CHOOSING HOSTAS

Height and spread

Are they slug and snail proof?

Thicker leaved hostas

Shade or sun

Foliage

Flowers

Award winning hostas

Hosta Catalogue

A-C, D-H, I-L, M-R, S-Z

Sue proctor hostas header

CHOOSING HOSTAS

“I thought I would be stronger. I thought I could resist. But now I know nothing can stave off the unquenchable hunger for hostas. I buy three or four kinds at a time, all distinctive and seductive, and then dream at night of the 5,000 other kinds I still crave. Time to stand up and admit the truth: My name is Steve, and I'm a hosta-holic”. 
Steve Bender. www.southernliving.com

Hostas are addictive because no other hardy perennial offers such a wonderful variety of foliage in so many colours, shapes, and sizes. Whether you’ve got a window box, a single pot or two acres of garden there are hostas for you. Here are some of the things you may want to think about when choosing them:

 

Height and Spread

Our Catalogue gives the approximate mature height of all varieties. As for spacing and spread, the hosta grower has a choice. Hostas mature in 4-7 years depending on variety so planting for mature spread means a lot of uncovered ground for the first 2-3 years. Even a medium hosta can grow to 2-3 feet diameter when mature. The alternative is to plant closer together then re-plant further apart or divide to reduce clump size as the hostas mature.

 

Are they slug and snail proof?

No hosta is entirely mollusc-proof! When they are hungry enough slugs and snails will munch any hosta. However, the good news is that some hostas are less attractive to them than others. These are of two kinds: First, hostas with thick leaves are more difficult to chew than those with thin leaves. We have seen silvery trails across untouched thick leaved hostas on their way to something more palatable. Some people think slugs and snails avoid blue hostas but it’s not the colour that deters them, it’s the leaf thickness. Many blue hostas have thick leaves. Secondly, hostas that grow in an upright vase-shape can remain untouched longer than others with a more cascading habit. If there are easier pickings to get at, the long stem climb just isn’t worth the effort!

Thicker leaved hostas

Miniature
Blue Mouse Ears, Desert Mouse, Frosted Mouse Ears, Funny Mouse, Holy Mouse Ears, Lucky Mouse, Snow Mouse.

Others
Beach Boy, Big Daddy, Blue Angel, Canadian Blue, Catherine, Devon Green, First Frost, Halcyon, June, Justine, Liberty, Orange Star, Remember Me, Rhino Hide, Ruffled Mouse Ears, St. Paul, Snow Boy, Sum and Substance, Sum of All, Touch of Class, Winter Snow.

Shade or sun?

Most hostas thrive best in morning sun and afternoon shade. However many hostas will tolerate full sun if watered well and mulched. In sun hosta colours often change. Blues may become green-blue and gold centres and yellow or cream leaf margins may bleach out. The hostas below are those that, in our experience, cope well with sun.

Sun Tolerant Hostas
Abba Dabba Do, Allan P. McConnell, Avocado, Beach Boy, Blueberry Muffin, Blue Angel, Blue Mammoth, Captain Kirk, Cathedral Windows, Cheatin’ Heart , Devon Green, Dixie Chick, Fragrant Bouquet, Gold Drop, Golden Meadows, Ground Sulphur, Halcyon, Hanky Panky, High Society, Independence, Irish Luck, June, June Fever, Krossa Regal, Lemon Lime, Little Wonder, Orange Marmalade, Paul’s Glory, Quill, Radiant Edger, Regal Splendor, Regal Supreme, Remember Me, Revolution, Rhino Hide, Spritzer, Stained Glass, Sum and Substance, Summer Breeze, Tears of Joy, Tick Tock, Touch of Class, Twist of Lime, Venus, Vera Verde, Whirlwind, Zounds.

Looks

You may want a bright hosta to give a splash of colour in a shady place, or you may want hostas to blend in. It may be the leaf shape or shade of colour that attracts you. Hostas vary so much in colour, leaf shape and texture that the only thing you can be sure of is that there is a hosta in our catalogue that is exactly right for you! And, of course, some hostas have fragrant flowers as an added attraction. We’ve listed below some of the most asked for characteristics of hostas.

Foliage

Corrugated/puckered leaves
Abiqua Drinking Gourd, Big Daddy, Blue Hawaii, Blue Mammoth, Blueberry Muffin, Centerfold, Chief Sitting Bull, Christmas Tree, Deep Blue Sea, Goodness Gracious, Lakeside Dimpled Darling, Love Pat, Peanut, Quilting Bee, Zounds.

Deeply veined/ribbed leaves
Behemoth, Big Boy, Bridal Falls, Hillbilly Blues, Irish Luck, montana aureomarginata, montana macrophylla, Spartacus, Squash Casserole, T Rex, Yellow River.

