Different types of hosta

Growing Hosta Plants and Types of Hostas

With Fall just around the corner, the sun is riding lower in the sky casting longer shadows on the garden. One plant that welcomes the extra coolness and shade is the hosta.

Hostas are the unsung heroes of the shady garden. There are 70 species of hostas and over 3,000 registered varieties, so you have lots to choose from. Though they do bloom, they are grown primarily for their beautiful foliage which adds interesting texture and color to the garden all season long.


Many varieties have wonderfully fragrant blossoms, especially Hosta plantaginea known as the August lily. I have one called ‘Aphrodite’ that is known for its extremely fragrant white flowers. Long after the other hostas’ blossoms have faded its double flowers perfume the evening air. Even though August is over, my August lily is only in bud. Hopefully it will blossom soon!

What do garden nuts do on their vacations? Visit other gardens of course!

Every year I make a pilgrimage to the NH seacoast to check out the plants at Prescott Park. They have a display garden that includes many All-America Selections plants and other favorites that are well-marked, giving me a chance to see how they’re holding up in this dry summer. It also has beautiful formal gardens and a special collection of hostas that were donated by Anna Kay of Birchwood Farms.

Even though it has been brutally hot and dry this season, most of the hostas look great. I am always intrigued by the variations of color and leaf shapes. The names also add to the fun. What would you call a hosta with thin leaves and serrated edges? How about ‘Hacksaw’? Another one with narrow leaves and ruffled edges called ‘Curly Fries’ was named the 2016 Hosta of the Year.

‘Midnight at the Oasis’ has a cool refreshing look.

‘Rich Uncle’ is gold with thick, large leaves that look like they have been quilted. ‘Paradigm’ is similarly textured but is gold with wide green edges.

‘Clear Fork River Valley’ is also heavily quilted or corrugated-looking.

Other large-leaved varieties are called ‘Titanic’ and ‘Blue Mammoth’. On the opposite end of the size spectrum are the tiny ones such as 10 inch tall, almost white ‘Vanilla Cream’ and 3 inch tall miniature hosta ‘Pandora’s Box’.

My favorite has to be ‘Eternal Flame’ with its pointy, heart-shaped leaves. It has a feeling of movement.

Growing HostaS

Hostas require little care and are very long lasting. An inch or two of compost spread in the spring before the shoots emerge will keep your plants well-fed. They are able to shade out most weeds, keeping maintenance to a minimum. Unfortunately the moist rich soil and cool shade that combine to bring out the best in a hosta also make the ideal environment for slugs. Hostas with heavily textured leaves tend to be more slug-resistant that smooth-leaved varieties.

Made in the Shade

To avoid the “hosta ghetto” look in your shady garden plant them in combination with other shade-loving plants such as coleus, New Guinea impatiens, torenia, begonias, fuchsia, and sweet potato vine.

Hostas also are great to plant in combination with spring flowering bulbs because they will cover the tired-looking bulb foliage with their late emerging leaves. Since hostas die back to the ground in the winter they make excellent foundation plants for a shady deck or porch where ice and snow would damage shrubs.

Hostas are shade-tolerant plants that are native to Northeast Asia and the Russian Far East. They’re also known as Plantain Lilies.

These plants are perennials and taxonomists suggest that there are almost 45 species of Hostas. In the US, this plant grows in hardiness zones 3 through 9.

Different Types of Hostas Plants

Hostas are edible. They’re grown in the US for ornamental purposes, but they’re used as a food source in different Asian countries. Here are 17 of the most famous types of Hostas.

1. Hosta Whirlwind

This perennial is the perfect choice for your shady garden as it grows green leaves that change colors throughout the season. The heart-shaped leaves are creamy white or lime with dark green margins. The centers become dark green by late summer.

The Whirlwind Hosta grows lavender funnel-shaped blooms from mid to late summer. The leaves stay upright as the plant grows.

2. Hosta Gracillima

This dwarf Hosta has lance-shaped glossy deep green leaves. In late summer and fall, it grows funnel-shaped lavender-blue flowers that have purple stripes. The plant should be protected from cold wind.

3. Hosta Komodo Dragon

This is one of the largest Hostas and features large cascading bluish-green leaves. The leaves are deeply veined and love growing in full or partial shade.

