As far as breedfing hostas is concerned, there have been a number of fascinating developments in recent times that have produced plants having exciting colors, usually seen during the spring. In fact, these vibrant colors are evident in all seasons and are found in hostas having foliage combinations of white yellow, green and blue. In addition, several varieties of hostas have plain, pleated, undulating, curly, embossed, cupped, puckered, wrinkled, as well as ruffled leaves, while there are other hostas that have furrowed leaves with depressed veins or borders with noticeable, curly undulations (imagine a pie crust) throughout their margins.
There are many new hosta cultivars or crossbreeds that can endure additional sunlight or bear broad leaves that are so sturdy that they can successfully ward off invasions of snails and slugs. Then there are some hosta cultivars that bear white or purple blooms and others having flowers resembling a bell. Many of these flowers have excellent aromas – which is mainly attributed to the parent hosts species called Hosta plantaginea.
Over 50 percent of all new hosta plants have their origin in from mutations or sports of various existing hosta cultivars, as these hostas are genetically variable and have a tendency to produce leaves that are very dissimilar from the remaining leaves of the same plant. Modern breeding techniques like micropropagation (tissue culture) to generate large number of hostas from minute tissue parts collected of dormant buds have not only helped to augement the speed of propagating hosta cultivars and enabling them to be grown in the gardens, but also the easy availability of these newly bred hosts.
Precisely speaking, the time consumed from producing/ propagating a hosta cultivar to it reaching the gardens for cultivation has now been decreased to as less as three years. On the other hand, earlier the entire process consumed as many as six years. As of now, as many as 6,000 different cultivars of hostas are available in the market.
- This hosta cultivar grows to a moderate height – around 14 inches (35 cm) and produces whitish leaves with creamy margins. The flowers of this hosta have a lavender-blue hue. It is a rapidly growing hosta cultivar.
- August Moon
- A relatively large hosta cultivar growing up to a height of 24 inches (60 cm), August moon bears light golden colored leaves, which are pale green when they open. The flowers of this cultivar are light mauve.
- Big Daddy
- As the name suggests, it is a large hosta cultivar that produces large, spherical, creased, blue-hued leaves. This plant grows up to a height of 36 inches (90 cm) and bears white or light blue flowers.
- Blue Moon
- This is a small and slow growing hosta cultivar, growing up to a height of 6 inches (15 cm). This plant produces round leaves that become narrower to converge at a point. The flowers of Blue moon have a mauve-blue hue.
- Bressingham Blue
- This is a big hosta cultivar that grows up to a height of 20 inches (50 cm) and has curved, puckered blue-hued leaves. The plant bears while blooms.
- Buckshaw Blue
- This hosta cultivar grows up to a moderate height, roughly 14 inches (35 cm) and produces attractive blue leaves that are heart-shaped. The flowers of this cultivar are very light blue.
- A moderate-height hosta cultivar, Carol grows up to 14 inches (35 cm) tall and produces deep green oval-shaped leaves with uneven white borders. The leaves have a beautiful mealy (soft and powdery) bloom on their surface.
- Chinese Sunrise
- This hosta cultivar grows up to a moderate height, roughly 24 inches (60 cm) and produces lustrous golden-hued leaves that have green margins. Chinese sunrise is a rapidly spreading, stoloniferous hosta cultivar that bears mauve flowers.
- Elizabeth Campbell
- This relatively large hosta cultivar grows upto a height of 24 inches (60 cm) and produces lavender-hued flowers. The leaves of Elizabeth cambell have a green margin with a creamy-white center.
- Francee is also a relatively large hosta cultivar that grows up to a height of roughly 24 inches (60 cm) and bears deep green leaves having striking slender white borders. The flowers of this cultivar are lavender-hued.
- Frances Williams
- This is an extremely large hosta cultivar, growing up to a height of 32 inches (80 cm). The leaves of Frances Williams are deep bluish-green having irregular greenish-yellow margins. The flowers of this plant have a pale lavender hue.
- Ginko Craig
- A moderate height hosta cultivar, Ginko Craig grows up to a height of 14 inches (35 cm) and bears somewhat narrow, deep green leaves having an irregular whitish margin. This rapidly growing hosta produces purple-hued flowers.
- Gold Edger
- The growth of this hosta cultivar is low to medium. Growing up to a maximum height of 10 inches (25 cm), this rapidly spreading hosta makes an excellent for ground cover. The leaves of this plant are chartreuse green. It is an excellent plant for growing in full sunlight.
- Gold Standard
- Although Gold standard is an extremely large hosta cultivar, it is also excellent for use as a ground cover. The leaves of this cultivar are diffused chartreuse yellow and green that change to a golden hue when exposed to sunlight. However, they turn greener if grown in shade. The plant produces lavender-hued flowers and grows up to a moderate height of 24 inches (60 cm).
- Golden Medallion
- As the name implies, the leaves of this hosta cultivar are initially green when they open, but have a yellow hue later. The flowers of this plant are almost white. This is a moderate-height hosta cultivar that grows up to a height of 18 inches (45 cm).
