19 Great Hosta Varieties for Your Garden
This shade-loving plant comes in a head-spinning array of hues and sizes.
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The 'Gold Standard' boasts medium to large, oval leaves that are light green with dark green edges. As the name suggests, this hosta's leaf centers typically fade to a golden yellow during the summer.
Hosta Sieboldiana is a common hosta that’s found in many gardens. It’s produced a host of varieties, including Hosta Sieboldiana ‘Elegans,’ which also goes by the name of Hosta ‘Elegans.’ Hosta Sieboldiana is behind many of the common hostas. Chances are, if your garden has a bluish-green, mounding hosta that grows to an impressive size of 24" high to over 60" wide, it has some Sieboldiana genes in its heritage.
Strong white centers surrounded by green edges make hosta 'Vulcan' leaves shine in the garden. Tuck plants into partial shade for best growth. Morning sun with afternoon shade or high-dappled shade is ideal. Lavender-colored blooms arrive in mid- to late summer to lure hummingbirds. Divide plants when they’re fully established — wait at least three years after planting if you are dividing to multiply plants. Otherwise, wait until five to eight years before dividing.
'Golden Tiara' is a small hosta variety featuring heart-shaped leaves that are medium green with chartreuse margins that turn gold in the sun. Its flowers are lavender on 24" scapes. Try growing this compact variety in mass as a border plant that will keep coming back year after year.
Known botanically as Hosta ‘Halcyon,’ this leafy perennial brings blue tones to shade gardens. Like all blue hostas, Hosta ‘Halcyon’ leaves get their blue hue from a waxy layer that reflects light in a way that makes the leaf appear blue. As the leaves age, the color may fade. Overhead watering and rain dilute blue tones, as can direct sunlight and high temperatures. As summer wears on, many blue hostas lose their blue sparkle simply because the blue leaf coating is wax-based and wax tends to melt in high heat. Hosta ‘Halcyon’ grow in neat, compact mounds that are typically 24" to 36" across and 12" to 18" tall.
Want to grow a plant that will make people talk? Then try ‘Empress Wu’ hosta. This oversize hosta grows to an impressive 4' to 5' tall and 6' to 8' wide. One individual leaf can measure up to 28" long and 25" across. ‘Empress Wu’ prefers full shade unless in a far northern climate where it can take a few hours of direct morning sun. Like all giant hostas, ‘Empress Wu’ needs a steady water supply. Keep the soil around plants moist to prevent leaves from wilting. A mulch layer over the soil helps with adequate moisture.
Thick leaves that look velvety at first glance make hosta 'Hadspen Blue' a great plant if you're looking to add texture to your garden. Try pairing it with purple, blue and white flowers to bring out the silvers and blues in this compact hosta.
'Sun Power' shows off a bright, slightly-twisted mound of golden leaves. For best color, give this hosta morning sun in warmer climates and full sun in cooler climates.
Not your average hosta, 'Kabitan' features long, narrow, light green leaves with dark green margin.
'Guacamole' is a medium-sized hosta with wide, oval leaves the color of — yep, you guessed it — guacamole. The avocado-colored leaves also feature darker green veins and margins. Its white flowers that appear in midsummer are extremely fragrant. Expect a mature clump to measure up to 4' across and 2' high. In late summer, large white flowers open on stalks that tower above mounding leaves.
Hosta ‘France Williams’ is named for Frances Ropes Williams, who graduated as one of the first landscape architects from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1936 at Bristol Nursery in Connecticut, she discovered a hosta with blue-green leaves edged in gold. That hosta eventually became her namesake. ‘Frances Williams’ hosta brings together many highly valued attributes of hosta varieties. It grows to a large size, forming clumps up to 5' across with leaves standing atop 2' tall stems. The leaves are rugose and crinkled, almost corrugated. This striking leaf texture also makes Hosta ‘Frances Williams’ slug resistant.
This large hosta can reach a height of 3' and a spread of 5' wide. The leaves of 'August Moon' are a light, yellow-green that turns gold over time if exposed to enough sunlight.
This is a unique, variegated hosta that has deep-green leaves with creamy white margins. It's said to stand up to heat better than other hosta varieties.
Hosta 'Lemon Lime' features a small mound of bright green, lance-shaped leaves with purple-striped flowers that appear in early to midsummer.
'Francee’ hosta’s popularity stems from its carefree beauty. This is one perennial you can plant and forget about. Leaves boast a strong green color that’s steady throughout the entire growing season. An eye-catching white stripe rings leaf margins, and the variegation is constant, no matter how high summer temperatures rise. Lavender-colored flowers appear in midsummer. The flowers form along a spike that stands 30" tall.
‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’
Discover a blue-green hosta with thick, seersucker leaves known as ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd.’ Leaves on this hosta feature an unusual cupped shape, with leaf cups up to 3" deep. Heavy, seersuckered leaves offer strong slug resistance. White flowers appear in early summer. Plants grow 18" tall by 36" wide.
A great addition to any hosta collection, this specimen features pale white foliage. Growing ‘White Feather’ hosta requires a trip back to biology class. Remember learning about chlorophyll? It’s the green stuff that makes plants grow. ‘White Feather’ hosta doesn’t have any — that’s why the leaves are white. As a result, this is a slow-growing plant. It's light color also means it can't take direct sunlight; keep it well shaded with rich soil and plenty of mulch to help it retain moisture.
'Sum and Substance'
Step up the wow factor in your yard by adding Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ — one of the original biggies in the world of hostas. A true overachiever, this hosta grows 3' to 4' high and an easy 6' across. The record-holding ‘Sum and Substance’ hosta plant measures a whopping 114" (almost 10') across and stands 4' high.
Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’
Miniature hostas can squeeze into even the tiniest spaces. These diminutive perennials offer all the benefits of their larger size cousins, but in a package that’s under a foot tall and wide. You can find blue miniature hostas, like Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears,’ and variegated hostas, like Hosta ‘Mini Skirt.’