2013 New Miniature and Small Hostas

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog..

miniature hosta toolbox 2My latest container for mini hostas is an old handymans’s toolbox that was hanging around.  In it are clockwise from upper left: ‘Thumbelina’, ‘Teaspoon’, dwarf Solomon’s seal, sedum, ‘Rock Prince’, ‘Cherish’, dwarf lady fern, and ‘Regal Tot’.  the surface is covered by moss collected from my roof.  More about containers at the end of the post.


My nursery, Carolyn’s Shade Gardens, specializes in miniature and small hostas.  I even have a mail order business shipping miniature hostas all over the U.S.  For mail order details or, if you are local, a list of the over 35 miniature and small hostas available at the nursery, click here.  I have also written extensively about minis and links to the articles are at the end of this post.  Now I want to profile some of the new little hostas available this year.


Hosta 'Dragon Tails'‘Dragon Tails’ is one of my new favorites, and if you use your imagination you can see why it was named that.  It forms an arching, tight clump  7″ tall and 14 ” wide at maturity.  Its golden leaves are 5″ long and 1″ wide, lance-shaped, heavily rippled, and tapering to a point.    It is supposed to look great draping over the edge of a trough.


Hosta 'Green Eyes'‘Green Eyes’ is a seedling of ‘Kabitan’, another wonderful little hosta.  It is 5″ tall and 12 ” wide at maturity.  Its leaves are pale yellow with a narrow green margin and 3″ long and 1″ wide.  They are lance-shaped, rippled, and tapering.    It is said to be sun tolerant.


Hosta 'Hi Ho Silver'I would grow ‘Hi Ho Silver’ for the name alone.  It is 8″ tall and 12″ wide at maturity.  Its lance-shaped leaves are medium green with a wide, bright white margin that extends down the leaf stalk, and 6″ long and 2″ wide.  It forms a loose clump and needs shade.


Hosta 'Little Treasure'‘Little Treasure’  is  6” tall and 16” wide at maturity.  Its leaves, which are 4 ½” long by 2” wide, have a very striking, blue margin with a creamy white center.  The leaves twist for a unique overall look.  Although it is a standout in my garden, it is one of those hostas that doesn’t look like much in a nursery pot.


Hosta 'Pandora's Box'‘Pandora’s Box’ is a very beautiful and unique miniature hosta.  It forms a striking, tight clump reaching 8″ high and 19″ wide at maturity.  Its heart-shaped, bright white leaves have an irregular blue-green margin and are 2 1/2″ long and 2″ wide.  It is an offshoot of ‘Baby Bunting’ and will occasionally form all blue-green leaves which should be removed.  Its only drawback is that it is more difficult to grow than the average mini due to all the white in its leaves which reduces photosynthesis.  It is said to do much better in a container and should not be planted in the ground.


Hosta 'Regal Tot'‘Regal Tot’ forms a neat and compact mound 5 ½” tall by 17” wide.  Its elegant cupped and corrugated leaves are 4” long by 3” wide.  Unlike most hostas, which age to green, it is chartreuse when it comes out and becomes more and more gold as the season progresses.  A truly regal form of ‘Shining Tot’, its dark green parent.


Hosta 'Ruffled Mouse Ears'‘Ruffled Mouse Ears’ is the latest addition to the “mouse ears” clan of hostas, my favorite minis.  An off shoot of ‘Blue Mouse Ears’, it has the same round, thick, rubbery leaves 2 3/4″ long and 2 1/2″ wide but with rippled and frilled margins.   It was introduced this year so I only have the photo of my own immature plant above to show you.  However, all the mouse ears cultivars are excellent plants with a very unique look.  At maturity, it forms a mound 6″ high and 14″ wide.  If you would like to read more about mouse ears hostas, click here for my post entitled I LOVE Mice.


