Hostas forum: Best mini hosta to grow?

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Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
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bluegrassmom
May 2, 2017 4:10 AM CST
Hello, I am hoping to add more hardy mini hosta. I was so bummed this Spring when my Curly Fries did not show up! Tatoo is the only other hosta that I have lost in years. Please help me with your reviews on what is doing well in your garden. Thank you!
Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
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bluegrassmom
May 2, 2017 4:12 AM CST
Also, do you use slug bait? Or?
Name: Rose
Oquawka, IL (Zone 5a)
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Rose1656
May 2, 2017 6:31 AM CST
Not knowing what you already have, I'll just suggest some that have done well for me. Country Mouse, Green With Envy, Surfer Girl, Faithful Heart, Twist of Lime, Lakeside Scamp and most of the mouse ears (if you don't mind some reverting to solid over time). I also like Cracker Crumbs, but it's not included in Rawson's list...
Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
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bluegrassmom
May 2, 2017 6:38 AM CST
Thanks Rose, I do have C Crumbs, Blue Mouse Ears and Church Mouse. They do very well. Also Baby Bunting. I took a class on hypertufa last fall and want to make a larger trough with them in it.

The leaf castings was also a fun class Hurray! Hurray!
Name: Rose
Oquawka, IL (Zone 5a)
Garden Photography Echinacea Dahlias Clematis Region: Illinois Hibiscus
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Rose1656
May 2, 2017 11:13 AM CST
I think I'd have better luck with more of my minis if I could catch the stupid moles that tunnel under my plants. Grumbling They push some of my plants right out of the ground!
Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
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bluegrassmom
May 2, 2017 7:12 PM CST
What do you use to prevent slug/bug bites?
Name: Rose
Oquawka, IL (Zone 5a)
Garden Photography Echinacea Dahlias Clematis Region: Illinois Hibiscus
Heucheras Charter ATP Member Birds Hummingbirder Hostas Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Rose1656
May 3, 2017 6:35 AM CST
I don't have slugs here. I'm not sure if it's the sandy soil, but that's one problem I'm glad I don't have!!!
Name: Diann
Lisbon, IA
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Ticker
May 3, 2017 1:16 PM CST

Moderator

I once heard Tattoo described as an expensive annual. So, don't feel bad that you lost it. I think I still have it, altho, it's very small. So, do you want strictly minis? or are you interested in small hostas too?? Have you ever checked out Kathy Shadrack's book "The Book of Little Hostas: 200 Small, Very Small, and Mini Varieties?" She has some nice ones in that book. There are tons of more hostas that have come onto the market since she put that book out, but still... Smiling Some of the mini ones I have are Silver Threads and Golden Needles; I have quite a few of the "mouses" as in Snow, Frosted, Blue, Country, Church, Mighty, Holy, etc...; Little Jay died on me; Lime Fizz; Gracilima; Sitting Pretty. Some of the smalls I have are Golden Tiara (old but good), Grand Tiara (still one of my favorite smalls), London Fog, Lemon Lime, Heart Broken, Stitch in Time, Mango Tango (more small medium than mini or just small), Bob Olsen. Those are the ones I can remember off hand or have pictures of on my FB page... Smiling
Name: Ann
Ottawa, ON Canada (Zone 5a)
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ViolaAnn
May 3, 2017 2:41 PM CST
If you Google American Hosta Society mini hostas, you'll come up with a pdf that lists 9 pages of registered mini hosta and another 4 1/2 of unregistered varieties. Bear in mind that their qualification is LEAF size rather than mound size.

Of those listed, I'm growing the following. I've now posted pictures but to see more, look at my hosta galleries on SmugMug where I've been tracking the progress of my hostas since 2008. They start at https://violaann.smugmug.com/G... and there are links to the other galleries.

AHS Miniature-leaved Registered Cultivars and Species
Hosta Name/Registrant Leaf Size length x width

H. ‘Alakazaam' (R. Livingston- 2008) 5.0 x 0.8 in. (12.7 x 1.9 cm)
New 2016. I never thought it was a mini to look at it.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/cf00de

H. ‘Blue Cadet' (P. Aden- 1974) 2.5 x 1.8 in. (6.4 x 4.4 cm)
I've never thought of it as a mini, but rather a small hosta. Grows well as a border and would grow better if it received better light. It's in one of the darkest corners of my yard.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/e0c0f1

