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Bigger Isn't Always Better

Hosta lovers are often enamoured with the giants of the Hosta world on many forums and social media pages…

“ How big will Hosta Empress Wu get?”

“Did you see Dave's picture of Hosta Blue Angel?”

“Why don't my Hosta Sum & Substance leaves get that huge?”

"What is the biggest Hosta you can buy?"


Elephant and Mouse

We know large specimens can be impressive, but there’s a world of miniature Hostas that came on the market in recent years that can be equally enjoyable. They are ideal for balconies and small gardens Plus, they are great displayed in Bonsai pots & containers or even raised beds. Some have tiny leaves as small as your thumb while others move from the miniature varieties too just small Hostas.


There are now hundreds of miniatures and very small Hostas to choose from on the market. So! Where do we start?


Display of minaiture Hostas


Choosing a Miniature Hostas because of the Foliage!


This is usually a good place to start. You have a large selection of different shaped and coloured leaves, even in miniatures.

You have the obvious ‘Mouse’ varieties. Everybody’s favourite.

The one that stands out as a ‘go to’ miniature Hosta is Hosta Blue Mouse Ears. It would appear that this is nearly always the very first miniature purchased by most, and is still a firm favourite. Easy to grow, splits easily after just a few years, making it very affordable to buy. Fabulous looking blue leaves and tremendous deep lavender flowers starting in July each year.


Hosta Blue Mouse Ears in flower
Hosta Blue Mouse Ears




You also have variegated specimens such as Hosta Funny Mouse, Hosta Lucky Mouse, Hosta School Mouse, Hosta Smiling Mouse or even Hosta Sun Mouse, a pale green version almost yellow.



Miniatures & small Hostas are not limited to the ‘Mouse’ collection, and we have only mentioned a few of them. There are hundreds more.

What about a couple of miniature Hostas that when they first emerge are a good yellow colour, that tend to stay at least a very pale green throughout the season. Hosta Appletini & Hosta Limetini. Who wouldn’t love these?




There are a few that just stand out on their own, such as Hosta Cracker Crumbs, and Hosta Lemon Snap. and Hosta Pandoras Box, these are just beautiful.




Choosing a Miniature Hosta for its Flowering Skills.


Hosta Quill
Hosta Quill Flowers


Of course, it’s not just the foliage that is so varied, and rightfully so, an instant draw to the plant, but all Hostas flower, even the Miniatures, offering, arguably, the best show of flowers of any size Hosta. Some miniature Hostas are bought just for their flowering potential. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing a mass of flowers on the very edge of a border or even in a containerised display. Some are better at it than others. Here are a few that are good at giving us a great show.

My first choice is Hosta Quill, with green spikey leaves and a lovely show of purple, almost blue flowers, just above the foliage. Then Hosta Pacific Blue Edger, a more rounded, blue leaf with a mass of dark lavender flowers. Hosta Harry van Trier with narrow green leaves a loads of very upright pale purple flowers.

 



 

Looking after your Miniature Hostas.


These very small Hostas will afford a little more attention than their bigger cousins.

Compost

I tend to use a compost that would normally be used for all Hostas, with plenty of organic matter mixed in. However, I will add some horticultural grot to aid drainage, at about 30% volume. (2 x compost mix to 1 x grit). Once planted cover the surface with the same horticultural grit. This helps stop the rain from splashing compost onto the leaves. It also discourages slugs & snails.

Pot size

Start off the Hosta in a pot or container that is not a lot bigger than the root system. Too big a pot to start with may cause the roots to rot. You can increase the pot size as the Hosta grows, but they will never need a large pot.

Most miniature Hostas will be happy in a 4” or 5” pot, and the small Hostas in a 5” or 6” pot. When planting a selection in a display container, squeeze plenty into the pot. I find planting in groups of odd numbers, 3 or 5. It looks better on the eye.

Overwintering

They are hardy plants once established, and don’t need any special treatment. Mine are outside, in Yorkshire, all year round.

However, when the plant is still young, let’s say 2 years or less, then a little more attention is required.

All my very young Hostas are either overwintered in an unheated greenhouse or polytunnel, or put in a place less likely to freeze, such as beneath some low growing shrubs etc. This is usually adequate. Check for slugs regularly. Even though some may be slug resistant they are easier prey than the larger leaved Hosta.

Drainage

It is imperative that especially whilst still young, that the pot is well drained. Raising the pot off a paved area with either feet or even bottle tops, is useful.


Finally….

Why not, give these little fellas some room in your collection?

They are cute and dainty, and don’t take up very much space. They look absolutely fabulous on a container, one their own, or in a mix of several other miniature Hostas in a shallow, wide container.

If you wish to see more examples of Miniature & Small Hostas, then why not take a look at the dedicated section of our website. link to Miniature & Small Hostas


Website Section
Website Section For Miniature Hostas

You will get a lot of joy, growing much smaller Hostas, that are a hardy lot, but encourage you to ‘look after them’. Give them a go!









 

John Plant

Rewela Hostas

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1 Comment


Guest
Apr 26

Another interesting blog John,miniatures are truly wonderful and extremely cute.However I would say that being a hostaholic.

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