Hosta 'Shiro Kabitan'‘Shiro Kabitan’ (often sold as ‘Haku Chu Chan’) really brightens up the shade with its bright white foliage with a narrow green margin.  The slightly twisted, ribbon-like leaves are 4 1/2″ long and 1 1/2″ wide.  Despite all the white, it spreads quickly to form a small dense mound 6″ high and 18″ wide at maturity.  It makes a very colorful edging and prefers dappled shade.


Hosta 'Stiletto'‘Stiletto’ is another small hosta that can’t be mistaken for any other.  Its shiny dark green leaves with a narrow yellow to creamy white margin are 5 1/2″ long and 1 1/2″ wide.  They are noticeably rippled and wavy.  This fast-growing, adaptable hosta forms a mound 12″ high and 24″ wide at maturity.  It is great for edging and forms a dense mini-hedge along a path or border.


Hosta 'Teaspoon'‘Teaspoon’ is a hosta that stands out from the crowd with its unique cupped, bright green leaves that look, yes, like a teaspoon.  The almost completely round leaves are 2 3/4″ long and 2 1/2″ wide.  It forms a dense and neat mound 11″ high and 24″ wide at maturity.  It is fast-growing and makes an outstanding specimen.


Hosta 'Woodland Elf'‘Woodland Elf’  grows quickly to form a compact mound 5″ high and 15” wide at maturity.  The waved and cupped leaves are 2 ¼” long and 1 ½” wide.  They are medium green with a white margin.  ‘Woodland Elf’ has a  beautiful upright habit and is great in troughs and excellent for edging.


Those are just some of the new little hostas available at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens this year.  Many of them are excellent plants for the front of the border or for edging paths.  However, the real minis look best when they are specially displayed in an area of the garden set aside for them with suitable sized companion plants like smaller epimediums, dwarf ferns, sedums, hens and chicks, or dwarf Solomon’s seal.  I have a special rock garden just for my minis—don’t miss it when you visit next.


DSCN0193Another view of the new mini garden featured at the start of this post.


The other way to display miniature hostas is in a container.  If the container can take freezing, you can leave it outside, minis and all, for the whole winter with no special protection.  That’s what we do with all our containers at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens.  As I explained in detail in my post Hosta Containers and Companions (to read it click here), you don’t need to go out and spend a fortune buying a fancy pot for your hostas.  Any old object collecting dust in your attic can be converted to a mini hosta container garden.  We have used everything from the toolbox above to the oil can below.


Hosta I made this container last year, and you should see how beautiful it is this spring after being out all winter.


If you would like to read more about little hostas, click on any of the following links:

Miniature (& Small) Hostas


Beyond Mice

Hostas Containers and Companions



Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, US, zone 6b.  The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Nursery Happenings: The 2015 Miniature Hosta Mail Order Catalogue, containing over 35 choice selections of miniatures for shipping all over the US, is now on the right sidebar here, and we are ready to ship.

Facebook:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post.  You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information.  If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

40 Responses to “2013 New Miniature and Small Hostas”

  1. I can’t get over all these adorable miniatures…my 6 wonderful miniatures from your nursery are alive and doing well being left in their containers all winter…and one container was somewhat protected. I can vouch for your quality plants….and they are growing huge already.

  2. More miniature hostas are definitely on my list… but unfortunately not this season… everything seems to be happening at once with the late spring and I’m feeling overwhelmed… love your planter! Larry

  3. How beautiful, I love Hosta! How very cute are the miniature hosta. I have an old handyman tool box that I might just plant as you did. The only small hosta I have is “Mouse ears”, which probably does not qualify as a miniature and another one that might me named “golden tiara”.

    • Bernie, ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ is a little bigger than the official definition of miniature which is 4″ square leaves. However, it is a little hosta and certainly would fit in the center of your toolbox. ‘Golden Tiara’ moves up a size to small. Carolyn

  4. I have to come back because I did not pick up my Mouse Ears! Your Hosta collection is amazing. You know I came to your site tonight because I was getting the link to recommend your business to one of my readers. She has a house in Maine and a shade garden. I told her to contact you.