H. ‘Blue Mouse Ears' (E. & J. Deckert- 2000) 2.8 x 2.0 in. (7.0 x 5.1 cm)
One of the few of this family that grows well for me. But I was surprised to find it still on the mini list as I thought they had decided the leaves were a bit too large. I've generally found this family to be rather unstable and too many look alike. Most of the white-centred varieties I've grown have reverted to solid blue.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/0aadeb

H. ‘Cameo' (H. Hansen- 2002) 2.8 x 1.8 in. (5.7 x 4.4 cm)
A sport of 'Baby Bunting' which is not on this list and I'm not so sure why because BB is smaller than 'Blue Cadet' in my garden. This one grows reasonably well for me.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/36a555

H. ‘Cherish' (H. Hansen- 2002) 2.3 x 2.0 in. (5.7 x 5.1 cm)
Another sport of 'Baby Bunting' which is just barely hanging on. It seems to come back each year but is painfully tiny.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/29f172

H. ‘Church Mouse' (Walters Gardens, Inc.- 2012) 1.8 x 1.5 in. (4.5 x 3.8 cm)
A good growing member of the 'Blue Mouse Ears family. Solid blue with ruffled leaves.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/542a5e

H. ‘Country Mouse' (H. Hansen- 2007) 2.0 x 1.8 in. (5.1 x 4.4 cm)
Not a member of the BME family but a lovely mini. This is one of my favourites. Grows well for me and divides easily too.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/88f5eb

H. ‘Curly Fries' (R. Solberg- 2008) 5.5 x 0.8 in. (14.0 x 1.9 cm)
I don't think this one should be classed as a mini. Mine is far too large and it has been a very enthusiastic grower for me. The last two years it has been in full sun after we took down a dead ash tree. See posts below for a picture.

H. ‘Dragon Tails' (AHS & K. Walek- 2009) 3.5 x 1.5 in. (8.9 x 3.8 cm)
A lovely yellow mini with long, wavy leaves.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/8e73f9

H. ‘Frosted Mouse Ears’ (M. Zilis- 2006) 2.5 x 2.3 in. (6.4 x 5.7 cm)
This has grown well for me for several years as has 'Mighty Mouse' which is not on the list. I find them nearly indistinguishable.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/744952

H. ‘Gold Drop’ (K. Anderson- 1977) 2.5 x 1.8 in. (6.4 x 4.4 cm)
I didn't know this was a mini, certainly have never thought of mine as a mini, but then mine isn't particularly golden either.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/446811

H. ‘Green Eyes’ (H. & D. Benedict- 1990) 3.0 x 1.0 in. (7.6 x 2.5 cm)
This was growing well for me until I overwintered it in an unfortunate pot and it went downhill and died. I have a new division back from a friend with whom I had shared part of my original plant.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/18bb11

H. ‘Hidden Cove’ (A. Malloy- 1998) 3.0 x 1.5 in. (7.6 x 3.8 cm)
This one is pretty, but has never bloomed for me and the slugs like it. I do think I should move it to a location with better light.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/f352dd

H. ‘Hope’ (H. Hansen- 1999) 2.5 x 1.5 in. (6.4 x 3.8 cm)
A 'Baby Bunting' sport, and for me, the best growing of the 4 sports.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/7f0615

H. ‘Illicit Affair’ (J. Anderson- 2003) 2.5 x 1.5 in. (6.4 x 3.8 cm)
Another that doesn't seen to know it should be a mini, at least in my garden.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/2cfa84

H. ‘Kifukurin Ko Mame’ (P. Ruh- 2002) 2.1 x 0.6 in. (5.4 x 1.6 cm)
One of my very first hostas. Grows like a weed and makes excellent borders. Wavy leaves with a tiny yellow margin.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/6f9112

H. ‘Kinbotan’ (P. Ruh- 2002) 1.8 x 0.9 in. (4.4 x 2.2 cm)
Another fast growing mini that could make a good ground-cover as it grows very quickly. It's similar to ‘Kifukurin Ko Mame’ except the leaves aren't as wavy.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/49a386

H. ‘Lakeside Elfin Fire’ (M. Chastain- 2000) 2.5 x 0.8 in. (6.4 x 1.9 cm)
Grows fairly well for a white-centred mini, but has a tendency to go all green. I tried to make mine into a border and it failed at that.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/207e74

H. ‘Lakeside Zinger’ (M. Chastain- 1998) 3.0 x 1.8 in. (7.6 x 4.4 cm)
Fast growing, forms a dense mat.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/9c53a6

