Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Hosta
Hosta 'Empress Wu'

Family: Liliaceae (lil-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hosta (HOSS-tuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Empress Wu
Hybridized by Skaggs; Year of Registration or Introduction: 2008

» View all varieties of Hostas

8 vendors have this plant for sale.

22 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden

Plant Size (check one):
Giant (leaf >144 square inches; plant >28 tall)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade
Full Shade

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Patent Information:

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Growing Habit:

Growth Rate:

Leaf Shape:
Broadly Ovate

Leaf Appearance:

Degree to which the appearance is present:

Leaf Texture (top):
Slightly Shiny

Leaf Texture (bottom):
Glaucous Bloom

Leaf Substance:
1 (Thick)

Leaf Color:
Dark Green

Color of Leaf Margin:
No margin

Number of Vein Pairs:
16 to 18

Appearance of Margin:
Flat/Nearly Flat

Margin Width:
No margin

Bloom Time:

Flower Shape:

Flower Fragrance:
No fragrance

Does it set seed?:
Yes; seed is viable

Bloom Color:
Pale Lavender

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There are a total of 8 photos.
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6 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive donobcd On Jun 22, 2014, donobcd from North Ridgeville, OH wrote:

bought mine from paradise gardens 3 yrs ago and has doubled in size every yr ... nice size now , but next yr should be something

Positive Prunerman On Jul 6, 2012, Prunerman from Middleton, MA wrote:

In Sept, 2010 I split a mail ordered Empress Wu into two plants and planted them in a shady area alongside my driveway. They have maintained steady but slow growth to date.

Positive marywalters On Feb 29, 2012, marywalters from Holland, MI wrote:

There is a handy saying that truly applies to Hostas - especially large one like Empress Wu - Sleep, Creep, Leap - 1st year they put on roots, 2nd year they are a bit bigger. By the 3rd year, they start to strut their stuff! Empress Wu is well worth the wait.

The first time I saw Empress Wu in a landscape (Skaggs), it was a hot day and a medium size dog had found just the right cool spot beneath a towering 4 foot Wu leaf. I knew I just had to have this plant.

To give your large leaf Hosta an extra boost, prepare your planting area creating a hill of composted manure.

This will help two fold. First, it gives a little extra height to begin with, and second, the plant will love you for the extra nutrition.

Positive dahlia10 On Aug 11, 2011, dahlia10 from Ottawa
Canada wrote:

I'm impressed with the Empress! I bougth this little 2 leaves plant this spring.Now it has 12 big leaves and has almost the same size as my 2 year Sum and Substance!
I watered it every day for the first 2 months and mulched it.So far so good! Nice healthy plant with no slug dammage.

Positive mkcarter66 On Jul 4, 2011, mkcarter66 from Redford, MI wrote:

2nd year with this hosta and it is doubled in size. Doing great in full shade.

Positive Joe904 On Jun 4, 2011, Joe904 from Kalamazoo, MI wrote:

I purchased two Empress Wu at an end of season sale last year in 1 gal containers. They came up and have been growing quickly this year - each has 8-10 large leaves and the plants are now about 24" high and 30-36" across. They are planted in full shade in my woodland garden. So far I am extremely happy with their performance.

Neutral lillian215 On Oct 8, 2010, lillian215 from Quincy, IL wrote:

My Empress Wu was planted two years ago and is still very small with only 2 leaves, but it seemed to "bolt" in the center this year with a couple new leaves and then stopped and was so weak it fell over. It never did bloom. My soil is the best and all my other hostas were on "steriods" this year. Does anyone know what is wrong?

Neutral mothermole On Jul 13, 2010, mothermole from Deer Park, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

I have had this plant since the introduction in 2008. My experience differs from what is listed here at Daves. My plant is very, VERY slow growing. I thought that by this year (2010) it would pick up speed in growing but it hasn't even doubled in width and nothing in height. I am hoping that next year will be the year for some major growth!


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Marietta, Georgia
Barrington, Illinois
Peoria, Illinois
Quincy, Illinois
Roscoe, Illinois
Bloomfield, Iowa
Ijamsville, Maryland
Middleton, Massachusetts
Sandwich, Massachusetts
East Tawas, Michigan
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Holland, Michigan
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Plainwell, Michigan
Redford, Michigan
Royal Oak, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Vale, North Carolina
North Ridgeville, Ohio
Williamsburg, Ohio
Plano, Texas
Ellsworth, Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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