  5. paula burns Says:

    Hi Carolyn:) All these little hostas are adorable! I have 3 including a
    mouse ears, but they’re getting crowded. When is the best time to
    move them so they can have a little more room? Thank you!

  6. You have some really beautiful mini Hostas there, they are a positive addition to any shady spot in the garden. Christina

  7. They are all beautiful and I love, love, love the hosta’s in the toolbox! How clever!

  8. These are adorable! Love the Dragon Tails – so unique. And Stiletto is also unusual. Your toolbox container is fabulous! What is the companion you have planted with Green Eyes and Pandora’s Box? It’s a perfect pairing!

  9. I always enjoy seeing what containers and combos you come up with. I just bought teaspoon, stiletto, twist of lime, and about 9 more of the bigger ones. I think I’m officially a hostaholic.
    I also love the toolbox!!

  10. I’m just getting comfortable with standard sized hostas! I haven’t come across these cute tiny ones yet in my nursery travels but I will watch for them. Beware the dragontails don’t grow the rest of the dragons…

  11. I love these little Hostas–I think I remember you posting about them last year, too? They’re especially luscious when planted with succulents and other plants.

  12. I love your hostas – it is such a pity I cannot grow them. It is too hot here.

  13. Such a lovely assortment of Hostas, I must get another trough and find a shady spot for it. Your tiny hostas would be lost in the garden here, definitely a trough for them.

  14. So many lovely hostas! I think I need to get some again, I used to have quite a few but the slugs ruined so many and they just didn’t come up again the next year. I used to grow stiletto, had a few for some years but they disappeared, maybe it was too shady where I had them, under a bush? Do they need some sun?
    Your container is lovely, very practical too, easier to keep the slugs away!

  15. I love the idea of a toolbox for a container! I love seeing all the cute little hostas. The mouse series are some of my favorites. The container idea is a great idea – I planted some in my shade garden, but they really did look lost in there even though they were right up front.

  16. What a fun post!! And you feature them so well. You would be entertained by my “Stilleto!” I’ve had it for a number of years, but it’s in a very shady spot with amended clay soil. It is also rather dry there. All that goes to say, it’s a miniature-miniature! 🙂 About a 6-7″ spread and 4″ tall. lol

  17. Your photos have provided some really interesting ideas for my shade garden…I should have some space where I can experiment, thank you.

  18. Great collection of mini hostas, I have quite a few of the larger ones but only one mini and I don’t know what it is called. You have given me food for thought. I like hosta flowers, particularly as they come fairly late in the season and last quite well although quite a few friends don’t. Have you any views?

    • Rick, I like the hosta flowers that are fragrant, white, or proportional to the plant. I don’t like the long dangly lavender flowers. For example I like Fragrant Bouquet, Stained Glass, and H. planaginea for the fragrance. I like the Mouse Ears flowers because they are fat and squat and look adorable with the leaves. Etc., it’s an individual plant-by-plant thing. Carolyn

  19. Recently, I divided a large Paul’s Glory hosta that had gotten much too large for its allotted space and offered the divisions to colleagues. One wrote to ask me if this was something she could grow on a container on the porch of her 2nd floor rented apartment. 🙂 I explained that she needed miniature hostas if she wanted to grow them in containers. I’m going to send her the link to this post.

  20. Cute hostas. I like the way you are so inventive with containers. I need to check my shed to see if there’s any potential.

  21. The miniature hosta’s are so cute. Last year I almost bought a mouse ear hosta. But then I remembered how my hostas were eaten by slugs and snails in the past. So , no hostas for me. You are very lucky to have such beautiful undamaged hosta’s.

  22. Carolyn,
    How would Teaspoon fare as a stand-up for European ginger? It looks a little paler, but might it offer a similar sheen?

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