All About Miniature Hostas

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Botanical Names: Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’, Hosta ‘Mini Skirt’, Hosta ‘Cracker Crumbs,’ Hosta ‘Little Miss Muffet,’ Hosta ‘Teaspoon,’ Hosta ‘Teeny-Weeny Bikini,’ ‘Appletini’ hosta

Not sure you have enough room to grow a few hosta varieties? Check out miniature hostas, which can squeeze into even the tiniest spaces. These diminutive perennials offer all the benefits of their larger size cousins, but in a package that’s under a foot tall and wide. You can find blue miniature hostas, like Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears,’ and variegated hostas, like Hosta ‘Mini Skirt.’ There are even miniature sun tolerant hostas, like Hosta ‘Cracker Crumbs.’

In the world of hostas, miniature hostas are defined by leaf size. Leaves under 6 square inches qualify a hosta as a miniature, according to the American Hosta Society. Small and petite, these tiny perennials are a cinch to fit into the garden. There’s always room for one more miniature hosta, whether it’s tucked into a planting bed or showcased in a container.

Classic miniature hostas like Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ bring beautiful blue tones to plantings. It grows 6 inches tall and forms a mound up to 12 inches across. ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ hosta has thicker leaves, like many blue hostas, and boasts slug resistance. ‘Appletini’ hosta falls into the hostas for sun category and grows well when it receives up to four hours of sun (morning sun is ideal). Leaves emerge bright gold in spring, fading to apple-green in summer. Plants grow 6 inches tall and up to 14 inches wide.

When you’re searching for miniature hostas, look for names that hint at small size, like variegated Hosta ‘Cracker Crumbs,’ chartreuse Hosta ‘Little Miss Muffet,’ green Hosta ‘Teaspoon’ or white and green Hosta ‘Teeny-Weeny Bikini.’ Hostas with the word “mouse” in the name are also popular members of the miniature hosta group.

Place miniature hostas in the garden where you can easily see their diminutive beauty. Many gardeners showcase them in container or trough gardens. Miniature hostas are also a go-to plant in fairy gardens and railroad gardens, where their small scale provides a perfect fit.

Often gardeners prefer miniature hostas over giant hostas simply because they’re easier to handle. Giant hostas need plenty of space in the garden, gobbling precious garden real estate. Minis, on the other hand, easily slip beside or between existing plantings and also hold their own in pots. Surrounding miniature hostas with stone mulch allows the plants to shine, as does tucking them into raised beds so they’re just a little closer to eye level.

While giant hostas require some real muscle to dig and divide, miniature hostas are easy to handle. Many miniature hosta clumps often pull apart easily by hand to make divisions — you don’t even need a knife. Divide miniature hostas every two to three years to keep mounds on the small side.