- Golden Prayers
- This hosta cultivar grows up to 14 inches (35 cm) and produces vivid yellow cupped leaves. The flowers of this plant are very light lavender-hued.
- Golden Sunburst
- This is a large hosta, growing up to a height of 20 inches (50 cm). Golden Sunburst bears rounded, chartreuse leaves that change to yellow. The flowers of this plant a spotless white.
- Golden Tiara
- A low to medium height hosta cultivar, Golden tiara bears green leaves that having bright yellow margins. The plant grows up to a height of 14 inches (35 cm) and bears purple-hued flowers.
- Ground Master
- This hosta cultivar has a low to medium growth and its height seldom exceeds 12 inches (30 cm). Ground master bears green leaves with eye-catching wavy, white borders. The flowers of this plant have a lavender hue. This plant makes an excellent ground cover in your garden.
- Hadspen Blue
- As the name of this hosta implies, it produces soft, blue leaves. The flowers of this plant are lavender hued. It has a low to medium growth, having a height of 12 inches 930 cm).
- A small to medium height hosta cultivar, Halcyon is usually 12 inches (30 cm) tall. While the leaves of this hosta have a wonderful blue hue, the flowers are violet.
- Growing up to a height of 24 inches (60 cm), Honeybells is a relatively large hosta cultivar. The leaves of this plant are wavy and have a pale green color. It bears white aromatic flowers that have a shade of mauve.
- Hydon Sunset
- This is an extremely small hosta cultivar that grows up to a height of only 4 inches (10 cm) and bears purple flowers. The leaves of the plant are petite and have a golden hue, which fades to green as the season advances.
- Krossa Regal
- Growing up to a height of 36 inches (90 cm), Krossa regal is among the tallest hosta cultivars. This plant produces wavy pointed leaves that have a glaucous blue hue. The flowers of Krossa regal are lavender pink.
- Love Pat
- A relatively large hosta cultivar, Love pat grows up to a height of 30 inches (75 cm) and is a wonderful specimen plant for your garden. It bears extremely pale lavender blooms, while the deep blue leaves are puckered.
- Midas Touch
- This hosta cultivar has an extraordinary name and has a moderate to tall growth – about 18 inches (45 cm). The leaves of Midas touch are intensely golden hues, while the flowers are light lavender.
- Neat Splash
- This hosta cultivar is moderately tall, growing up to a height of 12 inches (30 cm). The deep green leaves of Neat flash have golden splashes, which is usually more conspicuous near the margins. The flowers of this plant have a lavender hue. This soloniferous hosta spreads quite fast.
- North Hills
- This is a large hosta cultivar, which grows up to a height of 20 inches (50 cm). It bears undulating, deep green leaves that are pointe and have white margins. The flowers have a lavender hue. North hills is a robustly stoloniferous plant that makes an excellent ground cover in your garden.
- Piedmont Gold
- Growing up to a moderate height, about 18 inches (45 cm), the intensely veined leaves of Piedmont gold have a golden hue. The plant bears white flowers.
- This is a very large hosta cultivar that grows up to a height of 40 inches (100 cm) and produces large, wavy, forested green, glaucous leaves having cream colored borders. The leaves of this plant are slightly twisted. The plant makes an excellent vertical mounds and it is considered to be among the most excellent hostas. Often, the plant is also referred to as Hosta fluctuans “Variegated”. The flowers of Sagae are very light lavender, nearly white.
- Shade Fanfare
- Growing up to a moderate height (about 16 inches or 40 cm), Shade fanfare bears pale green leaves having creamy margins. The flowers of this hosta cultivar have a lavender hue.
- Snow Flakes
- This is a relatively small hosta cultivar, growing up to a height of 8 inches (20 cm). True to its name, Snow flakes bear wholesome white flowers, while the leaves of the plant are green and slender.
- As the name of this hosta cultivar suggests, Snowden bears white blooms, while its leaves are glaucous green. This rapidly spreading, tall hosta is a wonderful specimen plant for your garden. It grows up to a height of 34 inches (85 cm).
- Sum and Substance
- As the name of this hosta cultivar implies, Sum and substance is a large plant whose leaves are produces chartreuse green and they turn more or less golden when grown in full sunlight. This plant grows up to a height of 30 inches (75 cm). This is an extremely extraordinary hosta that bears lavender-hued blooms.
- Sun Power
- Another large hosta cultivar, Sun power bears twisted charttreuse leaves whose color change to golden later. This plant grows up to a height of 30 inches (75 cm).
- Wide Brim
- This is a moderate-height hosta cultivar, growing up to 18 inches (45 cm) tall. While the flowers of this plant are pale lavender, the leaves are bluish-green having uneven cream-hued margins.
- A relatively large hosta cultivar, Zounds grows up to 22 inches (55 cm) and produces golden-hued, puckered leaves. The flowers of this cultivar are pale lavender.
The anatomy of hostas
Propagation of hostas
Cultivation of hostas
Growing hostas in containers
Hostas in the garden
Pest and diseases of hostas
Companion shade plants for hostas