21 Favorite Hosta Varieties – Complete Guide

Looking for a beautiful, shade-tolerant, and easy-care perennial? You definitely can’t go wrong with a hosta. They hardly require any care and are ideal for gardens that don’t get a lot of sun. Plus, they are easy to grow and tend to live for a long time!

And the best part?

You can find hostas in a range of colors and sizes with stunning flowers and different leaf textures and shapes. So, with the vast range of hosta varieties, you can easily find a species that best fits your garden.

Hostas: A Brief Overview

A lot of things make hostas a fun and nice plant to have in your garden. For one, they’re available in many colors, textures, heights, and sizes to work with. Plus, they can fit into different kinds of gardens like shade, rock, container, border, or patio. And the best part is they’re cold-hardy.

Most hosta varieties have a height and spread from 1 to 3 feet, but you can easily find smaller or larger varieties. The leaf colors also vary and include unique colors like blue-green, lime green, and variegated white, just to name a few. The shape and texture of hosta leaves are also quite diverse and range from heart-shaped and smooth to ridged and narrow.

Even though hosta plants are known for their eye-catching foliage, they also produce gorgeous flowers from early summer to fall. These flowers can be white, light blue, lavender, pink, or a plethora of other colors. Pollinators, including hummingbirds, love these flowers. And depending on the variety, the flowers might be fragrant.

Apart from humans and pollinators, rabbits, snails, slugs, and even deer love hostas, so if you often find deer wandering into your garden, you need to be on alert. This is because deer love to graze hostas down to their stems.


OUR FAVORITES

  • Mix of different-colored caladiums
  • Grow back each year
  • Very low-maintenance
CHECK PRICE →
  • Well-packaged in moist shavings
  • 7-10-inch long roots
  • 4-5 varieties in the package
CHECK PRICE →
  • Value for money
  • Mixed variety
  • Stunning colors
CHECK PRICE →

Best Hosta Plants

Now that you know how to grow hostas and are familiar with some of the most beautiful species, here are some hosta plants you should consider planting:

1. Hosta Bumper Crop Mix – Best for Shady Gardens 

Their stunning colors attract hummingbirds.

Style: Bare root hosta plants

Application: Shady gardens

Size: 10 plants

These plants grow in hardy zones 3 to 8. Some flowers are also fragrant and bloom from mid to late summer.

Pros

  • All bare roots grow into beautiful blooms
  • Well-packaged in moist shavings
  • 7-10-inch long roots
  • 4-5 varieties in the package

2. Caladium Hosta Fancy Mix – Best for All Gardens 

The caladiums come as large bulbs that bloom for many years to come and are easy to plant.

Style: Bulb

Application: All gardens; best suited for full shade

Size: 10 plants

These bulbs are GMO-free and deer-resistant, so you don’t need to worry about deer eating up your foliage. These white hostas bloom in the summer and can grow in full share, too.

Pros

  • Mix of different-colored caladiums
  • Grow back each year
  • Very low-maintenance

3. Mixed Hosta Jardin Lily Perennials – Most Stunning

You can expect these stunning flowers to bloom in the fall.

Style: Seeds

Application: Pots, DIY home gardens

Size: 100 seeds

The pack of 100 seeds ensures you get good value for your money. The plants range from small to large, so you get a very nice garden cover with this pack.

Pros

  • Value for money
  • Mixed variety
  • Stunning colors

4. Hosta Sieboldiana Elegans – Drought-Tolerant Hostas 

Style: Dormant flower bulbs

Application: Partial Shade

Size: 3

These plants are ideal for USDA zones 4-9 and grow up to 24-36 inches tall. Just make sure you plant them 3-4 feet apart in well-drained soil with a good moisture supply.

Pros

  • Healthy and long roots
  • Grows very fast
  • Beautiful blue leaves

5. Heart-Shaped Hostas – Best for All Gardeners 

Plus, since it is very low-maintenance, it is suitable for gardeners at all skill levels – even beginners can grow them easily!

