21 Types of Hostas: Small, Large & Variegated Varieties

Hostas (Hosta spp.) originate from Asia and are also known as plantain lilies. This genus of herbaceous perennials consists of 40 species with thousands of hybrids. Hostas are primarily known for their full leaves that come in blue, green, gold and white, depending on the variety. These leaves are what attract many home gardeners to hostas, but hostas also produce flower stalks. Hosta flowers are trumpet shaped and small, and somewhat diminutive compared to the large, striking leaves. You may find these flowers are an added bonus in your landscape, but as you choose the variety of hosta you wish to grow, foliage will be a greater consideration. Hosta’s foliage makes this plant an excellent specimen for filling empty garden spaces between shrubs and flowering plants.

Hostas are excellent perennials for shade that require minimal care. They are lovely massed in woodland settings or used as specimens. With their weed smothering foliage, they make idea ground covers. All varieties of hostas go dormant at the end of autumn and die back to the ground while resting. All hosta plants grow best in shade with filtered sunlight. Too much sun exposure scorches the leaves. These plants grow more compact and produce more flowers in shady conditions. Although they are tough plants that can withstand periods of drought, for best results keep well watered during dry spells.

  1. Hosta Frozen Margarita
  2. Hosta Wide Brim
  3. Hosta Remember Me
  4. Hosta Revolution
  5. Hosta Captain’s Adventure
  6. Hosta Patriot
  7. Hosta Rainbow End
  8. Hosta Magic Island
  9. Hosta June
  10. Hosta Frances Williams
  11. Hosta Neptune
  12. Hosta Francee
  13. Hosta Liberty
  14. Hosta Plantagenea
  15. Hosta Fire Island
  16. Hosta Sum and Substance
  17. Hosta Golden Tiara
  18. Hosta Blue Moon
  19. Hosta Blue Mouse Ears
  20. Hosta Curly Fries
  21. Hosta First Frost
  22. Fragrant Bouquet
  23. Hosta Halycon
  24. Hosta Sagae
  25. Hosta Pathfinder
  26. Hosta Paradigm
  27. Hosta Pandora’s Box
  28. Hosta Daybreak
  29. Hosta Aztec Treasure

Frozen Margarita

Hosta ‘Frozen Margarita’ has a light green to greenish yellow leaves, fine substance. Inherited the best quality from the hosta ‘Fried Bananas’, from which it originates. Moreover, at the edges of a soft, narrow creamy margin, even on an adult plant is not too wide. Frozen Margarita Hosta features dainty spikes of fragrant lavender tubular flowers rising above the foliage from mid to late summer. Its attractive large textured oval leaves remain chartreuse in color with showy creamy white variegation throughout the season. 

Wide Brim

Wide Brim hostas features dark green foliage edged with cream or yellow, creating a sharp contrast in color. Although many hostas produce indistinct blooms, Wide Brim is an exception. It produces showy clusters of lavender blooms on tall spikes in midsummer. Arguably one of the best hostas available, this is a distinctive, low-maintenance variety. The leaves help to add movement to the garden, becoming heavily puckered and taking on golden tints when mature. It’s very popular for landscape use and makes a great choice for growing in dappled shade, tubs, patio pots or containers.

Empress Wu

Massive, heart-shaped, leathery, deep green deciduous leaves with a stiff, deeply-veined appearance and accompanied by towering spikes of stunning, bell-shaped, white flowers on 80cm stems midsummer. Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ is one of the biggest hosta varieties in the world, it forms a huge, handsome mound of spectacular foliage that’s very showy from early spring until late autumn. Growing rapidly to a robust size, it makes a great focal point in the garden. It’s also suitable for a large container, tub or patio pot and is excellent for adding foliage contrast to a border.

Remember Me

Hosta ‘Remember Me’ was introduced in honor of Sandy DeBoer, a Walters Gardens, Inc. employee who lost her courageous fight with breast cancer in 2001. In spring the leaves have intense yellow color leaves with very irregular greenish- blue margin. As the summer progress, center turns to creamy yellow, or to creamy white on sunny places. It creates a beautiful, regular, dense clump. It grows slowly, it is sensitive and difficult to grown during first 2-3 years. No problem when settled.

Blue Angel

Blue Angel Hosta plant is a shade loving perennial known for its 16″ heavily textured blue-green leaves. It produces white bloom stalks with a tint of lavender in the flowers each summer to compliment the gorgeous foliage display. Blue Angel’s flowers can reach up to 48″ tall on mature plants, making them a focal point for your shade garden. The tall blooms accent an already wide growing plant that can get up to a 4 foot spread at maturity and 3 feet wide. The leaves are toxic to dogs, cats, and horses. Because of the low sun needs, it can thrive in shade gardens and under trees where lush foliage textures are desired.


