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Hostas

Hostas Risky Business, Fragrant Blue, Manhattan, Midas Touch,
& Toy Soldier in a display bed at the farm

I thought it was about darn time that I updated my Hosta intro page—after all, there are now over 8000 named Hosta varieties with over 5000 of them registered! Yikes….there sure are more than the three or so varieties that many people are familiar with! They truly are a Collector’s delight and I’m pretty sure I can talk just about anybody into trying a few…..and once that happens, you’re hooked!

Our hostas (and peonies and daylilies!) are now available for mail order as bare root plants! Visit our online store for details. One other important note: If you are coming to the farm for a particular variety, please call (815-521-9535) or email first for availability! We DO sell out, and all varities aren’t ready to be adopted at the same time!)

As baby Hostas can sure look different than their adult versions, we have scads of display beds at he Farm so you can see more mature specimens and drool over them (although our biggest display bed got decimated by the awful spring flood of 2013; have no fear, we are rebuilding it!). A few, very general guidelines about Hostas:

  1. Yes, they are shade plants, although some can grow in more sun than others! Generally, blues want more shade (or you’ll end up with a green Hosta!); many varieties “color up” better with dappled or some morning sun.
  2. The thicker the leaf, the more slug resistant they are. As we don’t use chemicals here, I recommend a great product called “Escar-Go” (awesome name, right?!) that is sold by Gardens Alive.
  3. Most Hostas don’t obtain their full maturity for at least 6 years, so be patient! Let them get to their full maturity so you can see them in their full glory  before you even THINK about dividing them (which, by the way, you never actually need to do).
  4. A fabulous way to learn more and share your passion is by joining a Hosta Society. You might want to check out these great organizations: The American Hosta Society, The Midwest Hosta Society, and The Northern Illinois Hosta Society.
  5. An absolutely amazing resource for Hosta pictures and info is the Hosta Library.
Duncan with Hosta Royal Wedding
Duncan with Hosta ‘Royal Wedding’

One thing I always get asked is which ones are my faves? Now that TRULY is a hard question as I love all of my “babies”, but I did complete two lists of absolute “gotta-have” Hostas……just remember that these lists are in no way meant to limit your Hosta collection mania, and also please don’t think that the ones that I didn’t list aren’t awesome also (I suppose that they can’t all be my faves, can they…???) SOOOOO, here goes…..

This first list are “Classics” that you MAY have heard of—they’re kinda like the best car EVER (a ’69 Camero of course!) that you recognize, admire, and covet from afar. To me, they are truly the “bones” of a Hosta collection. As an aside, I just want to reiterate how oh so very hard it was to come up with just these……..!

Mary's Top Hosta Classics

Abiqua Drinking Gourd
Allegan Fog
Beckoning
Blaze of Glory
Brother Stefan
Cathedral Windows
Deep Blue Sea

Designer Genes
First Frost
Guardian Angel
Joseph
June
Korean Snow
Maui Buttercups

Pandora’s Box
Rainbow’s End
Rainforest Sunrise
Roy Klehm
Sunshine Glory
Touch of Class

This next list is of “newbies” I think you NEED! Often they are “Contrary” (of course!) and quirky—just what you need to put some vavoooom in your Collection!

Mary's Top Hosta Newbies

Baby Doll
Coconut Custard
Cold Heart
Curly Fries
Dancing Queen
Electrocution
Foglight
Irish Luck

Island Breeze
Ivory Queen
June Spirit
Lakeside Storm Watch
Lipstick Blonde
Madam
Mango Tango
Maya Tritone
Mini Skirt
Nippers
Ophir
Rocket’s Red Glare
Sandhill Crane
Scallion Pancakes
Stephen King
Tea & Crumpets
Wheee

The next thing I wanna talk about and highlight are Hosta flowers—didja know that many of them are FRAGRANT and gorgeous??! Wowzers…they also attract hummers as you can see by my pictures (and ya think THAT wasn’t hard to get a picture of??!) Butterflies and honey bees also adore Hosta flowers, and birds eat the seeds in the winter (so yep, I leave my hostas alone in the fall and clean up in the spring). Here’s a list of fragrant flowered ones we have:

Mary's Fragrant Faves

Aphrodite (plantaginea)
Avocado
Blaze of Glory
Blue Flame
Cathedral Windows
Cherokee
Dark Shadows
Doubled Up (plantaginea)
Essence of Summer
Fragrant Blue
Fragrant Bouquet
Fragrant Queen
Fragrant Star
Fried Bananas
Guacamole
Holly’s Dazzler
Invincible
Irish Luck
Lederhosen
Mariachi
Moonlight Sonata
Nightlife
Plantaginea
Poseidon
Royal Wedding
Savannah Supreme
Secret Ambition
Secret Love
Stained Glass
Sugar & Spice
Sugar Snap
Sun Kissed
Sweet Standard
Tea at Betty’s
The Shining
May Ann Kulpa Royal Wedding Pixie Vamp

 

Lastly, I just wanted to mention another of my passions—red legs! To me, that REALLY makes it a Hosta I can’t resist! To follow are just a FEW of the ones we have with red legs:

Mary's Red-Legged Wonders

Almost
Beet Salad
Blushing Blue
Checkered Cab
Cherry Flip
Cherry Tart
Cinnamon Sticks
Coconut Custard
Crumb Cake
Designer Genes
Dracula
Dragon Warrior

Fire Island
Funky Monkey
Harry van de Laar
Island Charm
Kempen Red Twist
Lady in Red
Lady Luck
Lipstick Blonde
Little Red Rooster
Madam
Marrakech
Miss Linda Smith

Mr. Blue
Rainbow’s End
Red Bull
Red Dog
Red Dragon
Red October
Sparkling Burgundy
Stephen King
Sun Worshipper
The Razor’s Edge
Totally Twisted

Don’t forget, our COMPLETE SELECTION of Hostas (and Peonies and Daylilies!) is now available for mail order as bare root plants!!! See our ONLINE STORE for details!

So there ya have it—some of my thoughts on Hostas! Now on to the “Stars of the Show”….the “pieces de resistance”!

Named Cultivars: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Hostas A-G Hostas H-O Hostas P-Z




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Contrary Mary’s Plants and Designs
2735 Route 52
Minooka, IL 60447

(815) 521-9535
contrarymary@contrarymarysplants.com