I Love ‘Sum and Substance’ Hosta

Jun 28, 2019 | Love This!

Name: Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’

Type of Plant: Perennial plant for shade or part-shade gardens. Hardy from Zone 3 to 8.

Why I Love/Hate this plant: There are thousands of varieties of Hosta, and hundreds that are garden worthy…so why do I love this particular one? I love the lime green in color that shows well in shady gardens. This Hosta is large and showy. I love the fact that it isn’t as prone to slug and insect damage as the white and green varieties. And like most Hosta, ‘Sum and Substance’ grows large and dense enough that most weeds don’t stand a chance when it comes to germinating around this plant.

A Word to the Wise: Sum and Substance grows to about three feet tall and four or five feet in diameter, so give this one room. You can use this in groups of three (plant six to eight feet apart center to center) or as a single, specimen plant. Under-plant this large Hosta with Epimedium or another low-growing shade perennial.

This photo doesn’t do justice to the lime-green color of Sum and Substance but it does indicate how large this Hosta can grow.

The leaves on ‘Sum and Substance’ have texture as well as a lime-green color. Each leaf is about twelve inches across and fourteen to sixteen inches long.


  1. mindy arbo

    i have just recently delighted in discovering your blog [sideways] when i googled CAN I WALK ON AJUGA and your treasure blog came up
    [i never
    found an answer; is NO your thought?] in your sum and substance entry, i am familiar with the foreground plants in the photo,
    but plse i.d. the variegated ones at the base of the rhodo, behind and left of s&s! can’t see them clearly. always interested in variegated and purple leaf plants.
    p.s. thank you for saving me from that blue rhodo that i was JUST ABOUT to add to an Avant Gardens order!
    pp.s. the very FIRST thing i did after reading about Santa Rosa on your blog–was to place a $400 order w/them which arrived yesterday. it felt like my very first time discovering Broken Arrow 30 years ago!!! i am so indebted to you. you will be first in my thoughts as i plant all these grasses and a few misc.

    • CL Fornari

      Ajuga tends to be a short-lived plant in my area – not sure about where you are. Some foot traffic is OK but for any plant the problem isn’t so much the foot on the plant as it is the repeated compacting of the soil. Other plants in that photo are Japanese Painted Fern and Sun King Aralia. There is also a low, variegated hosta (‘Vera Verde’) and in the far background Carex Ice Dance, a spreading, ground-cover Carex.


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