Hostas ‘Revolution’ (Plantain Lily) is a medium hosta that grows in a mound to 18 inches tall and to 24 inches wide. It is a pretty herbaceous perennial forming an attractive, upright mound of oval, creamy-ivory leaves, conspicuously speckled with green. Satiny above and glaucous below, the leaves are adorned with dramatic, wide, dark green margins. Tubular, lavender blooms appear in summer. It is a popular variety due to its unusual color pattern. Suitable also for planting in mixed containers or tubs.

Captain’s Adventure

Hosta ‘Captain’s Adventure’ is a smaller variety with thick, heart-shaped leaves of chartreuse, green, and white. Lavender flowers bloom in early summer and are held atop sturdy scapes. The clump-forming plant is a great choice for borders, containers, or edging. It’s also suitable for a large container, tub or patio pot and is excellent for adding foliage contrast to a border.


Hosta Patriot (Plantain Lily) is one of the most popular varieties of hosta. The foliage is dark green with an ivory white margin, which creates a beautiful color contrast in your garden. In the late summer, lavender-blue to purple flowers appears on scapes that can reach up to 3 feet tall. Patriot has a short bloom window and is primarily prized for its wonderful foliage. Some gardeners choose to cut back the bloom stalks in order to encourage foliage growth. Patriot Hosta is a low-maintenance hosta that can take the heat, but not the sun.

Brother Stefan Hosta

Brother Stefan Hosta produces 3-foot wide clumps of thick, heavily-corrugated, golden foliage that is edged with a wide border of medium green. The tall scapes of pure white flowers that bloom in early summer are its crowning glory. Brother Stefan is fantastic for beneath shrubs, in a cottage or informal garden setting. Equally as stunning in modern planting schemes, pots or jungle style gardens, this hosta enhance areas of low light levels like woodland areas, along with ferns and hellebores.

Rainbow End

This is a variegated hosta with lustrous leaves in shades of green and yellow. The edge of each leaf is dark green while the center is bright lemon-lime with dark green streaks. Each leaf can have different degrees of streaking, adding interest. In summer, the yellow portion of the leaf turns creamy white. It forms a medium sized mound of attractive foliage in the landscape.The leaves are resistant to slug damage. In late summer, showy red scapes carry the dark lavender, tubular flowers.

Hosta Magic Island

Hosta Magic Island is one of those extremely recognisable hostas.This robust hosta changes color, like magic. In the spring, the leaves have blue-green edges and a bright yellow center; as the summer goes on, the margins grow wider and the yellow fades to cream. Lavender flower spikes appear in summer and attract hummingbirds. Slightly cupped, thick foliage is resistant to slugs. It’s also suitable for a large container, tub or patio pot and is excellent for adding foliage contrast to a border.

June Hosta

June Hosta produces blue-green leaves that have different colored centers depending on the light conditions. The leaf center is light to medium gold in summer when exposed to more sunlight and remains chartreuse if planted in more shade. Lavender flowers appear on 20 inch scapes in midsummer. One of the last varieties to go dormant each fall. This sport of Halcyon was Voted the top Hosta variety in American Hosta Society polls! American Hosta Growers Association ‘Hosta of the Year’, 2001. Winner of the Royal Horticultural Society’s ‘Award of Garden Merit’.

Snake Eyes

Hosta ‘Snake Eyes’ is a fast growing variety from the same family as ‘Striptease’ featuring a more prominent white like between the dark green margin and light green centre, flowers appear in midsummer and are a lilac shade of purple. A great perennial for adding some colour to a shady area and attractive to bees, butterflies and moths. It is best planted in the early spring after the threat of frost has passed or early fall after the summer heat has eased up.


Hosta Guacamole has remarkable leaves that have apple green centers and dark green wide margins, just like an avocado; hence the name. The foliage is glossy and large. In the summer, the leaf centers turn gold if they are exposed to enough sun. Very fragrant pale lavender flowers appear on tall stems just above the plant and are frequented by hummingbirds. It is a fast-growing plant that looks amazing planted in masses. This wonderfully versatile plant brings sheer joy to the landscape.


Paradigm Hosta Plant is one of the best gold-centered hostas with nice substance and texture. The beautiful, corrugated chartreuse to gold leaves have wide, irregular, dark blue-green margins. The variegation and contrast intensifies as the season progresses. In mid-summer nearly white to pale lavender flowers are produced on 2 foot tall scapes. The Paradigm hosta was the 2007 Hosta of the Year and adapts well to slightly salty soil and climates.

Frances Williams

Hosta Frances Williams’ is a popular cultivar that features very large blue-green leaves variegated with irregular greenish-yellow margins. It was discovered by breeder Frances Williams in the mid-1930s. It is a clump-forming perennial that typically matures in a spreading mound to 24 inches tall, but spreads over time to 40-60 inches wide. Thick, puckered, cupped, wide-oval to rounded leaves have distinctive veining, cuspidate tips and cordate lobes. Leaves are deep blue-green in the center with wide but irregular greenish-yellow margins. Funnel-shaped, mostly white flowers appear in early to mid summer in racemes. Flowers often have lilac hues.

