If you grow hostas, you probably have more than one variety in your garden. Mixing and matching foliage colors, leaf sizes and textures is part of what makes growing them so fun.
There are more than a dozen different varieties of hostas in my shade garden and I definitely have some favorites. Which begs the question…what qualities should you look for when choosing a hosta?
1. Size. Some hostas never get any more than 6″ tall. Others, like Hosta Bressingham Blue (shown above) can grow waist high and 4 feet across. A good hosta is one that’s the right size for the space, so when purchasing a new hosta, choose with your head as well as your heart. Consider the variety’s mature size and give it the space it will need.
2. Color. Single color varieties such as hosta Big Daddy or hosta Sum and Substance make ideal companions for variegated hostas. Variegation can be subtle, such as hosta Francee’s fine white edge, or dramatic as with Blue Ivory or Lakeside Dragonfly. Color and variegation is purely a personal preference.
3. Durability. Most hostas look their best in May and early June. A great hosta is able to maintain its good looks right through August and into the fall. Varieties with thick leaves tend to be the most resiliant when it comes to fending off weather damage and nibbling insect pests (such as slugs).
Here are four of my favorite hostas:
Hosta ‘Blue Ivory‘ – Thick leaves, sharply contrasting colors and a small to medium size.
Hosta ‘June’ – Thick leaves with a pretty shape and 3 different greens. Stays compact.
Hosta ‘Golden Tiara’ – Stunning early spring color. A tidy, mounding habit and pretty purple flowers.
Hosta ‘Earth Angel’ – Big, broad leaves that are as thick as cardboard. Bold color all season long.
Please weigh in and tell us about your favorite hostas — just leave a comment below!