How To Grow Plantain Lily Guacamole (Hosta guacamole) In Your Garden

Hosta 'Guacamole', often simply referred to as Guacamole Hosta, is a perennial plantain lily highly valued both for its colorful, variegated foliage, and for its sweet fragranced flowers.

Hosta guacamole plants in bloom
Hosta guacamole plants in bloom photograph by F. D. Richards; CC.

This plant has become a favorite among gardeners for its shade tolerance and relatively easy care.

Guacamole Hosta typically reaches a height of 1.5 to 2 feet (45 to 60 cm). It has a spread of around 2 to 4 feet (60 to 120 cm).

The leaves are heart-shaped, and have a unique coloration that is avocado green in the center, bordered by a darker green margin (hence the 'guacamole' name).

This Hosta plant blooms in late summer, when it produces fragrant white flowers on tall scapes.

Hosta guacamole is a great plant to grow if you wish to bring color and texture to the shady spots of your garden.

This hardy plant thrives in USDA Zones 3 to 8, making it suitable for a wide range of climates.

It makes an excellent choice for borders, shady gardens, and as a ground cover plant.

How to Grow Hosta guacamole in the Garden

Guacamole Hosta prefers to grow in partial to full shade.

Ideally use a well-drained soil rich in organic matter.

Propagation of Hosta guacamole is typically achieved through division. The best time to divide is in early spring or late summer. Generally, propagation can be performed as long as the plant is not in an active growth stage.

Once established, Guacamole Hosta will require moderate watering. Ideally, keep the soil moist, but not waterlogged.

A slow-release, balanced fertilizer should be applied in spring to promote healthy growth.

Hosta guacamole leaves
Hosta guacamole leaves photograph by F. D. Richards; CC.

While it is generally a low-maintenance plant, Guacamole Hosta can be susceptible to pests such as slugs and snails.

Quick Hosta guacamole Growing and Care Guide

Scientific Name: Hosta guacamole

Common Name(s): Guacamola Hosta

Growing Zone (USA / UK Hardiness): USDA Zones: 3-8. Estimated RHS Hardiness Rating: H7, very hardy.

Best Used For / Garden Location: Typically grown in perennial borders, and woodland gardens. It is ideal for a shaded or partly shaded area.

Plant Details

Life Cycle / Plant Type: Perennial / Herbaceous.

Plant Height: 1.5-2 feet (45-60 cm).

Plant Spread: 2-4 feet (60-120 cm).

Blooms: Summer.

Flower Details: Produces large, fragrant white flowers.

Leaf Foliage: Variegated leaves, chartreuse with a dark green margin.

Fruit: Not significant.

Growing Conditions and Location

Best Light Conditions: Partial to full shade. Can tolerate morning sun, but leaves may scorch if exposed to prolonged sunlight.

Suitable Soil Types: Well-draining, fertile soil, preferably rich in organic matter.

Sowing / planting: Plant in spring or autumn; space plants about 2-3 feet apart.

Germination time: 2-4 weeks at 68-72°F (20-22°C).

Propagation: By division in early spring or late summer.

Plant Care: Water regularly, avoid standing water, apply mulch to retain moisture and suppress weeds.

Growing in pots and containers: Suitable for containers. Use well-draining soil and ensure containers have drainage holes.

Growing as a House plant: Not typically grown as a house plant due to its size and preference for outdoor conditions.

Further Information

Miscellaneous: Attracts bees, birds, and butterflies; tolerant to deer. Not considered invasive. Ideal for adding color and texture to shaded garden areas.

Pests and diseases: Susceptible to slugs and snails.

Common Cultivars / Varieties: 'Aphrodite' with pure white flowers and 'Fragrant Bouquet' notable for its apple-green leaves with creamy yellow margins.

Family: Asparagaceae, the asparagus family.

Native: Native to eastern Asia.

References and Further Reading: MBG Plant Finder; Sun tolerant Hostas; Hosta Guide PDF.

Common Questions

Does Hosta guacamole make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Hosta guacamole is a striking plant that brings color and texture to shady spots in the garden. Its large, avocado variegated leaves and fragrant flowers can make it an excellent choice for landscaping.

Is Hosta guacamole a fragrant plant?

Hosta guacamole is a fragrant plant. It produces lovely, white, lily-like flowers in late summer. These emit a sweet fragrance, greatly adding to its appeal.

What is the perfect garden location to grow Hosta guacamole?

Hosta guacamole thrives in a location that has part to full shade, and a well-draining, rich, moist soil. While the variegated leaves can handle some morning sun, they should be protected from hot afternoon sunlight.

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

Hosta guacamole is not considered invasive in the USA. Although it may spread in optimal conditions, it is not really known to disrupt natural ecosystems.

How do I remove Hosta guacamole from my garden?

To remove Hosta guacamole from the garden, first cut the plant back. Next fully dig out the root system. Ensure all roots are removed to prevent regrowth.


Hosta guacamole, is a cultivar native to Northeast Asia. It does best in part to full shade, and enjoys moist, organic soil with good drainage. Its name derives from the striking color of its foliage, which is reminiscent of ripe avocados.

I hope that you have enjoyed reading this guide on how to grow Hosta guacamole. You may also enjoy the following growing guides: How to grow Asparagus, Hosta plantaginea, and Veltheimia plants in the garden.