Top 5 Favorite Little Hostas

Hosta 'Sparkler'‘Sparkler’ might make it to my favorite minis list because of its beautiful colors and unusual habit, but I am not sure it meets the American Hosta Society’s definition of miniature.  Available at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens (CSG).

With the latest issue of its journal, the American Hosta Society sent its members a form asking them to vote for their 10 favorite “regular” hostas and 5 favorite minis.  In my post Top 10 Favorite Larger Hostas,  I showed photos of some of my favorites.  Click here to read it.   If you are curious, here are my final picks:

1. Blue Mouse Ears
2. Blue Angel
3. Sagae
4. Eye Declare
5. El Nino
6. Crumb Cake
7. Paradise Joyce
8. Praying Hands
9. H. nigrescens
10. Stained Glass

Nursery News:  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  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.


Hosta 'Little Treasure'‘Little Treasure’ may also be too big to be a mini but would be on my top 10 little hostas list because of its amazing blue color and lovely presentaion.  Available at CSG.

When my husband saw my post and my list, he commented that there was a lesson to be learned from it: if you see a hosta you like, buy it because it probably won’t be available next year. There are so many new hostas being introduced every year that many great cultivars are no longer sold.  Of my top 10 larger hostas, I was only able to sell 4 this year.  That’s why for this post I have once again indicated which little hostas are currently available at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens.


Hosta 'Moon Shadow'‘Moon Shadow’ may also be too big to get a vote, but I love its colors.  Available at CSG.

So what is the definition of a miniature hosta?  The American Hosta Society defines miniature hostas by their leaf size.  The leaf blade area, length x width, can be no greater than 6 square inches.  Clump spread is irrelevant.  That is why ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ heads my larger hosta list: its leaves are too big to qualify as a mini.  Here are a few more that are on my favorite little hostas list but don’t make it to the final five:


Hosta 'Appletini'‘Appletini’, definitely a “little” and not a mini, has breathtaking spring color and shiny gold leaves through the season.  Available at CSG in 2016.


Hosta 'Baby Bunting'‘Baby Bunting’s’ leaves look huge here, but they are tiny, cute, and blue in my miniature hosta rock garden.  Available at CSG.


Hosta 'Stiletto'‘Stiletto’s’ long, narrow leaves with wavy edges also make it stand out.  Available at CSG.


Hosta 'Faithful Heart'‘Faithful Heart’  has such an unusual look.  The smooth leaves come out solid gold and gradually develop a distinct green edge over the course of at least a month—very fun.  Shown here in my strawberry pot.  Available at CSG.

Now for the final five—the hostas that got my vote in the American Hosta Society poll for favorite minis:


Hosta 'Twist of Lime'At number five, ‘Twist of Lime’  makes my list because its leaves are beautiful, it is very easy to grow, and it spreads nicely to make a lovely groundcover.  Available at CSG.


Hosta 'Pixie Vamp'At number four, ‘Pixie Vamp’ has everything going for it: great colors, elegant habit, adorable name, and look at those dark mahogany flower stems—a real standout.  Unfortunately no longer available but I am searching.


Hosta 'Dragon Tails'

The photo says it all about number three ‘Dragon Tails’.  Wouldn’t a dragon have a tail like that?  Absolutely adorable!  Available at CSG in 2016.


Hosta 'Mighty Mouse'

You could have predicted that a Mouse Ears hosta would be in my top five.  I have chosen ‘Mighty Mouse’ because it is readily available, grows well in pots and the ground, has a really cute name, and epitomizes the Mouse Ears form.  Available at CSG.


Hosta 'Cracker Crumbs'I could have chosen so many minis to be in my top five and all the finalists could be number one.  It’s like being asked to pick your favorite child.  However, I ended the agonizing and picked ‘Cracker Crumbs’ as number one.  Its shiny gold leaves with blue-green edges are beautiful, it has a great look both as a specimen and as a groundcover, it’s easy to grow, and it is readily available “in the trade”.  None of the other four combine all these characteristics.  Available at CSG.


I hope you have enjoyed my little hosta roundup.  If you would like to read more about little hostas, click on any of the following links:

The Mice Have Multiplied Again

New Miniature and Small Hostas for 2014, Part 2

New Miniature and Small Hostas for 2014, Part 1

New Mice for 2014

2013 New Miniature and Small Hostas

Miniature (& Small) Hostas


Beyond Mice

Hostas Containers and Companions



Nursery Happenings: The 2015 Miniature Hosta Availability for mail order and pick up at the nursery is here.   Our final big spring sale, featuring miniature hostas and summer and fall blooming shade plants is Saturday, May 30, from 10 am to 3 pm.  Customers on our list have gotten an email with all the details.  You can sign up to receive emails by sending your full name and phone number to

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 6b/7a. 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 Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

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.

17 Responses to “Top 5 Favorite Little Hostas”

  1. I so enjoy the mini-Hostas. I can’t believe the vast quantity of cultivars! I’ve never purchased a Hosta for my current garden, because we have so many. (I think I remember planting some at my old house long ago.) I simply move them around here if I want a different effect. But I could see adding some minis in pots. Thanks for this round-up of your favorites, Carolyn!

    • Beth, I guess I am a hosta addict and appreciate the newer and more selected varieties so I keep adding new kinds. But I can’t keep adding the large hostas because they take up a lot of room. The minis allow me to collect but take up little space. Carolyn

  2. Lisa - Ontario Says:

    I love the larger monster hostas, but you are correct, they completely curb your ability to collect. My Blue Angel hostas are about 5 feet across in the front yard, so with another huge variegated hosta and a couple Love Pat there isn’t room to add anything. A couple of weeks ago I was wondering why my garden looked so bare, and then I remembered the hostas.

  3. Some wonderful hostas here Carolyn! In the last few years, I have tried to invest in some special hostas and am really pleased with what they bring to the shade garden.
    If you have a sec, check out the woodland garden I have up now. I am sure you will like Jamie’s garden.

  4. I’m definitely saving your recommendations for the next garden. I’d only once tried a mini — it was ‘Bill Dress’s Blue’ and I was surprised at how well it did, especially as it was under salt water for days following Hurricane Sandy. Many of the surrounding plants didn’t survive that bath.

  5. I didn’t know, “The leaf blade area, length x width, can be no greater than 6 square inches.” So many are sold as a miniature and they are larger than that. I hope you boys don’t read that hosta are like picking a favorite child! 😀

  6. I have had to redo my hosta area and I am thinking where I can add some more of these cuties….once I have the area redone, I hope to get a few more for my collection…..especially love Dragon Tails.

  7. It is rather sad that many good cultivars are crowded out by new introductions isn’t it? Many of the new introductions seem to cone and go. Your hubby is right. It you see something you like, you have to grab it.
    You have showcased some nice hostas. I like Stiletto particularly. Spear-shaped hosta are still somewhat lacking in my garden.

Leave a Reply to Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: