaped center stands out in the shade garden. The cream and green foliage is a great compliment to Actaea racemosa (black cohosh), Polygonatum biflorum (soloman’s seal), Pulmonaria (lungwort), Heuchera (coralbells) cultivars, Astilbe species and other hosta cultivars.

The small, attractive foliage is excellent for mixed containers and cut flower arrangements. Hosta can be used in cottage, woodland, and oriental garden design.

Hosta are low-maintenance plants that thrive in shade, even under trees with extensive root systems. The plant is an herbaceous perennial with foliage dying back for the winter. Most hosta can be divided every three to five years. “Lakeside Paisley Print” can be divided or left alone for years.

The variations of foliage color, leaf shape, and flowers of hosta fill a niche in the shade garden. Hosta plants grow well in the urban ecosystem, tolerating the air pollution, the transformed soils and tight spaces. The unique leaf variegation makes “Lakeside Paisley Print” a great choice for Hosta of the Year. Look for this hosta cultivar in local garden centers this spring.

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