America Held Hosta

There’s a reason hostas are the #1 perennial in the US. The incredible diversity of leaf shapes, sizes, and colors are one, combined with the array of climates in which they thrive. It’s long been rumored that hostas don’t grow well here in Zone 7b, but that simply isn’t the case if you prepare your soil properly (lots of compost) and allow for plenty of summer moisture.

Below are a few hosta cultivars that are looking particularly nice this week at JLBG. Of course, the proverbial deer-in-the-room is that hosta make quite the tasty buffet for both humans and wood rats. Deer fences and organic sprays all work, but the breakthrough will come when CRISPR technology is used to implant the Capsaicin (pepper) gene in hostas, rendering them too hot for most deer.

Here are a few of our favorites this week. Hosta ‘California Gold Rush’ has shown incredible vigor.

Hosta ‘California Gold Rush’

Love the over-the-top waviness of Hosta ‘Wheee!’

Hosta ‘Wheee!’

Hosta ‘One Last Dance’ has it all…vigor, size, ruffles, a nice flower show, and great leaf coloration. Did I mentioned that it’s also very sun tolerant if the soil is moist?

Hosta ‘One Last Dance’

Hosta ‘Coast to Coast’ is also very sun tolerant with amazingly corrugated leaves and great vigor on a fairly large clump.


Hosta ‘Coast to Coast’

Hosta ‘Do Wap’ is one of our yet to be introduced hybrids from our work to create blue hostas that hold the color well into the summer.

Hosta ‘Do Wap’

Hosta ‘Pie ala Mode’ didn’t get a lot of fanfare when it was introduced, but this has been exceptional in our gardens at JLBG. Hope these entice you to explore this amazing genus.

Hosta ‘Pie ala Mode’

Hosta ‘Pocketful of Sunshine’

Hosta Pocketfull of Sunshine at WaltersOne 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.

 

A few favorite hostas – new photos

Hosta Happy Dayz at Walters3

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 at Walters3

Hosta ‘Key West’ is an enormous gold-leaf hosta with great vigor from our friend, Indiana hosta breeder, Olga Petryszyn.

Hosta Bridal Falls at Walters3

Hosta ‘Bridal Falls’ is a stunning, ruffled leaf introduction from Holland’s Jan van den Top that I just adore.

Hosta Brother Stefan at Hansen Gdn, MI

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!

Hostas looking good in the garden

Hosta Church Mouse2Here are some new hosta images from the garden, starting with the miniature Hosta ‘Church Mouse’…very cool ruffled edges.

Hosta Rainbow's End5

Here is Hosta ‘Rainbow’s End’…a stunning favorite that just glows.

Hosta Virginia Reel2

Another superb small hosta, Hosta ‘Virginia Reel’. Love this plantHosta with fern leaf shadow (J Burgan)

Here’s a fascinating hosta image just captured by staff member Jim Burgan, who noticed the light coming through the fern onto the hosta leaf…pretty cool.