Hostas are shade-tolerant plants that are native to Northeast Asia and the Russian Far East. They’re also known as Plantain Lilies.
These plants are perennials and taxonomists suggest that there are almost 45 species of Hostas. In the US, this plant grows in hardiness zones 3 through 9.
Different Types of Hostas Plants
Hostas are edible. They’re grown in the US for ornamental purposes, but they’re used as a food source in different Asian countries. Here are 17 of the most famous types of Hostas.
1. Hosta Whirlwind
This perennial is the perfect choice for your shady garden as it grows green leaves that change colors throughout the season. The heart-shaped leaves are creamy white or lime with dark green margins. The centers become dark green by late summer.
The Whirlwind Hosta grows lavender funnel-shaped blooms from mid to late summer. The leaves stay upright as the plant grows.
2. Hosta Gracillima
This dwarf Hosta has lance-shaped glossy deep green leaves. In late summer and fall, it grows funnel-shaped lavender-blue flowers that have purple stripes. The plant should be protected from cold wind.
3. Hosta Komodo Dragon
This is one of the largest Hostas and features large cascading bluish-green leaves. The leaves are deeply veined and love growing in full or partial shade.
In the summer, the plant grows funnel-shaped pale lavender blooms. Slugs and snails love the Komodo Dragon Hosta, so you should keep an eye on them.
4. Hosta Crispula
The Curled Hosta is an easy-to-grow perennial and grows dark green leaves with creamy markings. These wavy leaves are excellent groundcovers, especially in shady areas, growing funnel-shaped pale lavender flowers in the early summer.
5. Hosta Halcyon
The spear-shaped blue-green leaves will brighten up your shady garden. The plant grows pale lavender blooms in late summer, supported by mauve-gray scapes. This is one of the slowest Hostas to develop and takes years to reach its final mature stage.
The leaves won’t change color if provided with partial shade and adequate sun exposure. As the leaves mature, they become more slug-resistant, unlike other types of Hostas.
6. Hosta Guacamole
This variety is noted for its exceptional color and fragrant flowers. The oval leaves are yellow-green with gold tinges and streaks towards the center. They grow in overlapping mounds.
The leaves support big fragrant white flowers that appear in the summer. The Guacamole variety is perfect for shade gardens and can also be grown in containers.
7. Hosta Alligator Alley
The distinctive leathery puckered heart-shaped leaves of this plant have yellow-green centers that turn yellow in the summer, edged by blue-green margins. It grows almost white flowers on long scapes that reach a maximum height of 28 inches. Alligator Alley is an excellent choice for edging, borders, beds, patios, and containers.
8. Hosta August Moon
The yellow-green leaves of the August Moon form an asymmetrical mound. The leaves turn bright yellow with exposure to the sun, which explains the name “August Moon”.
In the summer, lavender white bell-shaped flowers will grow on long scapes that reach a maximum height of 32 inches. Discolored leaves should be trimmed.
9. Hosta Autumn Frost
With a pattern that’s almost opposite to the Whirlwind variety, the Autumn Frost grows blue-green leaves that have bright yellow margins. As the leaves mature, the yellow turns to creamy white.
The plant grows short scapes that support bell-shaped lavender flowers. This plant is an excellent choice for containers and is considered an eye-catching groundcover.
10. Hosta Blue Angel
This variety has thick and heavily textured blue-green leaves. It’s one of the biggest varieties that can tolerate dry soils. This perennial loves partial to full shade and grows funnel-shaped lavender flowers in the summer. The Blue Angel Hosta can tolerate the morning sun but not in hot summer areas.
11. Hosta Hyacinthine
The slightly puckered leaves appear blue-green but turn to gray-green when they mature. The leaves have creamy edges and support 30-inch scapes that grow lavender flowers in mid to late summer. This plant mixes well with other perennials.
12. Hosta American Halo
The American Halo has large blue-green leaves that have creamy white margins. White flowers will bloom in the summer. This is a low-maintenance hardy plant that can be grown as a groundcover or in beds.
13. Hosta June
The Hosta June forms a dense mound of large blue-green leaves. The irregularly-shaped leaves are green-yellow in the center and grow lavender flowers in late summer.
The Hosta June can survive in full or partial shade so it’s a great addition to any shady garden where there are lots of obstacles that block the sunlight. Full sun exposure can cause the leaves to burn and should be avoided.
14. Hosta First Mate
This is a small variety of Hosta growing narrow cream-yellow leaves with blue-green margins. In the summer, the star-shaped lavender flowers grow to add more color to your garden or patio. The First Mate is a low-maintenance plant that grows in partial and full shade.
15. Hosta Royal Standard
This is one of the few varieties that have no margins. It has dimpled bright green leaves and grows waxy white flowers that grow from lavender buds.
Unlike many varieties of Hosta, the flowers of the Royal Standard are fragrant, so the plant is best grown near living areas, on patios, and in beds and containers. The leaves will turn yellow-green when exposed to full sun.
16. Hosta Frances Williams
This is one of the most popular Hostas, growing in the partial or full shade. This plant is slow to establish but has thick strongly-veined blue-green leaves that have wide yellow-green margins.
In the early summer, the Frances Williams Hosta grows pale lilac flowers. It attracts hummingbirds and grows very well in big containers. The thicker the leaves, the more slug-resistant this plant will be.
17. Hosta Geisha
This plant forms an upright mound of elongated leaves. The glossy leaves are yellow-green with olive-green margins and are twisted towards the tip. Star-like pale violet flowers will grow in late summer. After blooming, the stems should be cut off to promote new growth.
Hostas will grow where nothing else can. Browsing these various varieties will help you pick the right one for your gardening space. These low-maintenance plants will transform the look of your patio or backyard with minimum effort.