In the summer, the plant grows funnel-shaped pale lavender blooms. Slugs and snails love the Komodo Dragon Hosta, so you should keep an eye on them.

4. Hosta Crispula

The Curled Hosta is an easy-to-grow perennial and grows dark green leaves with creamy markings. These wavy leaves are excellent groundcovers, especially in shady areas, growing funnel-shaped pale lavender flowers in the early summer.

5. Hosta Halcyon

The spear-shaped blue-green leaves will brighten up your shady garden. The plant grows pale lavender blooms in late summer, supported by mauve-gray scapes. This is one of the slowest Hostas to develop and takes years to reach its final mature stage.

The leaves won’t change color if provided with partial shade and adequate sun exposure. As the leaves mature, they become more slug-resistant, unlike other types of Hostas.

6. Hosta Guacamole

This variety is noted for its exceptional color and fragrant flowers. The oval leaves are yellow-green with gold tinges and streaks towards the center. They grow in overlapping mounds.

The leaves support big fragrant white flowers that appear in the summer. The Guacamole variety is perfect for shade gardens and can also be grown in containers.

7. Hosta Alligator Alley

The distinctive leathery puckered heart-shaped leaves of this plant have yellow-green centers that turn yellow in the summer, edged by blue-green margins. It grows almost white flowers on long scapes that reach a maximum height of 28 inches. Alligator Alley is an excellent choice for edging, borders, beds, patios, and containers.

8. Hosta August Moon

The yellow-green leaves of the August Moon form an asymmetrical mound. The leaves turn bright yellow with exposure to the sun, which explains the name “August Moon”.

In the summer, lavender white bell-shaped flowers will grow on long scapes that reach a maximum height of 32 inches. Discolored leaves should be trimmed.

9. Hosta Autumn Frost

With a pattern that’s almost opposite to the Whirlwind variety, the Autumn Frost grows blue-green leaves that have bright yellow margins. As the leaves mature, the yellow turns to creamy white.

The plant grows short scapes that support bell-shaped lavender flowers. This plant is an excellent choice for containers and is considered an eye-catching groundcover.

10. Hosta Blue Angel

This variety has thick and heavily textured blue-green leaves. It’s one of the biggest varieties that can tolerate dry soils. This perennial loves partial to full shade and grows funnel-shaped lavender flowers in the summer. The Blue Angel Hosta can tolerate the morning sun but not in hot summer areas.

11. Hosta Hyacinthine

The slightly puckered leaves appear blue-green but turn to gray-green when they mature. The leaves have creamy edges and support 30-inch scapes that grow lavender flowers in mid to late summer. This plant mixes well with other perennials.

12. Hosta American Halo

The American Halo has large blue-green leaves that have creamy white margins. White flowers will bloom in the summer. This is a low-maintenance hardy plant that can be grown as a groundcover or in beds.

13. Hosta June

The Hosta June forms a dense mound of large blue-green leaves. The irregularly-shaped leaves are green-yellow in the center and grow lavender flowers in late summer.

The Hosta June can survive in full or partial shade so it’s a great addition to any shady garden where there are lots of obstacles that block the sunlight. Full sun exposure can cause the leaves to burn and should be avoided.

14. Hosta First Mate

This is a small variety of Hosta growing narrow cream-yellow leaves with blue-green margins. In the summer, the star-shaped lavender flowers grow to add more color to your garden or patio. The First Mate is a low-maintenance plant that grows in partial and full shade.

15. Hosta Royal Standard

This is one of the few varieties that have no margins. It has dimpled bright green leaves and grows waxy white flowers that grow from lavender buds.

Unlike many varieties of Hosta, the flowers of the Royal Standard are fragrant, so the plant is best grown near living areas, on patios, and in beds and containers. The leaves will turn yellow-green when exposed to full sun.

16. Hosta Frances Williams

This is one of the most popular Hostas, growing in the partial or full shade. This plant is slow to establish but has thick strongly-veined blue-green leaves that have wide yellow-green margins.

In the early summer, the Frances Williams Hosta grows pale lilac flowers. It attracts hummingbirds and grows very well in big containers. The thicker the leaves, the more slug-resistant this plant will be.

17. Hosta Geisha

This plant forms an upright mound of elongated leaves. The glossy leaves are yellow-green with olive-green margins and are twisted towards the tip. Star-like pale violet flowers will grow in late summer. After blooming, the stems should be cut off to promote new growth.