Style: Bare roots

Application: Partial/full shade

Size: 24

This 24 pack of bare hosta roots comes with a planting shovel to further add value to your purchase. Plus, since these perennials are shade-tolerant, you can plant them in shady areas and along trees and borders.

Pros

  • Start growing very quickly
  • Mixed variety
  • Well-packaged and healthy roots

6. Halcyon Hosta – Most Captivating 

Both combine to make a stunning ground cover.

Style: Live plant in a quart pot

Application: Partial shade

Size: 1

These Halcyon hostas are great for hardy zones 3-9 and grow up to 10 inches tall.

Pros

  • Very healthy and sturdy plant
  • Produce beautiful flowers
  • Color gets better (bluer) as the plants mature

7. Hosta Patriot – Best for Woodland Garden 

Style: Live bare root plant

Application: Shade

Size: 2

The package includes two mature live bare-root plants. These grow great in the shade and are suitable for planting both indoor and outdoor.

Pros

  • Fresh and healthy roots
  • Grow quickly
  • Good packaging

Planting Hostas: Everything You Should Know

Hostas are really easy to plant and care for. This section outlines everything you need to know about planting hostas.

When should you plant hostas?

The best time to plant hostas is in the fall or spring. Make sure you buy hostas as potted plants or dormant bare-root divisions and then plant them in your garden.

You can also plant hostas during the summer when it’s the growing season, but you’ll have to pay extra attention to the plants to ensure they do not die because of the scorching summer heat. But this isn’t too tedious as you mostly need to water the plant to keep it alive and healthy.

Where should you plant hostas?

There are a few things you need to keep in mind when selecting and preparing a site for planting hostas.

Hostas thrive the best in dappled shade or partial sun, but they do fine in deep shade as well. The large leaves of hostas don’t do well in intense full sun. But once the plants fully establish, they can withstand mild droughts and tolerate the summer heat.

Hostas need well-draining soil with a pH between 6.5 (slightly acidic) and 7 (neutral).

How should you plant hostas?

Planting a hosta involves just a few basic steps:

  • Dig a small hole that is twice the depth and width of the plant’s root ball.
  • Loosen the soil in the planting area. This will benefit the roots of the hosta plant as they expand.
  • Now, set the plant in the hole such that the crown is level with the surrounding soil, and the emerging leaf tips can be clearly seen at the soil’s surface.
  • In the case of potted hostas, make sure the soil level is the same as it was in the pot.
  • Lastly, dampen the soil around the hora and water it until the soil becomes moist. This will help the roots to settle.
  • In case you’re using containers to plant hostas, make sure your pots have drainage holes and are suitable enough for a mature plant. Also, ensure that the pots are filled with high-quality potting mix.

How should you care for the hostas?

Caring for hostas also doesn’t involve much. You just need to keep the following in mind:

  • Apply a slow-release, well-balanced fertilizer once you plant the hosta or when the growth starts to emerge in the spring.
  • Make sure you keep the soil moist but do not soak it.
  • Water the plant as needed during periods of active growth. Roughly an inch of moisture per week is enough in a moderate climate.
  • If you find the soil drying out too quickly, place mulch around the hosta to help retain the moisture. However, you should remember that mulch provides a great hiding place for slugs that can ultimately damage your plants.
  • Get rid of the flower stalks and stems after bloom. Doing so will encourage new growth. But make sure to leave the foliage after the flowering season. The leaves will collect sunlight which helps strengthen the bulb for future use.
  • Most hosta varieties have an attractive color in the fall so let them thrive until they start suffering from frost.
  • Trim the wilted and yellow leaves when the cold weather begins.
  • Hostas will start to flatten and get mushy after a few frosts in late fall. When this happens, you should cut them back to avoid diseases and slug issues. Also, make sure to clean up around the plants and get rid of brown leaves. But if you don’t have time for that, you can also wait until the following spring to cut them back.
  • The best time to divide and transplant hostas is in the early spring, when the leaves just start to emerge.

