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10 hostas to grow

Hostas are useful for planting in damp or shady borders, where many other plants might struggle. Grown for their wonderful, lush foliage, they can really enliven a gloomy corner of the garden.

They're hardy perennials, meaning they go dormant throughout winter, then unfurl through the soil in spring. Perennials live for years when planted in the right spot, and they gradually spread into larger clumps every year.

Browse our image gallery of hostas.

Hostas do produce flowers, but are usually grown for their foliage. The flowers emerge during summer, and range from mauve through to white. Although many people remove the flowers to preserve the quality of the leaves for longer, others enjoy them for the extra colour.

There are many hosta varieties, all with different leaf patterns, colours and sizes. With so many to choose from, it's possible to create a bright and unusual display of contrasting foliage. Browse our choice of 10 gorgeous hostas, from the Bowdens stand at Gardeners' World Live 2013, below.


Hosta 'Cracker Crumbs'

Hosta 'Cracker Crumbs'

Hosta 'Cracker Crumbs' is a miniature, fast-growing variety, growing to around 15cm. It has small, delicately pointed leaves in a vibrant shade of lime green, and each leaf has an attractive darker green edge. The flowers are dark mauve.

Hosta 'El Niño'

Hosta 'El Niño'

Growing to a height of around 25-45cm, 'El Niño' is a medium-sized variety. The broad, pointed leaves, appear thick and cushioned, and are an intense, smoky blue, with striking white margins. Lilac flowers appear in summer.

Hosta 'Frosted Mouse Ears'

Hosta 'Frosted Mouse Ears'

A miniature hosta with thick, curled smoky-green foliage. This variety grows to approximately 15cm, and produces a dense cluster of small leaves, each with a contrasting lime green, irregular margin. The flowers are purple.

Hosta 'Hanky Panky'

Hosta 'Hanky Panky'

'Hanky Panky' is a medium-sized hosta, growing to approximately 20-35cm. The leaves are elongated and delicate, with thick white margins at the beginning of the season, then changing to a yellowish-green later in the summer. Also grows well in a sunny position.

Hosta 'Kikuttii'

Hosta 'Kikutii'

'Kikutii' is medium-sized, growing to approximately 30-40cm, with attractive narrow, pointed leaves in a lush mid-green colour. Ideal for creating a contrast among broad-leaved hostas, it bears lavender-coloured flowers.

Hosta 'Love Pat'

Hosta 'Love Pat'

Hosta 'Love Pat' is medium in size, growing to approximately 30-40cm, with broad, thick foliage. Each leaf is an attractive smoky-blue colour - almost round - while the flowers are lilac.

Hosta 'One Man's Treasure'

Hosta 'One Man's Treasure'

A new variety, this 'One Man's Treasure' grows to a height of around 25-45cm. The leaves are broad, yet pointed, and lush green in colour. 'One Man's Treasure' is a great variety for pots, where it's unusual red stems can used to full effect.

Hosta 'Revolution'

Hosta 'Revolution'

This new, large variety grows up to 60cm in size, with broad, pointed foliage. It produces a bright contrast in shady areas, as the deep-green leaves are variegated with a cream-coloured central flare. The lilac-mauve flowers appear in summer.

Hosta 'Sunshine Glory'

Hosta 'Sunshine Glory'

Hosta 'Sushine Glory' is a medium variety, growing to around 40cm in height. It has very dramatic, large heart-shaped foliage in a fresh, spring-green colour, brightened with irregular white margins.

Hosta 'Touch of Class'

Hosta 'Touch of Class'

Hosta 'Touch of Class' is a medium-sized cultivar, growing to 30-40cm. It has blue heart-shaped, powdery leaves, each with a bright mikle-green flash in the centre. Pretty mauve flowers are produced in summer.


Thanks to Bowdens for help with creating this feature.




Discuss this plant feature

Talkback: 10 hostas to grow
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Susiejenny 20/06/2013 at 18:42

How can one deterr the slugs and snails. I love Hostas but am continually on the lookout for these creatures that plague them

Wintersong 20/06/2013 at 18:52

I went to check on my veg patch at the bottom of my garden this wet afternoon and on the way back happen to notice a snail cresting the edge of a hosta leaf.

OH NO YOU DON'T, I snatched it off to save that hosta  for another day but promptly found several more on the shrub next door and a whole handful on the sedums at the top end of my garden. Suffice to say, my garden is now twenty snails less and this is the only sure-fire way to keep them off.

Rinse and repeat at frequent intervals throughout the growing seasons

Rob D 20/06/2013 at 18:58

I gave up on looking at this feature due to the invasive advert - why advertise a boy band on a gardening website?
I'm getting fed up of BBC advertising ruining programmes, and now it's ruining perfectly good websites!

Cercis 20/06/2013 at 18:59

We use a product called Slug Rings at work. They are rings of solid copper that can also link together to make larger circles. The copper generates small amounts of electricity which the slugs can't stand. They go around the the base of the clump. Make sure no other plants and touching the hostas otherwise the slugs and snails will absail in! 

Also try hiding some bran nearby that can't get wet, the slugs will feast and then it will expand causing death. Then the hedgehogs can eat them. 

Ferric phosphate slug pellets are also an option. But avoid metal aldehyde at all costs. 

KEF 20/06/2013 at 19:21

Until yesterday I was thrilled with hubby's idea, laid old copper pipe around perimeter of hostas in garden. But they had grown and leaves fell outside barrier so the the devils have now climbed in and chomped them. Prior to that I had put blue pellets down. Tried "friendly" pellets, but they dissolve on wet soil. For a while pestachio nut shells kept them off, course texture & salt, but as soon as salt washed off they weren't effective.

Others I have are in pots with copper tape around pots on patio, so far so good. I'd abandoned Hosta a few year ago because of faffing about with slugs but decided to have another go, as much as I like them, especially the large leaved bluish one, don't know if I'll bother next year.  I've enough monitoring lily beetles.

p.s. I think the devils just love blue pellets, staple diet, doesn't stop them one bit. I don't put many down. So not overly attracting them.

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