Hostas will grow where nothing else can. Browsing these various varieties will help you pick the right one for your gardening space. These low-maintenance plants will transform the look of your patio or backyard with minimum effort.


New 2020 Hostas

What We Love About Hostas

Wu-La-la Hosta

Diamond Lake Hosta

Holar Purple Flash Hosta

Jack Berry Hosta

Hellebore ‘Wedding Crasher’

Heuchera ‘Timeless Treasure’

Hostas are incredibly versatile perennials that can brighten any garden with endless variations of colors, sizes and shapes. They’re extremely hardy, require very little maintenance and, best of all, hostas are shade tolerant!

The colors are amazing! Hostas come in blue, green, gold, white – even red! – with stunning variations of these colors. Any size you want! Hosta cultivars can be as small as 2-3 inches tall (Miniature hostas) and as tall as 4 feet (spectacular Giant hostas). Any shape you want! Leaves come in a wide range of sizes, shapes and forms – from huge to tiny, cupped, flat, heart-shaped, lance-shaped, vase-shaped, corrugated, deeply veined, folded, rippled, glaucous, misted, streaked and twisted to name a few. Read our blog for more reasons we love hostas!

No wonder hosta plants are the most popular, bestselling perennial in the world!

We’re Quite Choosy About What Hostas And Companion Plants We Grow

At New Hampshire Hostas, we take our time reviewing and choosing what new hostas and companion plants we’re going to grow in our greenhouses for next year’s growing season. You should hear the comments going back and forth! (Actually, it’s better that you don’t – written with a smile!)

We’re passionate about what we grow here and what we feel our enthusiastic hosta customers would like in their gardens. So, after careful thought and lots of expressions, we’re pleased to present our choices for 2019. If there is a specific hosta cultivar you are looking for and would like us to sell, please e-mail us or suggest it to us on Facebook!

Giant Hostas – New for 2020

  • Big Beauty Hosta
  • Gabriel’s Wing Hosta
  • Ruffles and Ridges Hosta

Large Hostas – New for 2020

  • Alvatine Taylor Hosta
  • Aztec Treasure Hosta
  • Celtic Bouquet Hosta
  • City Lights Hosta
  • Magic Fire Hosta
  • Mata Hari Hosta
  • Pewter Goblet Hosta
  • Royal Crest Hosta
  • Soul Shine Hosta
  • Super Nova Hosta
  • Victory Lap Hosta

Medium Hostas – New for 2020

  • Adorbale Hosta
  • Ain’t Misbehavin Hosta
  • Beautiful Dreamer Hosta
  • Blue Shadows Hosta
  • Cadiz Springs Hosta
  • Childhood Fantasy Hosta
  • Cinderella Hosta
  • Coastal Treasure Hosta
  • Deane’s Dream Hosta
  • Delicious Hosta
  • Ebony Towers Hosta
  • Essence of Sunset Hosta
  • First Love Hosta
  • Frisian Misty Sky Hosta
  • Green Lava Hosta
  • Hanja’s Red Edge Hosta
  • Happy Valley Hosta
  • Hasta Manana Hosta
  • Holar Black Swan Hosta
  • Holar Mystic Purple Hosta
  • Holar Rising Flame Hosta
  • Hotshot Hosta
  • Jane’s Blush Hosta
  • Kempen Magenta Blue Hosta
  • Kinky Boots Hosta
  • Lakeside Color Blue Hosta
  • Leather Gloss Hosta
  • Lucky Number Hosta
  • Midnight Oil Hosta
  • Moody Blues Hosta
  • Ovalwood Hosta
  • Owen’s Outrage Hosta
  • Peppermint Twist Hosta
  • Place of Hope Hosta
  • Proud Treasure Hosta
  • Purple Heart Hosta
  • Red Wine Fries Hosta
  • She’s Got the Moves Hosta
  • Shiny Sonata Hosta
  • Sleeping Star Hosta
  • Snicker’s Surprise Hosta
  • Solitude Hosta
  • T-Dawg Hosta
  • Twice as Nice Hosta
  • Valley’s Kumo Hosta