How to divide and transplant hostas

Unlike most other plants, you don’t usually need to divide hostas to keep them healthy. If they are short on space, they will just grow less quickly. But you can still divide hostas if you want a neater garden. The best time to do this is in early spring, when the growing tips (also called eyes) begin emerging from the ground. This is also a great time to transplant or move the hosta to a new location.

When transplanting, make sure to leave as much of the root as you can to each plant and place the new plant at the same soil level. Then, water it until it is established.

Common Diseases in Hostas

Hostas are susceptible to a few common diseases, including:

Snails and slugs

If you find entire leaves chewed off or irregular holes along the edges of the leaf, you might be dealing with nocturnal slugs. To know that you’re dealing with slugs for sure, look out for shiny slime trails on the ground near the plants or on the leaves.

Rabbits

Clean-cut chew marks on the stems and leaves indicate the presence of rabbits in the garden. To be sure, look for rabbit droppings and dropped leaves around the plants and on the ground.

Deer

Deer absolutely love hosta. To discourage them from eating the plant, we recommend using motion-sensitive sprinklers or fencing. You can also talk to your local garden center about deer repellents and odor-based sprays so that they taste the distasteful repellent and are put off by eating the plant.

Other Tips for Planting Hostas

  • Slugs love eating hostas, but the more textured and thicker the hosta leaf, the more slug-resistance it will be. But keep in mind that no hosta is completely slug-proof.
  • Hostas prefer well-drained and moist soil with a slightly acidic pH that is also rich in organic matter. If your soil has a lot of sand or clay in it, you can make it moist and well-drained by adding compost.
  • As mentioned earlier, hostas are pretty low-maintenance and don’t require you to do much. Just make sure you fertilize the plants every spring using an all-purpose garden fertilizer.
  • Slugs can leave unsightly holes in hosta leaves, which can be difficult to take care of. But you can try keeping slugs away from your hosta plant by scattering some sand around it.
  • Choosing the right place to plant the hosta is very important. In the case of hostas with darker foliage, you should plant them in moderate shade to make sure they retain their gorgeous deep color.
  • Finally, don’t forget that hostas need good drainage. In particular, the roots of newly planted hostas should be moist and not wet.

Hosta Varieties: What Should You Plant?

As mentioned earlier, there are a plethora of hosta varieties that you can choose to plant in your garden. These varieties range from small 4-inch hostas to hostas as large as 6 feet wide. Whether you’re looking for a hosta to plant in your tiny rock garden or on large borders, here are some great hosta varieties to check out:

Hosta Varieties

Frances Williams Hosta

One of the most common and eye-catching hosta varieties is the Frances Williams hosta. It has beautiful and big blue-green foliage with irregular chartreuse edges. It has puckered, heart-shaped leaves with a thick substance, making the plant look robust even at the end of the planting season. This variety blooms in the summer, and white funnel-shaped flowers start to appear in early to mid-summer.

The variegated leaves of the Frances Williams hosta stand out in the shade, especially when the white flowers start to bloom. The plant is best suited for USDA zones 3 to 8 and grows up to 16-24 inches tall and 4-5 feet wide. Plus, the thick foliage is less prone to wind and slug damage compared to other hostas.

  • Zone: 3-8
  • Size: 18-24” tall, 4-5’ wide
  • Flowers: White
  • Slug resistance: Moderate

Halcyon

If you have an idyllic perennial garden, then you definitely need to add the Halcyon hosta to it if you haven’t already. This variety has the perfect mound of stunning blue foliage that looks good throughout the season, provided that you give it sufficient shade. This will help it maintain its waxy blue hue.

Halcyon grows up to 18-24 inches tall and 30-36 inches wide and is best suited for USDA zones 3 to 8. Beautiful pale lilac flowers bloom in mid to late summer. The plant is also slug-resistant.

