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Unveiling the Beauty of Hosta Liberty: A Closer Inspection

Our Website image is of the stunning, Hosta Liberty, One of our all time favourites and our first featured Hosta in our new weekly blog. #hostaliberty

When John Machen of Mobjack Nurseries in Virginia first displayed this plant at the 2000 American Hosta Society Convention it was without question the hit of the show. Hosta Liberty is a sport of Hosta Sagae, with thicker leaves and a wider yellow margin that turns creamy white in summer. In all other respects, the plant appears to be the same as  Hosta Sagae. The margin gets wider as the plant matures.

The following screenshot is of the register from The Hosta Treasury, showing Hosta Liberty entry.

Record of Hosta Liberty
Screen Shot of Hosta Treasury

Each will record information about attributes of the Hosta, which will help with future identification, showing photographs of the Hosta and listing details particular to the Hosta, such as growth rate, flower colour and even the number of pairs of veins, amongst may other details. Each Hosta variety will also have a patent/PBR number.


There is a lot of detail, but is necessary for the records. Have a good read.

On the plant that was measured for registration the leaf was 9½" wide, with a 2½" wide margin, about twice as wide as the margin on a typical Hosta Sagae.


Registration, limits confusion both with growers and the public, by providing a central location for all information, on all Hostas. The following is the technical explanation!

Registration provides benefits for the registrant by establishing a record of “ownership” of a cultivar and provides the means for having the cultivar name and description published.

Registrations are published on a yearly basis by the American Hosta Society in a Registrations supplement to The Hosta Journal.

International Registrar

In the early 1970s the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS), based in the Netherlands, appointed the University of Minnesota as the International Cultivar Registration Authority (ICRA) for the genus Hosta; and Mr. Mervin C. Eisel was named the first International Registrar. Later, the American Hosta Society (AHS) was selected to share this role with the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and ultimately assumed the ICRA role altogether. In their capacity as ICRA for the genus Hosta, the AHS reviews and appoints a Registrar, as well as an advisory team to assist the Registrar as needed.

It is the responsibility of the registrar to evaluate submitted cultivar names and consider them for registration. Names are evaluated for uniqueness and conformity to the guidelines within the latest edition of the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants (ICNCP). This document is the set of rules and recommendations which provide the guidelines for establishing cultivar names. Registration information submitted is evaluated for completeness and clarity prior to being recorded in an electronic database, and the submitted forms and photographs are filed for future reference. Also, the ICNCP requires that when a person’s name is used for a Hosta name, their permission (or their estates permission) is required. It is not the responsibility of the registrar to judge the merit, stability or uniqueness of the cultivar itself. However, this information is invaluable as submitted by the registrant.

The registration of Hosta cultivars is to the benefit of everyone with an interest in Hostas. The goal is to eliminate confusion and to compile as complete a record as possible of all Hosta cultivars. Exerpts taken from American Hosta society website

Hosta Liberty Details

Hosta Liberty is a sport of Hosta Sagae, and features a golden border that is triple the normal width of Hosta Sagae!

A large (30" high) upright plant with blue-green centred with 2 1/2" golden yellow to white margined thick leaves.

Anyone who saw this beauty at the 2000 American Hosta Society Convention taken by its elegance and form.

This is probably a tetraploid (see later explanation), version of Hosta Sagae & makes a stunning 2' wide semi-upright clump. The extraordinarily thick dark green leaves are edged with an astonishingly wide golden yellow border, changing to cream in summer. In early summer, the slower-growing clumps are topped with spikes of lavender flowers. 

Hosta Liberty was awarded American Hosta Grower, Hosta Of the Year in 2012 in and also has RHS Award of Garden Merit, find out more about these awards a little later.

What is a Tetraploid?

A tetraploid Hosta is just a Hosta with double the amount of chromosomes. Tetraploid sports can offer wider margins on variegated Hostas, thicker leaves, a more compact habit, larger, open flowers, but shorter roots and a slower growth rate than their parents. Totally tetraploid seedlings may vary in these traits.