Small Hostas – New for 2020

  • Bedford Rise and Shine Hosta
  • Benedict’s Wild Fire Hosta
  • Blueberry Tart Hosta
  • Candy Kisses Hosta
  • Cream Edger Hosta
  • Everlasting Love Hosta
  • Firefly Hosta
  • Frosted Lollipop Hosta
  • Fulda Hosta
  • Hearts Galore Hosta
  • Holar Red Wine Hosta
  • Lipstick Sunset Hosta
  • Mourning Dove Hosta
  • Movin On Up Hosta
  • Pure Intentions Hosta
  • Purple Verticulated Elf Hosta
  • Sherborne Swift Hosta
  • Silver Tongued Devil Hosta
  • Swirls Hosta
  • Tea at Bettys Hosta
  • Twinkle Little Star Hosta

Miniature Hostas – New for 2020

  • Hide and Seek Hosta
  • Knockout Mouse Hosta
  • Magical Mouse Ears Hosta
  • Mouse Capades Hosta
  • You’re So Vein Hosta

Companion Plants – New for 2020

  • Asian Saber Fern
  • Dicentra ‘Pink Diamonds’
  • Epimedium ‘Pretty in Pink’
  • Helleborus ‘Dashing Groomsmen’
  • Helleborus ‘Ivory Prince’
  • Helleborus ‘Mother of the Bride’
  • Helleborus ‘Snowbells’
  • Heucherella ‘Red Rover’
  • Makino’s Holly Fern

Types Of Hosta Plants: How Many Types Of Hosta Are There

How many types of hosta are there? The short answer is: a whole lot. Hostas are extremely popular in gardening and landscaping due to their ability to thrive even in deep shade. Maybe because of their popularity, a different hosta variety can be found for pretty much any situation. But what are the different types of hosta? Keep reading to learn more about the types of hosta plants.

Different Types of Hostas

Different varieties of hosta can be split into some basic categories. Some are bred not just for their foliage and shade tolerance, but also for their fragrance. Hostas produce stalks of delicate, trumpet shaped flowers in shades of white and purple, and certain varieties of hosta are known especially for their scent.

Types of hosta noted for their excellent, fragrant blossoms include:

  • “Sugar and Spice”
  • “Cathedral Windows”
  • Hosta plantaginea

Hostas also vary greatly in size. If you’re planting hostas to fill out a large shady space, you may want the biggest hosta you can find.

  • “Empress Wu” is a variety that can grow to 4 feet in height.
  • “Paradigm” is another one that can reach 4 feet high and 4 feet wide.

Some varieties of hosta come in at the other end of the spectrum.

  • “Blue Mouse Ears” is only 5 inches tall and 12 inches wide.
  • “Banana Puddin” is 4 inches high.

Of course, there are innumerable varieties in between the largest and the smallest, meaning you should be able to find just the right one for the spot you have picked out.

Hosta colors are usually some shade of green, though there is a lot of variety here too. Some, like “Aztec Treasure,” are much more gold than green, making for a sunny splash in the shade. Others are green, like the “Humpback Whale,” and blue, like the “Silver Bay,” and many are variegated, like “Ivory Queen.”

Options are nearly endless when choosing hosta plants for the garden.

15 of the best hostas to grow

Hostas are useful for planting in damp or shady borders, where many other plants might struggle. Grown for their wonderful, lush foliage, they’re perfect for brightening a gloomy corner.


Herbaceous perennials, they become dormant in winter, then grow from new shoots in spring. They will live for years when planted in the right spot, and gradually spread into larger clumps.

Hostas do produce flowers, but are usually grown for their foliage. The flowers emerge during summer, and range from mauve through to white in colour. Although many people remove the flowers to preserve the quality of the leaves for longer, others enjoy them for a splash of extra colour.

More on growing hostas:

  • How to grow hostas
  • How to divide hostas (video)
  • How to plant hostas (video)

There are many hosta varieties to choose from, all with different leaf patterns, colours and sizes. With so many types, it’s possible to create a bright and unusual display of contrasting foliage. Browse our choice of 15 gorgeous hostas to grow, below.


Hosta ‘Cracker Crumbs’

Miniature Hosta ‘Cracker Crumbs’

Hosta ‘Cracker Crumbs’ is a miniature, fast-growing variety, growing to around 15cm. It has small, delicately pointed leaves in a vibrant shade of lime green, and each leaf has an attractive darker green edge. The flowers are dark mauve.


