A gardener’s guide to hosta flowers

Hosta flowers can be both beautiful and incredibly fragrant. While hostas are most commonly grown for their beautiful foliage, their flowers are also well worth admiring!

Hosta flowers grow on tall thin flower stalks up above the mound of leaves. Most hostas have pale purple or white flowers that are bell-shaped or funnel-shaped. The flowers grow in groups at the top of straight stalks that hold the cluster of blooms up above the leaves. Some varieties have exceptionally scented flowers or blooms with quite an elegant appearance. Hostas tend to bloom in midsummer.

Read on to learn all about hosta flowers!

blue mouse ears hosta flowers
Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’

Introduction to hosta flowers

Hosta flowers are fragrant purple or white blossoms that grow in groups at the top of tall flower stalks. The cluster of flowers, called the “raceme” can be dense or the flowers can be spaced out along the stem (called a “scape”). Each individual hosta flower lasts for one day (rather like a daylily).

Most hostas have pale purple flowers. Some types of hostas have white flowers, like Hosta plantaginea. Others have dark purple flowers or lavender flowers with dark purple stripes. Hostas tend to bloom in mid to late summer (July is common in temperate climates).

Hosta flowers have both ovaries and stamen (male and female organs). The flowers can be pollinated by insects carrying pollen from one plant’s flower to the stigma of a different hosta plant’s flower. Fertilized ovaries of the flowers can produce pods of seeds, which take about six weeks to grow on the scape after pollination occurs.

Hosta plantaginea flowers
Hosta plantaginea

Hostas well-known for their flowers

Certain varieties of hostas are better known for their flowers than others. Here are five of the top hosta varieties to grow for excellent flowers.

1. Blue mouse ears hosta

‘Blue Mouse Ears’ is a mini blue-leaved hosta with beautiful bell-shaped purple flowers. The flowers grow in dense clusters on an 8-inch scape above the 6-inch mound of blue leaves. Each flower is a lavender tone with dark violet streaks, blooming in midsummer.

2. Royal standard hosta

‘Royal Standard’ is a classic large green hosta with masses of white funnel-shaped flowers. While the flower buds are lilac in color, the flowers are pure snow white once they open. This variety is also wonderfully fragrant. The scapes are about 40 inches tall, holding the racemes above the 36-inch high mound of leaves. Royal standard blooms in late summer.

3. Fragrant bouquet hosta

‘Fragrant Bouquet’ is a hosta named for its sweet-smelling flowers. The large flowers are funnel-shaped and are a very pale lilac color that is very close to being pure white. As the name suggests, they are also wonderfully scented. The flower stalks are usually about 36 inches tall, holding the flowers well above the 18-inch leaf mound. Fragrant bouquet hosta blooms in late summer.

4. Diana remembered hosta

‘Diana Remembered’ is a variegated hosta variety known for its large and fragrant flowers. This hosta has 3″-long lilac-white flowers with a gorgeous sweet scent. The flowers are narrow and almost tubular. Each scape is about 22 inches tall, holding the flowers above the 16-inch mound of leaves. Diana remembered blooms in late summer.

5. Hosta plantaginea

Hosta plantaginea is a large green species hosta with very long pure white funnel-shaped flowers. Gardeners love this species not only because the tubular flowers are so long and elegant, but also because they have a very strong floral fragrance. The flower scapes are usually about 32 inches long, holding the flowers above the 24-inch tall mound of green leaves. Hosta plantaginea blooms in late summer.

Tips for growing hosta flowers

Now that you know a bit more about hosta flowers, here are some tips on how to grow them in your garden.

1. Plant hostas in well-drained soil in a location that gets partial sun in the morning (unless the variety is not at all sun-tolerant). A bit of direct morning sun boosts photosynthesis and helps the plant store energy needed for its blooms. Here are more tips about planting hostas.

2. Water hostas regularly during the growing season, especially if they are grown in containers. Hostas thrive with 1.5 inches of water each week, which is more than most climates naturally offer.

3. Fertilize hostas with a balanced hosta fertilizer in early spring and again in mid-summer. Here are some tips about feeding hostas.

4. Deadhead hosta flowers as they fade to keep the plant looking tidy and to prevent seed pods from forming. Pods can be unsightly and also zap the plant’s energy that could be used for next year’s flowers.

With these tips, you should be well on your way to growing hosta flowers in your garden!

Mary Jane Duford
Mary Jane Duford

Mary Jane Duford is a gardening expert and founder of Home for the Harvest. She's also an engineer and certified permaculture garden designer. Mary Jane has been featured by publications such as Real Simple, Mother Earth News, Homes & Gardens, Heirloom Gardener, and Family Handyman.