Hostas are incredibly tough plants and will get along fine in almost any garden…but they look their absolute best with just a little extra attention. Here are some tips to grow beautiful hostas in your garden.
Despite hostas durable nature, there are many myths circulating about growing hostas, one of which is the term Originator’s Stock. Originator’s stock is simply a superfluous term for saying that the plant in question is the correctly named clone. Click here for more debunking!
Hostas are often touted as the best shade-loving plants for the perennial garden. At Plant Delights Nursery our hostas are all container-grown and are multiple-division plants that you can immediately divide.
All of the hostas that appear in this post are from our own breeding program at Juniper Level Botanic Garden. Learn more about our breeding program here.
One of the most rewarding parts of our work is being able to introduce a plant we’ve taken from idea (branched flower scapes) to reality. We are finally able to share our latest creation this week with the introduction of Hosta ‘Branching Out’. The first cross in the long road from creation to market took place here in 1989. A seedling was selected that was later crossed with another 1995 seedling, which was later crossed with a 1999 seedling, which in 2004 was crossed with the blue-leaved Hosta ‘Pewterware’, after we noticed that both hostas would occasionally produce a single-branched flower scape. We evaluated the resulting 2004 seedlings for several years before paring down their numbers in the semi-final cut. We were looking for good branching, attractive flowers, and sturdy stems. Once the final selection was made, we watched it for four more years to make sure it consistently branched in the garden, during which time, we also sent it north to evaluate its performance in colder climates. Not wanting to significantly disturb the main clump, we removed a single division in 2012, which was divided annually. Finally, in 2016, we are pleased to release our new baby to gardeners around the world. We hope you find this as exciting in your garden as we do in ours.
Thanks for the great feedback on the hosta image. Since most folks don’t have experience in plant breeding, we thought it might be interesting to share the crosses and parents involved to get to this point. Our Hosta is PDN#10-004 and is a cross of PDN07-0793 x ((PDN05-156 x PDN04-180) (kikutii x ‘Gemstone’ (venusta ‘Minima’ x ‘Dorset Blue’) (longipes ‘Tardiflora’ x sieboldiana) x (venusta ‘Minima’ x self)) x PDN07-0100 ((‘Faith’ (‘Evening Magic’ (montana gold x sieboldiana) x ‘Big Daddy’ (‘Fortunei Robusta’) x PDN04-182) (kikutii x ‘Gemstone’) venusta ‘Minima’ x ‘Dorset Blue’ (longipes ‘Tardiflora x sieboldiana) x ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ (Blue Cadet sport)) So, the species included in creating this are Hosta venusta, sieboldiana, kikutii, longipes, and montana.
Without question one of our favorite hostas and certainly one of the most unique and vigorous hostas ever introduced. Here’s a new image we took in our gardens recently of Hosta ‘Wheee’...aptly named for its roller coaster-like leaf edges.
One of our favorite new hostas is Hosta ‘Pocketful of Sunshine’. The longer we grow it, the better we like it…here’s a new photo. It originated as a sport, originally from Hosta ‘Maui Buttercups’. Hosta ‘Pocketful of Sunshine’ has very thick, corrugated leaves, with a dramatic gold and dark green pattern on a small-medium sized clump.
I’ve got hostas on the brain today, since in a few hours, we’ll soon be hosting 420 hosta friends for an intimate dinner, as part of the 2015 American Hosta Society National Convention.
I’m also just back from a road trip to Walters Gardens in Michigan to visit one of the top perennial plant breeders in the world, our friend Hans Hansen. While there, I snapped quite a few hosta photos, and here are some of my personal favorites.
Hosta ‘Happy Dayz‘ is a sport of the difficult to grow Hosta ‘Orange Marmalade’…a plant that grows fine in a pot, but sulks in the ground. This mutation has dramatically more vigor and makes a superb garden specimen.
Hosta ‘Key West’ is an enormous gold-leaf hosta with great vigor from our friend, Indiana hosta breeder, Olga Petryszyn.
Hosta ‘Bridal Falls’ is a stunning, ruffled leaf introduction from Holland’s Jan van den Top that I just adore.
Here’s one more or Olga’s best hosta creations, Hosta ‘Brother Stefan’, with superb seersuckered leaves. Hosta ‘Brother Stefan’ was recently voted the hosta of the year for 2017!