Hosta ‘El Niño’

Hosta ‘El Niño’

Growing to a height of around 25-45cm, ‘El Niño’ is a medium-sized variety. The broad, pointed leaves appear thick and cushioned, and are an intense, smoky blue, with striking white margins. Lilac flowers appear in summer.


Hosta ‘Frosted Mouse Ears’

Hosta ‘Frosted Mouse Ears’

A miniature hosta with thick, curled smoky-green foliage. This variety grows to approximately 15cm, and produces a dense cluster of small leaves, each with a contrasting lime green, irregular margin. The flowers are purple.


Hosta ‘Hanky Panky’

Hosta ‘Hanky Panky’

‘Hanky Panky’ is a medium-sized hosta, growing to approximately 20-35cm. The leaves are elongated and delicate, with thick white margins at the beginning of the season, then changing to a yellowish-green later in the summer. Also grows well in a sunny position.


Hosta ‘Kikutii’

Hosta ‘Kikutii’

‘Kikutii’ is medium-sized, growing to approximately 30-40cm, with attractive narrow, pointed leaves in a lush mid-green colour. Ideal for creating a contrast among broad-leaved hostas, it bears lavender-coloured flowers.


Hosta ‘Love Pat’

Hosta ‘Love Pat’

Hosta ‘Love Pat’ is medium in size, growing to approximately 30-40cm, with broad, thick foliage. Each leaf is an attractive smoky-blue colour – almost round – while the flowers are lilac.


Hosta ‘One Man’s Treasure’

Hosta ‘One Man’s Treasure’

‘One Man’s Treasure’ grows to a height of around 25-45cm. The leaves are broad, yet pointed, and lush green in colour. ‘One Man’s Treasure’ is a great variety for pots, where its unusual red stems can be used to full effect.


Hosta ‘Revolution’

Hosta ‘Revolution’

This large variety grows up to 60cm in size, with broad, pointed foliage. It produces a bright contrast in shady areas, as the deep-green leaves are variegated with a cream-coloured central flare. The lilac-mauve flowers appear in summer.


Hosta ‘Sunshine Glory’

Hosta ‘Sunshine Glory’

Hosta ‘Sushine Glory’ is a medium variety, growing to around 40cm in height. It has very dramatic, large heart-shaped foliage in a fresh, spring-green colour, brightened with irregular white margins.


Hosta ‘Halcyon’

Hosta ‘Halcyon’

‘Halcyon’ makes a dense clump of blue-green, oval foliage with pale lavender flowers in July to August. This is also a slug-resistant hosta variety. This medium-sized variety reaches a height and spread of around 50cm x 20cm.


Hosta ‘Golden Tiara’

Hosta ‘Golden Tiara’. Photo: Getty Images.

‘Golden Tiara’ has neat, rounded, dark green leaves edged in gold, with masses of purple flowers on upright stems in July. It reaches a height and spread of 50cm x 50cm.


Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’

Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’

‘Blue Mouse Ears’ is a slug-resistant hosta with cupped, blue leaves and lavender-blue flowers from July to August. It reaches a height and spread of around 30cm x 30cm.


Hosta ‘Frances Williams’

Hosta ‘Frances Williams’

Hosta ‘Frances Williams’ has heart-shaped, blue-green leaves, edged gold in summer. It then bears white flowers from June to July. It’s also a slug-resistant hosta variety. This is a fairly large variety reaching a height and spread of around 60cm x 1m.


Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’

Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’

This huge plant reaches a height and spread of 75cm x 1.2m and bears very large slightly cupped leaves in chartreuse to gold. Lavender flowers appear in July.

