Choosing Hostas

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 several acres of garden there are hostas for you. Here are some of the things you may want to think about:

Which Varieties?

Virtually all hostas are suitable for growing in the ground and in containers and pots. We hope the photographs and descriptions in our Catalogue will help you to find exactly the variety you want. If you feel overwhelmed by the choice we offer, you can personalise your choice by using the ‘Hosta Category’ and/or ‘Select’ boxes at the top of each Catalogue page. Clicking ‘Select Other Characteristics’ will give you the option of finding just the top 20 minis or top 50 non-miniature hostas.


Our Catalogue gives the approximate mature height of all varieties in the open ground.  It also enables you to select hostas by height (Miniature, Non-Miniature, Very Small, Medium etc.) Just click ‘Hosta Categories’.

If you are planting in a pot, root growing room may be restricted, so mature size may be reduced. This is particularly true of large and giant hostas planted in pots.


Hostas mature in 4-8 years depending on variety so planting for mature spread can mean a lot of uncovered ground for the first 2-3 years. Even a medium hosta can have a mature spread of 90cm. (3 ft.). A simple solution is to underplant with smaller varieties or other perennials, moving these as the spread increases. Or, you can plant your hostas closer together and reduce their spread by sawing off pieces from around the edge of the clump, when you feel it has reached the size you want. This is best done early in the season or after the hostas have died down, when the foliage does not get in the way.


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.  Use the Hosta Characteristics boxes at the top of the Catalogue pages to select hostas with a particular characteristic, e.g. red petioles, fragrant flowers, deeply ribbed leaves.


Our Hostas range from £5.00 to over £20.00.  If you are just starting out with hostas you may want to stick to the £5-£6 hostas.  When browsing our Catalogue, just type the Price you are looking for (£5.00, £6.00 etc) into the ‘Hosta Search’ slot to find all hostas we offer at that price.

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.  There are 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! Our Catalogue enables you to produce a list of Slug Resistant Hostas. (‘Select Slug Resistance’ box.)

Shade or sun?

Most hostas thrive best in cool morning sun and afternoon shade when the sun is at its hottest. However many hostas will tolerate full sun if watered well and mulched. In sun, hosta colours often change.  Blues may become green-blue, whilst gold centres and yellow or cream leaf margins may bleach out to parchment or white. Our Catalogue enables you to produce a list of Sun Tolerant Hostas. (‘Select Sun Tolerance’ box.) For some hostas some sun is essential for them to grow well. Those with a lot of white in their leaves, e.g. H. ‘Fire and Ice’, H. Vermont Frost’ produce less chlorophyll than others so need cool morning sun to reach their mature size. Other hostas require full shade. Thin leaved golden hostas such as H. Cherry Tart’ and H. Fire island’ bleach out, even with morning sun. Click on the main photo for each variety for this information.

Will it grow well?

If a hosta is hard to grow well or needs special conditions, our Catalogue entries will tell you.  If you can’t see the information in the short description, click the main photo for more information.

Some hostas are award winners.  Our entries tell you if the variety has been awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit and/or the American Hosta Growers Association Hosta of the Year award.

Hostas as Gifts

Many hostas have personal names or include a personal name. e.g. Abby, Anne, Betty, Big John, Brother Stefan, Carol, Catherine, Craig’s Temptation, Dawn, Dinky Donna, Julia, June, June Spirit, Justine, Libby, Limey Lisa, Little Maddie, Little Willie, Love Pat, Margie’s Angel, Marilyn, Nicola, Paul’s Glory, Shiny Penny, St. Paul.

There are hostas for ‘Trekkies’ (Captain Kirk, Dark Star, Dilithium Crystal, Enterprise, First Mate, for Elvis lovers (Atomic Elvis, Elvis Lives, The King,) and many more for hosta lovers with particular hobbies, professions and special interests.  Always useful are H. Remember Me and H. Champagne Toast.

If you are looking for a special hosta, just give us a ring. We usually know of one in our collection.  If we are both stumped then we have Hosta Gift Cards for any amount.