  • Zone: 3-8
  • Size: 18-24” tall, 30-36” wide
  • Flowers: Pale lilac
  • Slug resistance: Moderate to good

Striptease hosta

The striptease hosta is characterized by its signature three colors. The leaves are green with a beautiful golden line down the middle and a thin white line on the edges.

Striptease grows up to 20 inches tall and 36 inches wide and is best suited for USDA zones 3-9. From mid-July to the beginning of August, you will see pale purple flowers on the Striptease.

  • Zone: 3-9
  • Size: 20” tall, 36” wide
  • Flowers: Pale purple
  • Slug resistance: None

Deja Blu Hosta

The Deja Blu is so stunning that you’ll want to keep it somewhere where you can view it closely and be mesmerized by its beauty. The plant features large, blue-green leaves with golden edges and a narrow cream-colored band that separates these two colors.

Deja Blu grows up to 20 inches wide and 14 inches tall and is best for zones 3-9. And combined with the blue-green foliage, the purple flowers make the plant even more stunning.

  • Zone: 3-9
  • Size: 14” tall, 20” wide
  • Flowers: Purple
  • Slug resistance: None

Great Expectations

Great Expectations falls under one of the larger hosta varieties and features chartreuse foliage with large, light blue-green edges. But what’s most interesting about this plant is that the leaf centers turn yellow in the summer and white or creamy yellow in the winter.

Since this is a variegated hosta, you need to keep it under brighter light so that it maintains its gold and white stripes. Great Expectations is best suited for USDA zones 3-9 and grows up to 22 inches tall and 40 inches wide with pale lilac flowers that complement the blue-green foliage well.

  • Zones: 3-9
  • Size: 22” tall, 40” wide
  • Flowers: Pale lilac
  • Slug Resistance: None

Tokudama flavocircinalis

This variety is considered one of the most elegant and features blue-colored heart-shaped leaves with pale green edges. While most hostas have smooth leaf surfaces, the leaves of the Tokudama flavocircinalis have a corrugated texture.

The plant grows up to 17 inches tall and 48 inches wide and is best for zones 3-9. And beautiful white flowers bloom in the early summer.

  • Zones: 3-9
  • Size: 17” tall, 48” wide
  • Flowers: White
  • Slug resistance: Moderate

Sagae hosta

If you’re looking for something unique and captivating to add to your garden, you should check out Sagae. These plants have light blue-green leaves with a frosted look and dramatic gold edges. They grow up to 20 inches tall and 54 inches wide and have light purple flowers.

The Sagae hosta is best known for its strong growth and thick foliage. And since it grows upright, it looks great when planted with hostas with relatively smaller foliage.

  • Zones: 3-9
  • Size: 20” tall, 54” wide
  • Flowers: Light purple
  • Slug Resistance: Slight

Pathfinder

Pathfinder is best known for its thick and textured white foliage with dark green edges. The plant grows up to 2 feet tall and 24 inches white and is best suited for shady gardens. You can plant the Pathfinder among white flowers, and it’ll look great. Plus, the plant itself has flushed white and purple flowers.

  • Zones: 3-9
  • Size: 12” tall, 24” wide
  • Flowers: White and purple
  • Slug resistance: Moderate

Wolverine

Like other blue and green hosta varieties, the Wolverine is also another great choice. The plant features narrow and long blue-green leaves with creamy gold edges.

The plant grows up to 15 inches tall and 40 inches wide. Violet or light purple flowers bloom in the late summer.

  • Zones: 3-9
  • Size: 15” tall, 40” wide
  • Flower: Violet or light purple
  • Slug resistance: No

Paradigm

The Paradigm plant features golden leaves with blue-green edges and thrives well in the sun. Unlike most other hosta varieties, the colors of Paradigm become richer throughout summer. And with just the right amount of bright sun, the gold center brightens up.