Growing hostas

Dividing a hosta clump Advertisement

  • Position – best in humus-rich soil in partial or dappled shade. Many will take more sun if the soil is consistently moist
  • Care – fully hardy everywhere but new shoots may be damaged by frost. Protect from slugs, especially early in the season
  • Propagating – allow to develop into specimen plants and do not lift and divide every three years as recommended for other perennials, unless you want more of the same variety. Prepare well before planting and give them a spring feed

More Information About Hosta

For easier shopping, check out these Hosta sub-categories:

Blue Hosta

Miniature Hosta New Hosta

Hosta with Purple Flowers

White Hosta Large Hostas PDN Hosta Introductions

Hosta with White Flowers

Yellow Hosta Tony’s Favorite Hostas Fragrant Hosta
Variegated Hosta

Sun Hostas

Green Hosta

Top tips on how grow Hosta

  • General – Hostas are incredibly tough plants and will get along fine in almost any garden…but they look their absolute best with just a little extra attention.
  • Sun – Hostas prefer woodland garden conditions…light shade or a couple of hours of morning sun. Those who live in the north can get away with growing hostas more sun than us here in the south. Hosta leaf colors are preserved longer into the season with shade…so if you want to preserve that nice blue leaf or yellow leaf for as long as possible, choose more shade, preferably afternoon shade. The best sun hostas are the green cultivars.
  • Soil – Well amended soil is best…rich in organic matter and tilled to improve drainage and prevent winter crown rot. Slightly acidic pH.
  • Water – Hostas are drought tolerant but 1 inch per week will keep them looking tip-top.
  • Fertilizer – A fresh layer of compost once per year is plenty to keep a hosta supplied with all the nutrients it needs to look great.
  • Maintenance – Very low…If you want to ignore your hosta, it will not mind at all. But you can keep your garden looking tidy by removing the spent flower stalks in late summer and by cleaning up the dead foliage after a few hard freezes at the beginning of winter.
  • Pests – Deer love hostas and so do slugs, especially the newly emerging tender leaves. There are a variety of deer controls out there (fencing, predator urine, rotten eggs and hot peppers) but you can also control deer by interplanting hostas with plants that they do not like (e.g., Helleborus, Taxus, Vinca – Check out all our deer resistant plants). Slugs can be controlled with a variety of treatments but some non-toxic organic methods include collars, diatomaceous earth and sand around the plants.
  • Propagation – Hostas can be divided every 3-4 years by digging them up and carefully separating the slips. Make sure each slip has some roots. When is the best time to divide hosta? Fall is the best time, but hostas are such tough plants that I have had success dividing them (in Raleigh) in any month.
  • Design Tips – Inter-plant with evergreen or wintergreen plants to fill in when your hostas are dormant. Flowering in summer, the purple or white hosta flowers can be combined with other summer flowering plants with white or purple flowers. White, cream, and yellow variegated hostas stand out best when surrounded by solid green plants. Blue hostas stand out best when set off with complementary colors like pink and white flowers. Fine textured plants like carex and ferns play well with the bold texture of hostas leaves.

Hostas are often touted as the best shade-loving plants for the perennial garden, which is hard to dispute. In cultivation, hosta plants readily mutate and have produced thousands of novel colors and leaf forms (blue hosta, gold hosta, and variegated hostas are the most popular, but we also have green hosta, and white variegated hosta). Plant Delights Nursery has evaluated thousands of hostas and has assembled a large and diverse collection of the very best hostas for sale including a variety of hosta sizes (mini hostas, small hostas, large hostas, giant hostas, and huge hostas), hosta flower colors (purple flowering Hosta, and white flowering hosta), and fragrant hostas.

Plant Delights Nursery continually works with the country’s best hosta breeders to evaluate new introductions, choosing only those cultivars that have the very best and most unique traits. We also have our own hosta breeding program at Plant Delights Nursery and have released dozens of unique hosta varieties from the smallest to the largest hostas. Our hosta nursery is one of the top in the country for its wide selection of the best hostas on the market.

How are Plant Delights Nursery Hostas better than the competition?

Our hostas are all container-grown and unlike our competitors we sell large multiple-division plants…our price is for an entire container of 1-20 divisions. When you buy hostas from Plant Delights Nursery, you are often getting large plants (unless you buy a mini hosta which will be small but full) that you can immediately divide. Since we grow our hostas here, you are able to buy hostas direct from the grower.

Check out our articles on Hostas:

  • Fragrant Hostas
  • Hosta Breeders
  • Hosta Hosta Hosta
  • Hostas for Warm Climates
  • Paul Aden Hostas
  • Plant Delights Nursery Hosta Breeding Program
  • Tony’s Top Ten Hosta Myths

And check out our many blog posts about Hostas.