Piecrust/ rippled/ wavy edged leaves
Abba Dabba Do, Alakazaam, Atlantis, Atom Smasher, Babbling Brook, Bridal Falls, Candy Dish, Chartreuse Wiggles, Dancing Mouse, Dragon Tails, Feather Boa, Fourth of July, Goodness Gracious, Hacksaw, Irish Luck, Kifukurin Ko Mame, Lakeside Downsized, Lakeside Storm Watch, Lizard Lick, Marilyn Monroe, Marrakech, Medusa, My Precious, Neptune, Niagara Falls, Over the Waves, Queen of the Seas, Quill, Rhythm and Blues, Ripple Effect, Ruffled Mouse Ears, Sky Dancer, Spartacus, Spartan Arrow, Surfer Girl, Tattle Tails, War Paint, Wheee!, Yellow Boa.

Streaked/Misted/Mottled leaves
Allegan Fog, Cotton Candy, Frosted Mini Hearts, Geisha, Ghost Spirit, Inaho, Kaleidochrome, Little Maddie, Pistache, Silver Threads and Golden Needles, Tokyo Fog, Vermont Frost, X-ray.

Narrow/ strap-like leaves
Alakazaam, Atom Smasher, Blue Arrow, Chartreuse Wiggles, Cherry Tart, Dragon Tails, Electrocution, Feather Boa, First Mate, Fourth of July, Green Eyes, Greenie Weenie Bikini, Hacksaw, Hands Up, Kabitan, Kifukurin Ko Mame, Kirishima, Lakeside Downsized, Lakeside Dragonfly, Little Caesar, Lizard Lick, longissima, Marrakech, Masquerade, Medusa, Praying Hands, Quill, Red Dog, Ripple Effect, Silberpfeil, Spartan Arrow, Surprised by Joy, Tattle Tails, Teeny Weeny Bikini, Vera Verde, X-Ray, Yellow Boa.

Red/purple petioles (stems)
Best of Twenty, Blueberry Muffin, Candy Dish, Cherry Tart, Coconut Custard, Emeralds and Rubies, Fire Island, Little Red Joy, Little Red Rooster, Lizard Lick, Mr Blue, Over the Waves, Paradise Island, Purple Dwarf, Purple Heart, Purple Passion, Raspberry Sorbet, Raspberry Sundae, Red Dog, Smiley Face, Sunlight Child, Tickle Me Pink, Tokyo Smog, Torchlight, Volcano Island.

Flowers

Fragrant
Avocado, Cathedral Windows, Diana Remembered, Fragrant Bouquet, Fragrant Queen, Halcyon, Irish Luck, Kirishima, Stained Glass, Sweetie, Tea at Betty’s, Venus. Please note that for their full fragrance these hostas need to be planted in some sun.

White or almost white
Abiqua Drinking Gourd, Ballerina, Beach Boy, Beckoning, Big Daddy, Big Mama, Blue Angel, Blue Mammoth, Chesapeake Bay, Diana Remembered, Eskimo Pie, Flemish Angel, Fragrant Bouquet, Golden Meadows, Lionheart, Love Pat, Oze, Pistache, Queen of the Seas, Rhino Hide, Sweetie, Venus.

Award Winning Hostas

The Royal Horticultural Society and the American Hosta Growers Association recognise the very best of hostas. We have all the following in stock:

Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit
Abiqua Drinking Gourd, Allegan Fog, Atlantis, Baby Bunting, Big Daddy, Blue Angel, Blue Arrow, Blue Mouse Ears, Captain Kirk, Cathedral Windows, Cherish, Christmas Tree, Cracker Crumbs, Deep Blue Sea, Devon Green, Dragon Tails, Dream Weaver, Earth Angel, Fire and Ice, Fire Island, First Frost, Fragrant Bouquet, Geisha (Ani Machi),Green with Envy, Guardian Angel, Gypsy Rose, Halcyon, June, Liberty, Little Wonder, Love Pat, montana aureomarginata, Niagara Falls, Orange Marmalade, Paradise Puppet, Paul’s Glory, Popo, Praying Hands, Regal Splendor, Remember Me, Revolution, Stained Glass, Striptease, Sum and Substance, Torchlight, Touch of Class, venusta, Warpaint, Whirlwind, Wolverine..

American Hosta Growers Association Hostas of the Year
1998 Fragrant Bouquet
1999 Paul’s Glory 
2001 June 
2003 Regal Splendor 
2004 Sum and Substance
2005 Striptease
2006 Stained Glass
2008 Blue Mouse Ears
2009 Earth Angel
2010 First Frost
2011 Praying Hands
2012 Liberty
2013 Rainforest Sunrise
2014 Abiqua Drinking Gourd
2016 Curly Fries

For other characteristics not listed above, go to http://www.hostalists.org/index.php. This is the most comprehensive list we know of hosta characteristics. Or, please let us know what you are looking for – email: hostas@sueproctorplants.co.uk