The plant grows very vigorously and gets as big as 4 feet wide. And it has purple flowers.

  • Zones: 3-9
  • Size: 46” tall, 48” wide
  • Flowers: Purple
  • Slug resistance: Moderate

Pandora’s Box

Despite its unique name, the Pandora Box is classified as a miniature hosta and adds a lot of color to your garden. The foliage is creamy white in color with blue-green edges.

The plant grows up to 2 inches tall and 5 inches wide. In early summer, you can see bell-shaped, light purple flowers.

  • Zones: 3-9
  • Size: 2” tall, 5” wide
  • Flowers: Light purple
  • Slug resistance: None

Whirlwind

Whirlwind is best known for its changing leaf color. The pointed foliage is creamy-white in color and has dark green edges. In midsummer, the foliage color fades to light green, and by the end of the season, the leaves become dark green.

Unlike most other hostas, the pointy leaves of the Whirlwind stay upright. The plant grows up to 5 inches tall and 40 inches wide and has trumpet-shaped light purple flowers from mid-late summer.

  • Zones: 3-9
  • Size: 5” tall, 40” wide
  • Flowers: Light purple
  • Slug resistance: None

Formal Attire

Formal Attire is one of the best additions you can make to your shade garden. This large-sized hosta grows up to 30 inches tall and 30 inches wide and has dark blue-green leaves with creamy-white edges.

In the spring, the leaves are blue-green with wide yellow margins, and in the summer, they turn dark green with creamy white margins. You can see beautiful pale purple flowers bloom on top of the large foliage mound in early summer.

  • Zones: 3-9
  • Size: 30” tall, 30” wide
  • Flowers: Pale/light purple
  • Slug resistance: No

Silver Threads & Golden Needles

Silver Threads and Golden Needs is another variety of miniature hosta and features bright gold leaves splotched and streaked with stunning silver and green. The best thing about this plant is that its characteristics differ not just from plant to plant but also from leaf to leaf, depending on the sun exposure.

The plant grows up to 6 inches tall and 8 inches wide. In mid-summer, light purple flowers bloom on top of the foliage. All these characteristics make Silver Threads & Golden Needles ideal for container gardening. They also make for a nice addition to the front of the border.

  • Zones: 3-9
  • Size: 6” tall, 8” wide
  • Flowers: Light purple
  • Slug resistance: None

Sun Power

Sun Power is one of the more popular hosta varieties to grow under the sun. It can stand its own against the sun’s rays, especially if you water it and mulch it adequately. The plant features yellow-green leaves and has clusters of light/pale purple flowers.

The plant is named for its high sun tolerance and grows up to 24 inches tall and 48 inches wide. You should plant it in a place where it gets not just the morning sun but also the afternoon shade. This will help it develop the best color. Sun Power is also one of the most robust landscaping plants.

  • Zones: 3-9
  • Size: 24” tall, 48” wide
  • Flowers: Light/pale purple
  • Slug resistance: Moderate

Sum and Substance

Sum & Substance is a humongous hosta with lime-green leaves and grows as tall as 24-30 inches and as wide as 60 inches, although it’ll take a few years to mature and reach this size! The leaves are also large and slightly cupped that turn chartreuse when they get a few hours of sun and dark green in full shade.

Sum & Substance is great for USDA zones 3 to 8. In mid to late summer, you can spot light purple or pale lavenders flowers that make the plant even more stunning.

  • Zones: 3-8
  • Size: 24” tall, 60” wide
  • Flowers: Light purple or pale lavender
  • Slug resistance: Slight

Blue Mouse Ears

One of the cutest hosta varieties is the Blue Mouse Ears and makes a good contrast with the larger varieties. But given its small size, Blue Mouse Ears is great as a container plant and for making stunning edging. The plant grows 5-6 inches tall and up to 12 inches wide and won the Hosta of the Year award in 2008.

