Sum and Substance Hosta

As low as $39.89 was $69.99
Availability: In stock

If you have a shade garden, you are probably already very well acquainted with the beautiful family of Hosta. Regarded for their leaves in striking textures and patterns, Hostas are one of the best plants for shade for both beginning and experienced gardeners!

Besides striking leaves, though, a few Hosta just seem to stand out - big time! Or maybe you're looking for a Hosta with a little more, well - substance? Introducing the Sum and Substance Hosta, (Hosta x 'Sum and Substance')! Not only does it have huge, rounded leaves with an amazing texture and heavily puckered, corrugated character, but it carries an unusual golden and green hue that illuminates the dappled shade!

The plant itself reaches a height of 36" and a spread of 60". That's a big deal! This is a giant plant with colorful foliage that will need space to grow, so don't be stingy with the room. Sum and Substance leaves unfurl quickly and take up a commanding presence from the time it emerges in early spring right up until fall frost!

The luxuriously arching, mounding clumps almost glow in the shade. Displaying better color with a few hours of the morning sun, these sturdy, heart-shaped leaves create a lovely cascading effect as each new set of leaves spills over the last.

Not to be outdone by the leaf color, the trumpet-shaped lavender flowers form on tall 50-inch scapes and add further beauty to this sizable perennial. These will be fluttering with pollinators and butterflies, and maybe a Hummingbird or two! You'll love the blooms as lovely cut flowers for your bouquets.

Talk about lighting up the shade garden!

Planting and Application:

You'll gain immense curb appeal with a row of shade garden-loving Sum and Substance fronting your foundation plantings or lining a shaded driveway! Or line that shaded side of your home's foundation where not much else seems to grow.

Use fantastic greenery at the back of your Perennial or Cottage garden, and you'll have a brilliant backdrop to highlight your other shade-loving perennials and shrubs. These brightly colored leaves accent the dark colors of other shade-loving perennials like Coral Bells and Goat's Beard and Hillside Black Beauty Bugbane, contrast the fine-textured foliage of Astilbe, Ferns, and Bleeding Hearts, and complement the bright colors of Brunnera or Japanese Forest Grasses.

Try a striking combination of Primo Black Pearl Coral Bells or Hillside Black Beauty Bugbane with Sum and Substance Hosta for a striking contrast!

These hefty plants anchor larger planting beds and soften corners of structures and trellis while fringing large shade trees and shrubs with color while hiding their bare stems and trunk, providing a wonderful finished look.

Allow one of these sizeable plants to take a prominent spot in your Rock garden or as a standout specimen and facer plant and focal point in your shade gardens where the bright golden chartreuse color really lights up the scene!

Skirt a garden shed or gazebo with glorious color throughout the growing season. Or highlight one of these golden-green gems in a large urn or on a berm to further set it apart from the rest!

Try creating a focal point planting in your garden by clustering these in a grouping of 3 or more for a stand-out accent! Seating areas, birdbaths, outdoor sculptures, and urns become the main feature with a fringe of these around their base.

Anyone who's seen the vast array of sizes, colors, and textures that Hosta can be found in today, knows that it's difficult to just have one! Why not start your own specimen planting of many Hosta varieties for a unique collection that's going to be a sure-fire conversation starter!

  • Huge Bright Gold & Green Foliage
  • Puckered & Cupped Leaves & Large Arching 5-Foot Mounds
  • Long Bell-Shaped Lavender Blooms on Scapes Over 4 Feet Tall!
  • Pollinators & Hummingbirds
  • 2004 Hosta of the Year Award
  • Specimen & Back of the Garden, Large Edging & Shade Garden Perennial

#ProPlantTips for Care:

Sum and Substance Hosta grows fantastic in deep shade in the warm USDA growing zones 3 through 9, where it will also require some extra moisture throughout the hot summers. But a little morning sun will help its striking gold-chartreuse color reach its full depth. Cooler hardiness zones will find this Hosta enjoys partial sun exposure, however, the full sun will cause these leaves to burn, so provide this herbaceous Perennial with afternoon shade and extra moisture during the summer's heat.

Provide regular watering for best results in an enriched site with good amounts of organic matter. Besides that, all this easy-care plant needs is some water and well-drained soil, then stand back and watch it do its thing! Preferring a pH between 5.5 and 7.5. A generous 3-4 inch thick layer of mulch chips helps retain soil moisture as well as insulate the root system from heat and chill. Low care and easy maintenance, remove the dead leaves after frost for a clean winter appearance and to prevent any possible fungal or slug issues from wintering over. Deadhead Hostas as soon as the flowers fade for a tidy look, and in fall when these herbaceous Perennials die back from the cold, it's time to prune the mound clean and remove the dead foliage. Divide your Hosta every 3-5 years to maintain vigor.

  • Partial Shade & Morning Sun
  • Moist Well-Drained Soil
  • Deadhead & Prune Late Autumn
  • Easy-Care Perennial for New Gardeners
  • Slug Resistant

Sum and Substance was named Hosta of the Year in 2004 and has been a bold and vivid favorite ever since! Head over to to buy a few from us today and see why for yourself!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Hostas need full sun or shade?

Hosta does best in full sun in cooler climates but does appreciate afternoon protection from the worst of the summer sun, especially in the hottest of their growing zone range. In the hottest climates, Hosta like partial shade or dappled shade, and some varieties will do great in full shade.

Where do Hostas grow best?

Hosta plants love enriched, well-drained soil that is moderately yet consistently moist throughout the growing season. They appreciate mulched garden beds.

Do Hostas come back every year? Are Hostas a perennial plant?

