Hosta’s are always a popular plant for the garden – highly valued for their structural, elegant foliage. They have a good life span and adore a shady spot, if this wasn’t enough, they produce tall plumes of lily like flowers. Gone are the days where you would have a plant completely latticed with snail bites due to the ever increasingly resilient varieties now available.
Not only are the newer varieties very impressive but almost more so are the miniature varieties now available. These smaller miniature varieties are delightful and useful for those awkward shady low borders, they also lend themselves to being a plant you can be incredibly creative with, creating miniature fairy gardens and wonderful pot displays. By miniature, I don’t mean dwarf, I mean varieties that grow no higher than 15cm and are almost like alpine Hosta’s.
We initially started collecting our miniature Hosta’s at the RHS show but before we knew it, they became an addiction and the varieties have gradually increased over time! A particular favourite of mine is ‘Hand’s Up’ which is a miniature of ‘Praying Hands’. Before starting here at the Nursery, I had never seen a Hosta like it and to be honest I’m not sure there are any others quite like these two. They both stand with completely erect foliage that crinkles exactly like hands rested together when praying, the miniature being a shrunk version of the original. They fascinate me with their slender dark appearance with gold edged leaves. However, they are a bit like marmite and you either love them or hate them. A popular variety is ‘Blue Mouses Ears’, it is a very sweet little variety with these tiny rounded little blue leaves that fold in like little ears listening!!! This variety is a particularly good border edge variety as it spreads so well.
What’s rather lovely about the miniature Hosta’s is the variations between them. There are Variegated varieties such as ‘Con Ti Partiro’ a pale green with a gorgeous gold edge and flecks of gold throughout like it has been brushed with gold. ‘Holy Mouses Ears’ is almost a reverse of ‘Con TI Partiro’ with a deep green edge and gorgeous gold centres that fleck into the green. ‘Lakeside Baby Face’ has small rounded green leaves with illuminated white edges that make it really stand out, no two are the same and all compliment each other.
Miniature Hosta’s are particularly valuable if you want to grow Hosta’s but have limited space, ideal for poking into crevices. They will thrive in the borders if they don’t have to compete with anything. They are ideal for pots and containers; they aren’t particularly fussy and will thrive as long as they are not saturated or put in direct sunlight. Miniature Hosta’s particularly like their roots being kept wet in the summer, whereas in the winter they wouldn’t like to be kept sat in water. Therefore, its important to keep them in a moist but well drained site that’s fully shaded in summer, the maximum sun would be a light morning flush! If growing in a pot, note the roots will be restricted therefore water intake should be monitored so as not to drown those roots. To help with this, it is vital to create a well aerated mix for them allowing good drainage, something with at least 40% grit and the other 50% comprising of good mulch and a mix of growing mediums, they are not fussy other than needing the drainage in pots.