The name of the plant is quite literal – the leaves are soft gray-blue in color with a thick texture and closely resemble mouse ears. The foliage is thick and symmetrical, which further adds to its beauty. In the summers, you’ll find beautiful lavender flowers on top of the heart-shaped, slightly-curled leaves.

  • Zones: 3-8
  • Size: 5-6” tall, 12” wide
  • Flowers: Light purple/Lavender
  • Slug resistance: Moderate

Heavenly Tiara

Heavenly Tiara is characterized by light green foliage with creamy gold edges that fade to white and complement other shade plants quite well. The leaf margins are yellow at the beginning of the season and turn white as the season comes to an end. This change in color seasonally makes this hosta stand out.

Heavenly Tiara grows 12 inches tall and 36 inches white and has stunning purple blooms.

  • Zones: 3-9
  • Size: 12” tall, 36” wide
  • Flower: Purple
  • Slug resistance: None

Patriot

Famous for its clean and crisp variegation, Patriot is quite a favorite of many gardeners. This is primarily because it’s beautiful and ideal for landscaping. It grows 12-18 inches tall and up to 24-30 inches wide. It is also heat-resistant, provided that you keep it watered and mulched.

Patriot has a stunning mounded shape. The lance-shaped leaves are dark green in color with ivory edges around them that really glow in the shade. In late summer, lavender flowers bloom on top of the eye-catching foliage.

  • Zones: 3-8
  • Size: 12-18” tall, 24-30” wide
  • Flowers: Purple
  • Slug resistance: None

Aureomarginata

Aureomarginata literally stands for yellow edge and has leaves as big as 12 inches long! These long leaves are dark green in color with gold edges. The plant itself grows up to 27 inches tall and 48 inches wide.

But what makes this one of our favorites is that this is one of the more showy varieties. The foliage opens up in a vase-like shape, which allows its heart-shaped wavy leaves to arch downward. Truly a stunning sight, especially as light purple flowers start to bloom.

  • Zones: 3-9
  • Size: 27” tall, 48” wide
  • Flower: Light Purple
  • Slug resistance: No

Tracy’s Emerald Cup

In the case of most hostas, the foliage is the center of attention, generally because of the variegation on it. But that’s not the case with Tracy’s Emerald Cup. The reason for its intriguing foliage is not the variegation – it’s the shape. The leaves have a unique curved bowl shape, while the flowers are light purple.

Tracy’s Emerald Cup grows as tall as 14 inches and as wide as 24 inches. The only problem with this variety is that it is attacked by slugs quite often.

  • Zones: 3-9
  • Size: 14” tall, 24” wide
  • Flowers: Light purple
  • Slug resistance: None


Conclusion

With the plethora of hosta varieties available today, it won’t be hard for you to find a hosta that works well for you. Whether you have a woodland garden, a shade garden, or just want an indoor plant, there’s a hosta variety for all purposes. Plus, they are super easy to care for, and we’re sure you’ll love planting and caring for them. So, dive into the world of stunning hostas and find one you like best!

FAQs

How many varieties of hosta are there?

Currently, there are 70 known hosta species with more than 3000 registered hosta varieties, so you have a lot of options to choose from.

What are the most common hostas?

Some of the most popular hostas include Blue Angel, American Halo, First Mate, Royal Standard, Frances Williams, and Geisha.

Which hostas grow the fastest?

Some of the fastest-growing hosta varieties include the Royal Wedding, Island Breeze, Vulcan, Sum and Substance, and Empress Wu.

Which is the biggest hosta?

Currently, the record for the largest hosta goes to the Sum and Substance plant that measures 48 inches high and 114 inches across. Another hosta species also known for its huge size is Empress Wu, which measures 70 inches across and 48 inches tall.

What is the most sun-tolerant hosta?

One of the most sun-tolerant hosta varieties is the Hosta plantaginea, which can even handle 4-6 hours of sun exposure.

Leave a Comment