With vigorous carefree growth, Hostas are herbaceous perennial plants that will return year after year with little maintenance.

What do you do with Hostas in the fall? What do you do with Hostas in the winter?

Hosta leaves will die back after frost but the crowns and roots remain intact and dormant until next spring. Prune back the leaves once they turn brown in the autumn and remove them from the plant's area. For winter protection, add a layer of compost or mulch over the crowns to protect them from the chill.

Do Hosta attract hummingbirds or pollinators?

Hostas are loved by pollinators and hummingbirds! All walks of beneficial pollinators will show up to sip their nectar.

What Shipping Options Do You Offer? works closely with our growers and nursery professionals to ensure we ship when it is most appropriate for your area. Our goal is to deliver the hardiest plants by avoiding extreme high and low temperatures. Check out our shipping schedule for more information and to learn our wills and don'ts when it comes to shipping plants. Find your Hosta Plants for sale here at!

Buying Options for Plants

Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.

Ever wonder what a larger plant will mean for your landscape? Container Sizes are really all about the age of the plant!

Seasonally, Nature Hills offers hand selected, high quality bare root trees, shrubs and perennials. Bare root plants are sold by height from the top of the root system to the top of the plant. Plants may be taller than the height minimums.

  • Popular sizes of select trees are 1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet, etc.
  • Popular sizes of select bare root plants is 1 foot, 18 inches, etc.

Nature Hills Container Size by Volume

Keep in mind, specific varieties and different growing conditions can affect the rate at which plants grow. Variations in size may occur.

Young Plants to 18 Months
Size Volume
2"x2"x3" Ranges from .18 to .21 dry quarts / .198 to .23 dry liters in volume
4.5" Container Equal to .65 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume
Sprinter Pot Equal to .63 dry quart / .69 dry liter in volume
4" Container Ranges from .31 to .87 / .35 to .96 dry liter in volume
6" Container Equal to 1.4 dry quarts / 1.59 dry liters in volume
1 Quart Equal to 1 dry quart / 1.1 dry liter in volume
5.5" Container Equal to 1.89 of a dry quart / 2.08 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x5" Ranges from .8 to 1.1 dry quarts / .88 to 1.2 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x6" Ranges from 1.0 to 1.3 dry quarts / 1.1 to 1.41 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x9" Ranges from 1.1 to 2.1 dry quarts / 1.2 to 2.3 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x10" Ranges from 1.7 to 2.3 dry quart / 1.87 to 2.53 dry liters in volume
Plants 18 Months - 2.5 Years Old
Size Volume
2 Quart Equal to 2 dry quarts / 2.2 dry liters in volume
#1 Container Ranges from 2.26 to 3.73 dry quarts / 2.49 to 4.11 dry liters in volume
5"x5"x12" Equal to 3.5 to 4.3 dry quarts / 3.85 to 4.74 dry liters in volume
Plants 2 - 4 Years Old
Size Volume
#2 Container Ranges from 1.19 to 1.76 dry gallons / 5.24 to 7.75 dry liters in volume
#3 Container Ranges from 2.32 to 2.76 dry gallons / 10.22 to 12.16 dry liters in volume
Plants 3 - 5 Years Old
Size Volume
#5 Container Ranges from 2.92 to 4.62 dry gallons / 12.86 to 20.35 dry liters in volume
#6 Container Ranges from 5.25 to 6.01 dry gallons / 23.12 to 26.42 dry liters in volume
#7 Container Ranges from 5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume

About Plant Sentry™

Plant Sentry is designed to protect both consumers and the nursery trade from invasive plant pests and diseases. Sites that display the Plant Sentry protection badge are protected from consumers buying and nurseries shipping material carrying invasive pests and diseases.

This proprietary eCommerce software prevents the shipment of a restricted plant to each state. The Plant Sentry system includes a shipment certification program. The Plant Sentry Compliance Officer works closely with and each nursery or fulfillment center to ensure only compliant plants are sold to customers.

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Plant Sentry


To obtain a more accurate shipment time-frame, simply enter your zip code in the “Find Your Growing Zone” box to the right. Our plants are grown all over the country and lead time on items may be different because of this. Once your order is placed, you will also receive the specific shipment time-frame information as part of your order confirmation. Once an item ships, you will receive shipment notification and tracking numbers, so you can follow along while your plant travels to your doorstep. We use FedEx, UPS, or USPS at our discretion.

Due to winter weather we have put a hold on shipping to the areas shown below in grey. You can still order now and we will ship the plant to you during an appropriate time for your zone.

*If you have found your zone already, it will be highlighted in the table below.
Color Zone Times
3 Spring 2019
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Shipping Rates

At Nature Hills we handle, package and ship the products you order with the utmost care to ensure healthy delivery. Shipping and handling charges are calculated based on the tables below. Please note that some items include an additional handling surcharge, these will be noted on the item's product page.

From To S&H
0 - 19.99 24.99
20 - 49.99 29.99
50 - 69.99 34.99
70 - 99.99 39.99
100 - 129.99 44.99
130 - 149.99 48.99
150 - 150+ Approx 28%

Click here to see our full rates


Sum and Substance Hosta Is Suited to Grow in Zones 3-9
Growing Zones 3-9
More Information
Brand Nature Hills' Choice
Botanical Name Hosta x 'Sum and Substance'
Type Perennial
Mature Height 2 - 4 feet
Mature Spread 4 - 6 feet
Soil Well Drained
Moisture Moderate
Growth Rate Medium
Foliage Color Light Green & Golden
Pollinator Friendly Yes
Pruning Time Late Autumn
Fragrant Yes