Hosta Shadowland® 'Empress Wu'
Hosta Shadowland® 'Empress Wu'

Hosta Shadowland® 'Empress Wu'

SKU: S31519
1 for $19.95
Quick Facts
Common Name: Plantain Lily
Hardiness Zone: 3-8S/9W Exposure: Part Shade
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Blooms In: Jul
Mature Height: 3-4' Spacing: 4'
Read our Growing Guide Ships as: 1 PINT 28.86 CU IN.
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Shipping Details Shipment begins in late March 2024, depending on your zone. See shipping tab for details
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Product Details

Product Details

If you're looking for an impressive and unusual specimen, Hosta Shadowland® 'Empress Wu,' a tribute to the only female emperor in Chinese history, certainly fits the bill. One of the largest Hostas available, dark green 'Empress Wu' matures to a height of 4′ in about 5 years. Flower scapes with light lavender blooms stick their noses just above the foliage. A Proven Winners® variety. PP 20,774

This genus of shade lovers has 70 species, all of them from China and Japan, and hybridizers have produced hundreds of exciting crosses. Hostas have many handsome leaf colorations and lavender or white Lily-like flowers on graceful stalks. Plants prefer a moist location, but we've had a mass planting thrive for more than 30 years under a row of Sugar Maples. (In the South and West, evenly moist soil is required.) Because Hostas are grown primarily for their foliage, we give the height of the leaves, not the flowers.

For more information on growing Hostas, click Growing Guide.




The size of the plants we ship has been selected to reduce the shock of transplanting. For some, this means a large, bareroot crown. Others cannot travel bareroot or transplant best if grown in containers. We ship these perennials and annuals in 1 pint pots, except as noted. We must point out that many perennials will not bloom the first year after planting, but will the following year, amply rewarding your patience. We ship bulbs as dormant, bare bulbs, sometimes with some wood shavings or moss. Shrubs, Roses, vines, and other woody plants may be shipped bareroot or in pots. The size of the pot is noted in the quick facts for each item.


We ship our bulbs and plants at the right time for planting in your area, except as noted, with orders dispatched on a first-come, first-served basis by climate zone. We also ship a wide range of containers and planters, tools, supplies, fertilizers, garden wear, garden decor items, as well as indoor decorations like wreaths and dried bouquets when available. Estimated dates for shipping are indicated in the green Shipping Details box for each item. Please supply a street address for delivery. Kindly contact us with two weeks notice, if you'll be away at the expected time of delivery.


We guarantee to ship plants that are in prime condition for growing. If your order is damaged or fails to meet your expectations, we will cheerfully replace or refund it. Please contact our Customer Service Department at 1-800-503-9624 or email us at [email protected]. Please include your order number or customer number when contacting us.



Average Customer Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (17 Reviews) Write a Review

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Great in the right environment

I have four Empress Wu from WFF. The oldest two are an impressive size; people often ask me about them. Of the younger two, one has not done well over the 3 or 4 years since planted. I suspect it's because its in a completely shaded area and gets almost no sun ever. With adequate watering in our hot summers and a small amount of sun, these hostas do well. I just ordered one more.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful. Do you? yes no

Empress Wu's are my favorite Hostas

I have 3 Empress Wu Hostas. My old lady is 12 years old. She grows 4 feet high and 5 feet wide every year. I bought one, two years ago and she is 3 feet high and 3 1/2 feet wide. The one I purchased last year is 2 feet high and 3 feet wide. I find they like shade and consistent watering. In the fall when they are done, I cover them with leaves for the winter. It seems to help, especially if the winter is severe

16 of 16 people found this review helpful. Do you? yes no

Empress Wu

I bought my first Empress about 10 years ago. It is huge and gorgeous and I am buying 2 others for vacation home. There is no event in our yard where this hosta goes unnoticed!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful. Do you? yes no

Never grew to promised size

I planted this hosta many years ago, maybe 7 or 8 years? It has never grown higher than about 15". The longest a leaf has gotten has been about 10". Other nearby hostas are thriving so I don't think the planting site is the problem

8 of 12 people found this review helpful. Do you? yes no


Am I the only person who read this? "One of the largest Hostas available, dark green 'Empress Wu' matures to a height of 4′ in about 5 years" from the second line of the product detail? I keep seeing all these posts expecting this plant to reach the maximum height with 1 year of growth. Please read the plant information.

21 of 23 people found this review helpful. Do you? yes no

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Growing guide

Growing guide
Print Grow Guide

Latin Name Pronunciation: hos'tuh  

The hybridizers have gone wild with Hostas , which are now available in sizes from a few inches to several feet tall with foliage in many bold or subdued patterns and colors. The larger varieties can be truly architectural and stand out as specimen plants, while other forms are ideal for edging, lighting up a woodland, or stabilizing a slope.

Light/Watering: Drought-tolerant once established, these plants are at their best in evenly moist soil in partial shade, although a very few will tolerate full sun with sufficient water. Once established, Hostas can take a good bit of drought, and will compete successfully with tree roots in the North, but need regular watering in the South.

Fertilizer/Soil and pH: Hostas thrive in average, even damp, soils that are slightly acid and will benefit from a light application of fertilizer in early spring. These low-maintenance plants can be ignored and they will still perform; to get the most out of them, however, provide deep, rich soil and consistent watering along with occasional side-dressing of compost or aged manure. An organic mulch is appreciated but keep it away from the crowns.

Pests/Diseases: Slugs are the bane of Hostas; use slug bait, dishes of beer, and diatomaceous earth to discourage them. Voles have been known to decimate plantings by eating the roots; trap or use another method to repel these varmints.

Companions: Hostas are lovely with other shade-lovers such as Ferns, Tiarella, taller Campanulas, Phlox divaricata, Daylilies and, especially, true Lilies. They are ideal when planted amid patches of spring-flowering bulbs, as their foliage will obscure the bulb foliage as it dies back.

Reflowering: Very few varieties will reflower; cut flower spikes off at their base when blooming is over.

Dividing/Transplanting: These forgiving plants are best divided in spring when the new leaves are still furled up, but both division and transplanting are successful throughout the season if attention is paid to thorough follow-up watering.

End-of-Season Care: Foliage should be cut back in the fall to eliminate cover for overwintering slugs but this can also done in the spring.

Calendar of Care

Early Spring: Apply a light application of balanced or slow-release fertilizer or side-dress with compost and organic amendments when new growth appears. Divide or transplant now before leaves unfurl. Water newly planted plants well if it is unseasonably dry, as Hostas prefer evenly moist soil.

Mid-Spring: Mulch plants after soil has warmed, keeping mulch away from the crowns to discourage rot.

Late Spring: Watch for slug damage and use preventative measures if slugs are active.

Summer: Groom plants by removing yellow or dead leaves and cut flower spikes back as they finish blooming, unless you want to collect seed.

Fall: Cut foliage back to soil level. For new plants, provide a winter mulch of evergreen boughs or salt marsh hay after the ground freezes to help prevent heaving.


Growing Hosta
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