Hosta 'Great Expectations'


Family: Liliaceae (lil-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hosta (HOSS-tuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Great Expectations
Hybridized by Bond-Aden
Registered or introduced: 1988
» View all varieties of Hostas
View this plant in a garden

Plant Size (check one):

Large (leaf 81-144 square inches; plant 18-28 tall)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


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)

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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:

Nearly Round

Leaf Appearance:


Degree to which the appearance is present:


Leaf Texture (top):


Leaf Texture (bottom):

Unknown - Tell us

Leaf Substance:

4 (Above Average)

Leaf Color:


Creamy White

Color of Leaf Margin:

Medium Blue-Green

Number of Vein Pairs:

12 to 15

Appearance of Margin:

Flat/Nearly Flat

Margin Width:

1/2" - 1"

1" - 1 1/2"

Bloom Time:



Flower Shape:


Flower Fragrance:

No fragrance

Does it set seed?:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Pure White

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round

Suitable for growing in containers


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

, (2 reports)

Auburn, Alabama

Brookfield, Connecticut

Dacula, Georgia

Gainesville, Georgia

Marietta, Georgia

Aurora, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois

Naperville, Illinois

Peoria, Illinois

Pontiac, Illinois

Washington, Illinois

Woodridge, Illinois

Elberfeld, Indiana

Newburgh, Indiana

Barbourville, Kentucky

Bordelonville, Louisiana

Sumner, Maine

Upper Marlboro, Maryland

Dracut, Massachusetts

Dearborn Heights, Michigan

Flushing, Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Plainwell, Michigan

Minneapolis, Minnesota

New Ulm, Minnesota

Maryville, Missouri

Cape May Court House, New Jersey

Sewell, New Jersey

Bellmore, New York

Elbridge, New York

Greene, New York

Winston Salem, North Carolina

Belfield, North Dakota

Medora, North Dakota

Coshocton, Ohio

Franklin, Ohio

Glouster, Ohio

Ravenna, Ohio

Mount Hood Parkdale, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Salem, Oregon

Norristown, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Elkton, Virginia

Leesburg, Virginia

Lexington, Virginia

Ames Lake, Washington

Kalama, Washington

Kirkland, Washington

Ellsworth, Wisconsin

Lake Nebagamon, Wisconsin

Marion, Wisconsin

Minocqua, Wisconsin

Oconomowoc, Wisconsin

Shell Lake, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 3, 2017, happytomato2008 from Shell Lake, WI wrote:

I am giving GE a positive because it is worth the time to see this Hosta develop into a absolutely gorgeous specimen. A half of day in a sunny location is necessary and good soil conditions.


On Jul 29, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

A very beautiful hosta, but an extraordinarily slow grower. This is not a regular landscape hosta, as it takes many years to reach its mature size and form, and moving it sets it back.


On Aug 29, 2013, madebydave from New Ulm, MN wrote:

Has survived even overshadowed by H nigrescens. I've been pruning the big bugger back this summer. This is a beautiful hosta.


On Oct 15, 2011, pointgarden from Newport, RI wrote:

I have had this plant for 6 years and it has done little,its the only hosta I have not had luck with.


On Apr 26, 2011, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

One of my very favorite hostas. Beautiful color and texture. Blooms June-July in my garden.


On Jun 12, 2010, elsbethpd from Boulder, CO (Zone 5b) wrote:

This is the most outstanding color combination of all my Hostas (the second would be Paul's Glory). I have it in morning light. As others have noted, it is indeed a slow starter. In our very alkaline clay, I add Fertilome Soil Acidifier + Iron early in spring to my garden, and it makes the blue-green coloration of GE more vibrant.


On Apr 22, 2010, yarddawg from Greenville, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

This is one of those Hostas which can be temperamental in NC. I've tried it twice, both in eastern NC and in the Piedmont. In the ground it slowly decreased in size, Almost melted away. I loved the foliage so much I put it in a large decorative pot and it has rebounded nicely and now thrives.Been in the same pot for four years and it is beautiful. Best with some morning sun, to maximize the color, and afternoon shade, to prevent leaf scorch.


On Sep 27, 2009, petonegirl from Wellington,
New Zealand wrote:

I live in New Zealand & we have a temperate climate, I have many hosta's & GE I find is a very slow grower, pest resistant to slugs. I agree with the other comments it hates being moved & can sulk if done so, having moved my 1 GE hosta 3 times to different gardens.
Definitely worth growing but have patience with it.

I treasure this hosta as it is no longer available to buy here in NZ maybe due to the slow growing habit, & not a profitable plant for selling.


On Aug 11, 2009, Marlina from Blaine, MN (Zone 4b) wrote:

I love this hosta planted it here because one before it didn't like it there. This one is great and growing be it slow it still is.Love the color.


On Jun 8, 2006, briannacorn from Sumner, ME wrote:

I read other reviews with interest, I purchased my plant from an individual who was selling her garden off as she was moving to New Zealand. This was approximately 4 years ago, needless to say I had bought quite a few plants and had kind of ignored this one. I ended up moving it 2 years ago and in the process split it into 2 plants, this year they have both come onlike gangbusters. Present location sheltered on east by large blue spruce,receives morning sun and sheltered on west by large barn.We have had a lot of rain this spring and this plant looks fantastic.My impression slow out of the starting gate but once you find the right niche absolutely delightful.


On May 25, 2005, maxxy from Aurora, IL wrote:

I have tried growing this beauty once before, and had no, I thought I'd try it again....but, instead of direct planting, I have it in a pot, and it is doing wonderfully! No problems so far! GE is finicky, and doesn't like being moved. So, I will probably keep it growing in the pot. I will add any changes, good or bad!


On May 20, 2005, nevadagdn from Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) wrote:

I've tried growing this variety twice now, and lost it both times. None of my other Hostas have failed, in spite of identical conditions.


On Jul 15, 2003, nansgarden wrote:

My three year old Great Expectations is beautiful, but a very slow grower. I read a gardening hint somewhere that it will grow faster if it is left in a planter to constrict its roots a little and then set the planter in the ground. I have just replanted mine this way (July 2003)and will watch to see if it makes a difference.