Mousey Business – the charm of miniature hosta

Miniature hosta are endlessly fascinating.  They are small, sturdier than they appear, bloom with short, stiff stalks and most often, purple/lavender flowers.  Taking great care when weeding around them is wise, because you can chop their heads off before you realize they are there!  Caution!  I use a small , razor-sharp Japanese angled blade, and move slowly and carefully when weeding.

H. Chi Town Classic

H. Chi Town Classic

H. 'Lakeside Fruit Loops'
H. ‘Lakeside Fruit Loops’

AHS Hosta Ratings#1 – June#2 – Sagae#3 – Liberty

#4 – Guacamole

#5 – Blue Angel

#6 – Striptease

#7 – Paul’s Glory

#8 – Stained Glass

#9 – Gold Standard

#10 – Halcyon

#11 – Sum and Substance

#12 – montana Aureomarginata

#13 – Paradigm

#14 – Orange Marmalade

#15 – Regal Splendor

#16 – Whirlwind

#17 – Spilt Milk

#18 – Abiqua Drinking Gourd

#19 – Guardian Angel

#20 – Patriot

#21 – On Stage

#22 – Niagara Falls

#23 – Great Expectations

#24 – Praying Hands

#25 – First Frost

AHS Mini Hosta Ratings#1 – Pandora’s Box#2 – Blue Mouse Ears#3 – Baby Bunting

#4 – Tiny Tears

#5 – Popo

#6 – venusta

#7 – Cracker Crumbs

#8 – Lemon Lime

#9 – Cookie Crumbs

#10 – Twist of Lime

H.M. – Cameo

H.M. – Country Mouse

AHGA Hosta of the Year2012 – Liberty2011 – Praying Hands2010 – First Frost

2009 – Earth Angel

2008 – Blue Mouse Ears

2007 – Paradigm

2006 – Stained Glass

2005 – Striptease

2004 – Sum and Substance

2003 – Regal Splendor

2002 – Guacamole

2001 – June

2000 – Sagae

1999 – Paul’s Glory

1998 – Fragrant Bouquet

1997 – Patriot

1996 – So Sweet

The tree seedlings have been incredibly abundant this year, and I am constantly bending to pull them while they are smaller than the hosta.  If left alone, the weeds would soon overtake the little hosta, and you would have a real mess on your hands.  So, if venturing into the wild and wonderful world of miniature hosta, here are a few of my guidelines to help you along your way.

  1. Select the location carefully.  Most hosta will not tolerate full sun, so a partially shaded spot, out of traffic pathways, is imperative.
  2. Amend the soil.  Hosta prefer soil that will retain some moisture, rather than soil that will dry hard in the heat of the day.  I started my mini hosta bed topped with hardwood  mulch, but found it floated away, buried tiny emerging plants, and distracted from the hosta.  Now I prefer small pea gravel, which is more difficult for the slugs to travel on, highlights the small plants, and holds the soil and moisture in place. First thing in the spring, when you are eagerly waiting for the tiny hosta to make their first appearance, the gravel helps to define planting places, and debris and weeds are easier to remove. It really is best to place miniature hosta with other plants of their size, and to raise them closer to eye level with raised beds, or mounded soil.
  3. Make a pathway in the bed, and around the bed, so you can get low down near the plants.  I have a small scooter on wheels that I love, and I can “drive” it through the bed, and around the outside edge of the bed.  This way, I can sit, easily see and appreciate the plants, have close access to them to pull stray damaged leaves, pluck the wandering slugs, and enjoy the up close changes in the plants that occur every day.
  4. Label.  I am searching for a tiny label that is suitable for miniature plants, but knowing what the hosta name is becomes a big part of the fun for me.  Their names are charming – Imp, Little Devil, Alakazaam, Curly Fries, Cherish. Below, let’s take a look at a series of miniature and small hosta that have been named in the “Mouse” family over the past several years.  Collecting specific named varieties, such as these mousey bits, is fun, and adds to the humor and delight in your garden.  You could pick names of your family members, or locations dear to you, or what ever else you choose.  You can view all the registered names of hosta on the national hosta website. http://www.hostaregistrar.org
Hosta 'Green Mouse Ears'

Hosta ‘Green Mouse Ears’

Hosta ‘Green Mouse Ears’ is a sport of the original Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’, which was granted the honor of ‘Hosta of the Year’ in 2008. Green Mouse Ears will grow in size to be about 5 inches by 9 inches wide.  It was hybridized by Deckert in 2004.

H. 'Snow Mouse'

H. ‘Snow Mouse’

H. 'Country Mouse'

H. ‘Country Mouse’

H. 'Mouse Ears'

H. ‘Mouse Ears’

H. 'Cat & Mouse'

H. ‘Cat & Mouse’

Several of the Mouse Ears Hosta not yet in my collection are Ruffled Mouse Ears, Royal Mouse Ears, and Desert Mouse.  I am sure there will be more by the time I get around to adding to the mouse pack.  Next time I will share my favorite suppliers of miniature Hosta.  Happy Gardening!