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The 8 Stages of Hosta Addiction: From Innocent Fascination to Full-Blown Obsession

I am an addict!!!!    I am a Hostaholic!!!

I pull no punches as to why I am so addicted to Hostas, and make no apology for being so.

All I can offer is, that as far as I am concerned, being a Hostaholic is not all bad.

There are many more addictions that could be had, that are definitely worse than having an addiction for Hostas. Find out if you an addict ...If so at what stage?

Hosta Quote pf the day

Stage 1. Buy you very first Hosta.

Like any addiction, it all starts innocently enough. I bought my very first Hosta, way back in the 90’s from a local nursery who was happy to sell it to me. I wasn’t coerced into buying it. I wasn’t force fed into “well, just try it & see”. It was purely my decision. It was Hosta Liberty, by the way!

This is how it all starts. Look at the Hosta. Yes, the tag says it’s a green & yellow one, and how well it grows. Most sensible gardeners will usually stop there, but a few will progress to stage 2.

Stage 2. Please! Can I have some more?

You go back to your nice nursery man, because you noticed he had one or two other Hostas that were different from the first one you bought. You buy some more based on the ‘cute’ names they had. You choose two blue-leaved Hostas. One called Blue Angel & one Blue Cadet. They both look very similar at this stage. Young plants, just ready for sale. You throw out the tags and pots with labels on, when you get home, so eager to get them planted.

Stage 3.. So! There are more than 3 varieties?

You are now becoming ’knowledgeable’ about Hostas and realise that there are more than just three varieties. You are now thinking that Hosta Blue Cadet, is being swallowed up by its faster growing neighbour, Hosta Blue Angel. Now you’d wished you had kept the labels.

You find and are overwhelmed with the choice, and your emotions are going potty. You can now maybe go back and label the first purchases.

You find that this website, dedicated to Hostas and you find out that there is far more to buying Hostas. Some Hostas are slug resistant, sun tolerant, what height & width they grow, flower colour or even fragrance. All this information is readily available to you now.

At this point, just having 3 different varieties can’t be classed as an addiction, it’s just an interest in Hostas. (but you are seriously thinking about it aren’t you? Buying even more Hostas, now you know the differences).

Any further than this point and you could be thinking, ”have I got the bug for Hostas?”

Stage 4. You decide to join a Hosta Society

Being a member of a specialist society, perhaps just a local one, you really do need to have more Hostas, don’t you? Having all this information, on tap, will do little to slow down the urge to buy more Hostas.

As a member of a specialist Hosta Society, you feel the need to increase your collection, and go on a regular trawl around garden centres, and nurseries, and on-line sellers to increase your Hosta numbers.

You might think that now because you have 30/40/50 varieties, you can start specialising in rarer varieties, or those that are difficult to get. You are on the look-out for ‘named’ varieties, rather than just any old name. Your friends and neighbours give you gift vouchers for this lovely new hobby you have. So you get some more.

Now you are looking for named Hosta varieties that mean something to you or your family. Perhaps it’s the name of your first-born, or a lost one. There are dozens on the market like Anne, Brother Stefan, George Smith, or you like the names that you find unusual, like


Stage 5. Haven’t got room for anymore.

You get to a point when everything you have bought has been planted or put in pots, that you haven’t got anymore room. You decide to reduce the size of the lawn to accommodate even more Hostas, …….they’ve got you. The logic of ‘no more room’ over ‘I will fit them in somehow’ means you have been affected. I too removed all my lawn areas to accommodate more plants, and it felt good. I am still making room for even more varieties of Hostas, all these years on.

Hostas Collection Under Sail to protect from the sun
Hostas Collection Under Sail

Stage 6. How many varieties are there?

At this stage, do you think you are, probably, addicted. You have yourself 250-300 varieties in your collection, and this still isn’t enough.

There are, to be honest, over 6,500 registered varieties. Not all of these are available. Many older varieties have disappeared, and many are not particularly collectable. That still leaves a few to pick from. You can safely expand your addiction. How far can you go?

Hosta Seed Pods
Hosta Seed Pods

Stage 7…. You start collecting & sowing seeds.

You start cross pollinating your Hostas to try & produce a new variety. You must know by now that you will have to cull the vast majority of seedling as they are not suitable, just to get that one Hosta that is worth keeping. It is so different, eventually you will register your very own Hosta.

Stage 8… Collecting information

You have so many in your collection now, that you need to start keeping records. It starts with making sure all your plants are fully labelled. Perhaps you will keep a spreadsheet or two with all the names, sizes etc. Go the whole hog, & draw diagrams of where everything is.

Does any of this sound familiar? Where do you fit in, at what stage? Will you carry on, regardless?

So! Having read our fun blog, where do you think you fit in? Are you still at stage 1 or 2, or have you progressed further down the line.

Are you ready to admit it... Are you a Hostaholic?

Be a Hostaholic, loud & proud.


Shop for Hostas HERE


John Plant

Rewela Hostas

62 views1 comment

1 Comment

Apr 12

Hi John well I'm definitely a hostaholic.Im not a member of a society I've surpassed all of those levels my hostas are all in pots What started out as a interest in different colour variations firstly then became different shaped hostas become an addiction.And to be honest now I would like one day to become like you and maybe one day have my own hosta nursery.

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