Sum and Substance

Hosta Sum and Substance has massive, heart-shaped, leathery, bright yellow-green deciduous leaves which gradually pucker and fade to a soft golden-yellow during the summer. The leaves too have a stiff, deeply-veined appearance and are accompanied by towering spikes of stunning, bell-shaped, lilac-blue flowers on 80cm stem early spring through midsummer. It is probably the biggest hosta in the world, it forms a huge, handsome mound of spectacular foliage tha’s very showy from early spring until late autumn. Growing rapidly to a robust size, it makes a great focal point in the garden and is perfect for setting off bronze or dark green-leaves plants.


This unique blue hosta is popular among hosta collectors and makes a very nice specimen in the home garden. In spring, the narrow wedge-shaped leaves are bright glaucous blue and they hold their color well. As the season progresses they turn more blue-green. The heavily rippled leaves are of good substance, displaying some slug resistance. This hosta has a lovely cascading form that is displayed to best effect when planted on a ledge or in a container. Lavender flowers are produced on arching scapes in late summer to early fall.


The Francee hosta is a popular hosta cultivar. It is known for its dark green, arching, broad, heart-shaped leaves that feature white margins. The leaves stretch around 6 to 8 inches long on average, and their color generally doesn’t degrade throughout the growing season (spring to fall). While the foliage is the main star of this plant, during the summertime the Francee hosta also bears lavender flowers. The plant has a dense, mounding growth habit. And it has a fairly quick growth rate, taking around five years to fully mature.


Hosta ‘Halcyon’ is a cultivar in the Tardiana group, which includes cultivars of a parent hybrid developed by crossing H. tardiflora with H. sieboldiana var. elegans. Plants in this group are generally large-leaved cultivars with blue-green leaves. The powdery blue-green leaves of Hosta ‘Halcyon’ make for a fun addition to the shade garden. This small-medium sized Hosta forms a tight mound of wavy, pointed leaves that are of good substance. The powdery blue foliage stays true throughout the season. Pale lavender flowers appear in mid to late summer. For a neat contrast, plant ‘Halcyon’ with yellow-leaved heucheras and painted ferns.

Hosta Liberty

Hosta Liberty is a stunning variegated plantain lily. Large, ribbed, heart-shaped, blue-green leaves look almost hand-painted with their wide yellow-gold irregular margins; which fade to ivory as they mature. A real eyecatcher for the border or large container Pretty, funnel-shaped lavender-lilac flowers are held on strong stems in spring and early summer. Those who prefer to grow Hosta as foliage only plants, cut the stems to enjoy the sweet scent in an indoor floral arrangement. Very versatile, Hosta Liberty is fantastic for beneath shrubs, in a cottage or informal garden setting.

Fire Island

Fire Island hosta hybrid, one of the short or small hostas, mainly for its foliage color and texture. In spring, its leaves are a bright and almost glowing yellow-gold darkening to chartreuse in the summer. Reddish-purple stems support the attractive leaves with waviness in the margins and a seersucker effect in the middle. Funnel-shaped lavender flowers shoot up on 18-inch tall scapes in the late summer. Plant this fast grower in the early spring to take advantage of the changing colors.

Golden Tiara

Golden Tiara’ is a small to medium hosta that forms a spreading mound of foliage to 15 inches tall and to 40 inches wide. Wide-oval, medium green leaves with acute to mucronate tips and heart-shaped bases have irregular golden yellow margins. Funnel-shaped, lavender to purple flowers in clusters appear in late summer atop upright flower scapes rising above the foliage mould. ‘Golden Tiara’ reportedly has better tolerance for dryish soils than many of the hostas commonly grown in gardens today.

How to grow hostas

Save light shade to shade place in your garden to plant hostas. Filtered sun is best for the colorful varieties to reach their full color contrast. The green and blue hostas are the most shade-tolerant. Usually the yellow cultivars are the most sun-tolerant. The most dangerous is a direct sunshine, especially hot afternoon sun. This is the most critical where temperatures are high. Variegated varieties, especially those with a lot of white in the leaves, burn very easily. Blue color of leaves turns to green-blue or even fully green with too much direct sun. Plants with thick leaves are better suited for dry soil conditions than thin-leaved ones, but none is able to grow years-long in very dry soil. Plant hostas in moist, humus-rich soil. Water your hostas well immediately as you plant them. Give them water regularly during their first one or two growing season.

Hostas grow slowly and may take 2 to 5 years to reach their full size, longer for the largest species and cultivars. Reserve a plenty of space in your perennial bed for hostas. Most of them are medium sized or large perennials. Hostas are almost fully disease and pest resistant. The most dangerous injury can by caused by slugs, snails and deers.