Growing Hosta Liberty in Yorkshire

Hosta Liberty is a great variety for the UK climate, and in particular, Yorkshire.

We grow Hosta Liberty, both, planted in the ground, and in containers. They seem to thrive in each situation equally as well.

Feedback from customers, over the years, have indicated that Hosta Liberty, is as comfortable in the far south of the UK as well as far north such as Aberdeen.

This is a variety that survives easily, even when not given perfect conditions. We have ours in dappled shade, but it seems to be happy wherever you put it, except for the full midday sun. (not good for shade loving Hostas!).

Here, in the UK, the weather is very unpredictable, with long dry spells, as well as wet ones. Hosta Liberty seems to be tolerant of both. The foliage seems to hold up in both situations. This is also a sun tolerant Hosta.

Truly as no fuss Hosta that is so easy to grow. Hosta Liberty should be in everyone’s collection.

Hosta Liberty is listed as a slug resistant Hosta. Throughout the growing season, you see very little damage, at all. They do succumb a little towards the end of the season when the foliage is starting to die down.

As with most Hostas, they are not too fussy about the soil they are planted in. Our soil is a neutral pH with a foot or so above a clay layer. We top dress every autumn with a mix of our own grown compost, spend potting compost and leaf mould. This is often forked into the surface before the next lot of top dressing.

The compost used in pots and containers is a mix of fresh potting compost, leaf mould and garden compost. Each and every Hosta grower will have their own idea of what should be used, and, if it works for you, use it. As I said earlier, they are not fussy about the soil.

Hosta Liberty is a large Hosta, and will need some feeding, particularly when containerised. We use pelleted chicken manure or Seaweed, and apply twice a year during the growing season. We find this quite adequate.

It always comes up early in the spring, producing strong pips, and produces a strong set of leaves within a month. It then takes about another month to get to maturity, so that by the end of May, it is in full flight. Photos show growth from April to June

Finally, Hosta Liberty produces wonderful lavender flower spikes,by the end of June, some 40” high, followed by viable seeds.

Hosta of choice for our marketing?

We think Hosta Liberty is one of the finest looking Hostas ever introduced. Hence why we use its image on our website and all of the Hosta marketing for

Rewela Hostas  Care Guide
Our Hosta Care Guide Featuring Hosta Liberty

What makes an award winning Hosta?

Every year, awards are given to certain Hosta varieties. Not surprisingly Hosta Liberty is a recipient of both these awards. They are awarded by the AGHA - American Hosta Growers Association & RHS The Royal Horticultural Society.


What is AGHA Hosta of the year?


With the increasing number of Hosta cultivars being introduced each year it is increasingly difficult for nursery owners and gardeners to choose just the right Hostas for their sales areas and gardens. To this end, the American Hosta Growers Association established the AHGA Hosta of the Year in 1996. It is selected by a vote of AHGA members. Award winners are Hostas that are good garden plants in all regions of the country, are widely available in sufficient supply, in the year of selection


What is RHS award of Garden Merit?


With more than 75,000 plants available in RHS Plant Finder alone, how can you tell which plants are best for all-round garden value? The AGM is intended to help gardeners make that choice, and is only awarded to plants that are:

  • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions*

  • Available

  • Good constitution

  • Essentially stable in form and colour

  • Reasonably resistant to pests and diseases

Awards are only made after assessment by an RHS forum of experts appointed by the Society to assess that particular trial. Each forum has its own area of expertise, and draws upon the experience of a wide range of experts, including nurserymen, specialist growers and well-known horticulturists. This assessment must then be ratified by the relevant Plant Committee. The trial and assessments usually take place at one of the RHS Gardens but can also take place at one of our partner gardens, National Trust gardens or commercial nurseries.

And the good news is, we are currently offering a 20% Early Bird Discount on all Hostas including Hosta Liberty just use code JAN20 at checkout remember this offer ends soon.


John Plant

Rewela Hostas

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