Huge, sculptural, corrugated grey-blue leaves are topped with spikes of trumpet-shaped flowers of the palest lilac in July and August. When the plant has finished flowering, the seed pods split into tiny, star-like segments. The striking leaves of this plaintain lily make a dramatic full stop at a woodland edge, where they contrast beautifully with ferns and other foliage plants. Once established, its layers of leaves will suppress weeds, too.
Garden care: You'll get thicker, lusher leaves if you give your hostas a really good feed. An annual mulch in spring or autumn will help to keep the weeds down and is an easy way to improve soil and boost nutrient levels. Add a generous mulch of about 5-10cm (2-4in) deep of garden compost or leaf mould around the plant. Spraying the leaves regularly with a high nitrogen fertiliser during the growing season will also help to boost leaf size. Slugs and snails love hostas, so you will need to protect against them. Use an organic nematode treatment in early spring to ward off slugs. Or simply stick to planting it in a container.