Upper Midwest Hostas - Growing Hostas In Michigan And Its Neighbors

Green-White Midwest Hosta Plant
(Image credit: Nataba)

The upper Midwest states of Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin are perfect for growing hostas. These shade-tolerant perennials grow in all types of soil this region has to offer and thrive and survive the four-season weather extremes. These are some of the best varieties of hostas for upper Midwest gardens. 

The Best Upper Midwest Hostas Varieties

Just about any type of hosta will grow in this region, but some varieties are especially well suited to the northern and eastern states of the Midwest: 

  • ‘Sun and Substance.’ This is a striking plant that can grow up to six feet (1.8 m) across. The leaves are large and a bright chartreuse color. It will do well with more sun than other hostas. 
  • “June.’ This pretty hosta has variegated leaves in different shades of green. In a sunnier spot you’ll see more yellow tones. In shade, the leaves develop darker and bluer greens. 
  • ‘Liberty.’ The leaves of ‘Liberty’ are dark green with a wide cream margin around the edges. It adds good visual interest to a bed of green foliage. 
  • ‘Gold Standard.’ ‘Gold Standard’ begins growing with green leaves that turn yellow in the center. It’s a unique color that will do best in partial to full shade. 
  • ‘Blue Angel.’ For your shadiest spots, choose this variety. When grown in shade, the leaves turn a deep, bluish-green. With more sunlight, it loses this special color. 
  • ‘Blue Mouse Ears.’ For that pretty blue color in a pint-sized plant, try this variety and put it in your shadiest beds.
  • ‘Christmas Candy.’ This is a newer variety that produces white, green-edged leaves. It is a truly unique hosta that needs a shady or partially shady spot. 

Growing Hostas in Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin

Most hostas will be fine in pretty serious shade, but dappled or partial shade is best. Pay attention to the precise needs of the varieties you choose before planting them. Put in a little organic material or fertilizer while preparing the soil. 

When planting new hostas in your garden, provide regular watering to get them established. They can tolerate the hot, often-dry summers of the Midwest well, but they need a little help getting started. 

Growing Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota hostas is easy. You don’t have to deadhead them or divide them, unless you want to propagate them. Watch out for slugs, rabbits, and deer, which may snack on the leaves. 

Whether growing east, north, central hostas, in the upper Midwest, you can’t really go wrong with any of these varieties. Pay attention to the particular needs of the type of hosta you choose, provide the right growing environment and some water to start, and your plants will thrive.

Mary Ellen Ellis

Mary Ellen Ellis has been gardening for over 20 years. With degrees in Chemistry and Biology, Mary Ellen's specialties are flowers, native plants, and herbs.