Watch our video of how we protect newly emerging Hostas from late freezes

Types of Hostas

There are many different plants located in various parts of the world. Some require complete sun while others need plenty of shade. Some plants grow incredibly large while others are quite diminutive. Different species of plants need different types of soil. Some need warm weather and others need cold weather. Even within a specific species of plant there are sub species, each with its own specifications and requirements. Such is the case with plants in the hosta family. These plants are truly amazing and there are so many varieties to choose from. If you want to learn more about the different types of hosta, you will find a wealth of information here.

Sizes of Hostas

There is a multitude of different sizes of hosta. They range from miniature to gigantic with everything in-between. Here, you will find a list of varieties in their given size range.

Small hostas

When referring to small hostas, there are several size ranges within this category. Not all small hostas are the same size. The first one on the list is the category of miniature. This list includes the Mini White Dove as well as the Baby Mini Blue Mouse Ears. Miniature hostas do not grow to be more than 8 inches in height (generally less) and around 6 inches in width. Other small categories can grow to a mature size of 13 inches X 28 inches. Any diminutive variation is perfect for bordering garden areas or in containers. They come in many colors ranging from dark green, to blue, even white.

Giant hostas

Some of the giant varieties are truely mammoth in size. They grow in clumps that have the potential to easily exceed 6 feet in circumference with an outstanding height of 4 feet or more. These plants are indeed a sight to behold. If you have a large area to fill, this is certainly one of the best possible choices. This range includes the striking Sum and Substance, Empress Wu, and Colossal Blue. Like the previous category, you will find a vastly diverse range of colors and color combinations. The leaves of these varieties are often larger than an average sized (sometimes even large) cat.

Different Colors of Hostas

Considering all of the colors and color combinations that can be found in the hosta family can take up a remarkable amount of time. The foliage of this plant family include bright colors, dull colors, patterns, solids, and many other incredible aspects. Many even produce incredible blossoms of splendid colors. Here are a few of the most common colors and some of the best varieties in each color.

Green hostas

  • Kabitan (Foliage)
  • Guacamole (Foliage)
  • Lemon Lime (Foliage)

Blue hostas

  • Hadspen Blue (Foliage)
  • Blue Angel (Foliage)
  • Blue Elf (Foliage)
  • Blue Umbrellas (Foliage)

White hostas

  • White Feather (Foliage)
  • Celebration (Partially White Leaves)
  • Cool as a Cucumber (Partially White Leaves)

Yellow hostas

  • Fire Island (Foliage)
  • Blond Elf (Foliage)
  • Cup of Joy (Foliage)

Purple hostas

  • Spring Sensation (Flowers)
  • Bressingham Blue (Flowers)
  • Purple Dwarf (Flowers)

Red hostas

  • First Blush (Foliage)
  • Cherry Flip (Red Stems)
  • Fire Island (Red Stems & Petioles)

Types of Hosta for Shade and Sun. Video

As a general rule, all hostas prefer shade over sun though there are a few that need more sun than others. If you are unsure as to which ones need additional sunlight compared to others, there is a very simple way to determine. The darker in color the leaves are, the less sunlight it needs. Very light colored leaves, such as the bright white of the White Feather Hosta requires a fair amount of sunlight compared to to other varieties. This is due to the natural chlorophyll levels, darker leaves naturally have higher levels than lighter leaves. Sunlight aids the paler leaves to raise their levels. This is why the foliage of the White Feather will develop pale green stripes during late summer as it produces more chlorophyll.

Sun Loving Hostas

There are some hostas that do very well in sunlight, thrive even. Some sub species even change color when exposed to enough sunlight. One prime example of this is the August Moon Hosta. August Moon is a larger plant with clumps reaching 3 feet high and 5 feet wide. It begins as yellow-green, if grown in shade it will remain this color. If, however, it gets enough sun, it turns a fantastic gold over time. Sun Power is another sun loving variety.

Hostas for Shade

There is a long list of hosta varieties that thrive in shade gardens. Some of the best choices include Vulcan, Gold Standard, Hadspen Blue, Guacamole, and Lemon Lime. The Vulcan has foliage with creamy white centers, the periphery of each leaf is a forest green. It produces beautiful lavender flowers.

Common Hosta Varieties

Hosta Variety List

  • Duke of Cornwall
  • Blue Mouse Ears
  • Liberty
  • Little Ann
  • Little Miss Magic
  • Queen of the Seas
  • June
  • Sagae

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