How To Grow Fragrant Plantain Lily (Hosta plantaginea) In Your Garden

Hosta plantaginea, is commonly known as the Fragrant Plantain Lily or August Lily.

This Hosta plant is a hardy perennial plant that is cherished for its large, glossy, dark green leaves and its fragrant, trumpet-shaped white flowers. These come into bloom in late summer.

Hosta plantaginea plant
Hosta plantaginea photograph by Leonora (Ellie) Enking; CC.

This clump forming plants generally reaches a height and spread of about 1.5 feet (0.45 m). It is great if you are looking for a plant with known shade tolerance, and is a popular choice for ground cover, borders, and containers.

It performs best in USDA hardiness zones 3 to 9 (RHS H7).

How to Grow Hosta plantaginea in the Garden

Hosta plantaginea prefers to grow in a partial to full shade location. Ideally in a well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. It can tolerate a range of soil types, from sandy to clay, provided they are well-drained.

Plant it in early spring or fall. Use a hole twice the width and equal to the depth of the root ball. Water generously once planted.

While it is drought-tolerant once established, it prefers consistent moisture, particularly during the summer months.

Fragrant plantain lily in bloom
Fragrant plantain lily in bloom image by cultivar413; CC.

Feed with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in early spring. This will encourage lush foliage and vibrant blooms.

Pruning is generally not necessary, but remove spent flower stalks and any damaged leaves to maintain a tidy appearance.

Watch out for slugs and snails, which are common pests. Clearing debris from around the plant can help to deter these pests; or use slug pellets.

Incorporating Hosta plantaginea into your garden enriches it with stunning foliage and beautifully scented flowers. This will enhance your garden's allure and provide a refreshing element for any shaded corners.

Fragrant Plantain lily flower close up.
Fragrant Plantain lily flowers image by 阿橋 HQ; CC.

How to Grow Hosta as  Hosta plantaginea Houseplant

If growing your Hosta plantaginea indoors, then choose a location with bright, indirect light or partial shade.

Keep the temperature between 60-75°F (15-24°C).

Plant in a well-draining soil enriched with organic matter. Water regularly to keep the soil consistently moist.

Apply a slow-release fertilizer in early spring, and feed with a water-soluble fertilizer every four weeks throughout the growing season. Remove faded leaves and divide the plant every 3-5 years to help maintain its vigor.

Quick Hosta plantaginea Growing and Care Guide

Scientific Name: Hosta plantaginea.

Common Name(s): August lily, Fragrant plantain lily, Corfu Lily.

Growing Zone (USA / UK Hardiness): USDA Zones: 3-9. RHS hardiness H7, hardy throughout Europe.

Best Used For / Garden Location: Borders, ground cover, containers, woodland and shade gardens.

Plant Details

Life Cycle / Plant Type: Perennial.

Plant Height: 1.5-2 ft (0.45-0.6 m).

Plant Spread: 1.5-2 ft (0.45-0.6 m).

Blooms: Late summer.

Flower Details: Fragrant, white, lily-like flowers.

Leaf Foliage: Broad, shiny green leaves.

Fruit: Insignificant.

Growing Conditions and Location

Best Light Conditions: Part to full shade.

Suitable Soil Types: Well-drained, fertile, slightly acidic soil.

Sowing / planting: Sow seeds in a cold frame in spring or fall.

Germination time: 2-4 weeks at 60-70°F (15-21°C).

Propagation: Division in spring or fall.

Plant Care: Water regularly, particularly during dry spells; provide mulch to retain moisture and deter weeds.

Growing in pots and containers: Suitable for containers; ensure good drainage and shade.

Growing as a House plant: Not typically grown as a houseplant.

Further Information

Miscellaneous: Slugs and snails can be a problem, but the plant is otherwise fairly pest-resistant and deer-resistant.

Pests and diseases: Susceptible to slugs, snails, and viral diseases.

Common Cultivars / Varieties: Hosta plantaginea 'Aphrodite' has double flowers, while 'Royal Standard' is notable for its large, glossy leaves.

Family: Asparagaceae, the Asparagus family.

Native: Native to China.

References and Further Reading: RHS: Hosta plantaginea; Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder; NCSU Hosta Guide.

Common Questions

Does Hosta plantaginea make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Yes, Hosta plantaginea makes a superb choice for gardens and landscapes. Its broad, lush leaves are perfect for adding texture and greenery to shady areas.

Is Hosta plantaginea a fragrant plant?

Unlike most other Hostas, Hosta plantaginea is fragrant. Its white, lily-like flowers emit a sweet, pleasant fragrance, strongest in the evenings.

What is the perfect location to grow Hosta plantaginea?

Fragrant Plantain Lily thrives in part to full shade and prefers rich, well-drained soil. It's a reliable and easy-to-grow perennial, that is hardy in USDA zones 3-9.

Is Hosta plantaginea invasive in the USA, if so in which states?

Hosta plantaginea is not considered invasive in the USA.

How do I remove Fragrant Plantain Lily from my garden?

To remove Hosta plantaginea plants from the garden, first cut the plant back, Next, carefully dig up the root ball. Be sure to remove all root pieces, as any trace left in the ground will most likely lead to regrowth of the plant.


Fragrant Plantain lily is a perennial plant that prefers shade and moist, well-drained soil. It's known for its large, glossy green leaves and fragrant, white flowers that bloom in late summer.

I hope that you have enjoyed reading this guide on how to grow Hosta plantaginea. You may also enjoy the following shade loving plant growing guides: How to grow Garden Spiraea, Coleus Plant, Cyclamen, and Begonia plants in the garden.

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