Hostas turning all green

Asked June 27, 2016, 2:28 PM EDT

I have grown variegated hostas over the years and, in time, they turn solid green. It takes a couple of years to make this transformation. Otherwise they are hardy and healthy. I have a feeling they are lacking certain nutrients but don't know what they are and what to feed them. I would appreciate any help you can give me. I am partial to the pale yellow centers with a med. green outline. thanks in advance.

Chester County Pennsylvania

1 Response

Variegated hostas do not necessarily stay true. Some varieties retain the variegation better than others. I have a large hosta that stays variegated, but its offspring are solid green. Here is a quote from a horticulture magazine:

"Variation in leaf color arises because of a lack of the green pigment chlorophyll in some of the plant cells. It isn’t an adaptation to the environment, but instead it is usually the result of a cell mutation, and can be inherited (genetic) or occur randomly (chimeric). If genetic, the color change is stable, which means that if you propagate a green shoot from a plant with colored leaves or sow its seed, the coloring will reappear in the new plant. This applies both to green leaves with irregular markings (variegation), say in white and yellow, and to those of a single solid color such as gold or purple."