H. ‘Lemon Frost’ (M. Zilis- 2002) 3.5 x 1.5 in. (8.9 x 3.8 cm)
Very fast growing, makes an excellent border. Has a tiny white margin. Similar to others in the family which also grow well, but the only other one I grow is 'Twist of Lime' which has a gren margin.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/ee913f

H. ‘Limey Lisa’ (AHS & K. Walek- 2009) 2.0 x 1.5 in. (5.1 x 3.8 cm)
This one grows more slowly for me but will also make a dense mat. It experienced severe frost heave winter of 2015-16 and some of it died back.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/07ca2a

H. ‘Little Red Rooster’ (D. Van Eechaute- 2004) 3.8 x 1.0 in. (9.5 x 2.5 cm)
A cute little mini with red petioles.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/035a50

H. ‘Masquerade’ (AHS & K. Walek- 2009) 3.8 x 1.5 in. (9.5 x 3.8 cm)
Another that I've grown for years. White leaf centre and it grows slowly.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/e08fe1

H. ‘Pandora’s Box’ (H. Hansen- 1996) 2.0 x 1.5 in. (5.1 x 3.8 cm)
The final sport of 'Baby Bunting'. My original plant died winter 2015-16 after several years of slow growth. The newer one I have has more green in the leaves.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/88c657

H. ‘Pixie Vamp’ (D. & J. Ward- 1996) 2.5 x 2.0 in. (6.4 x 5.1 cm)
This is a cute, fast-growing mini which can easily hold its own in the garden.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/f32a0b

H. ‘Popo’ (R. Riehl- 1993) 1.8 x 1.5 in. (4.4 x 3.8 cm)
Probably the tiniest hosta I grow and the leaves are very small and blue and stiff.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/15883e

H. ‘Pure Heart’ (Walters Gardens, Inc.- 2009) 2.3 x 1.5 in. (5.7 x 3.8 cm)
The only white-centred BME family member which has done well for me. 4 years in and it's still white in the leaf centre.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/51c313

H. ‘Royal Mouse Ears’ (E. & J. Deckert- 2004) 2.5 x 2.0 in. (6.4 x 5.1 cm)
Mine, after 4 years, has nearly lost its streaking and it's been a very slow grower.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/f8a69e

H. ‘Stiletto’ (P. Aden- 1987) 7.0 x 0.8 in. (17.8 x 1.9 cm)
I've never divided mine and it forms a good-sized mound.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/41b894

H. ‘Surprised by Joy’ (A. Malloy- 1998) 2.0 x 1.5 in. (5.1 x 3.8 cm)
A cute little hosta.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/d38712

H. ‘Tears of Joy’ (Sebright Gardens- 2005) 2.0 x 0.5 in. (5.1 x 1.3 cm)
This one is very different. The tiny little leaves are folded and the flower is very strange - virtually no petals.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/cca1fd

H. ‘Tiny Tears’ (R. Savory- 1977) 1.0 x 0.8 in. (2.5 x 1.9 cm)
This has grown very well for me. I still have it in a pot but have no doubt it would do well in the garden. Fast-growing, little green leaves.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/08a015

H. ‘Twist of Lime’ (B. Banyai & R. Solberg- 1991) 3.0 x 1.0 in. (7.6 x 2.5 cm)
Member of the same family as 'Lemon Frost', just a different colour leaf - green margin. Grows just as well.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/f6aa7f

H. ‘White Dove’ (H. & D. Benedict- 1994) 3.0 x 1.3 in. (7.6 x 3.2 cm)
This has been a slow grower for me but I think it needs more light.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/25ef34

H. ‘X-rated’ (R. Simmering- 2001) 5.0 x 0.6 in. (12.7 x 1.6 cm)
Love this little hosta with long, narrow, white-centred leaves.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/c3fab3

Unregistered or not listed:
H. ‘Sun Mouse’ (T. Avent) 3.0 x 2.0 in. (7.6 x 5.1 cm)
Brand new for me; so the jury is still out.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/ab85a0

I also have 'Hands Up' which isn't on either list and should be, I think. It's like a mini 'Praying Hands'.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/c4db40

'Island Charm' is another which I think should be listed as a mini.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/e9a89b

'Little Treasure' is smaller than 'Curly Fries'
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/1dabb7

'Mighty Mouse' didn't seem to be on the list either
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/853fc4

'Peanut' never grew well for me and kicked the bucket in 2016.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/ef4e99

'Roller Coaster Ride' is much smaller than 'Curly Fries' which is next to it. Does well in full sun.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/ViolaAnn/ab58a3

June 30, 2017 - Must add an update about RCR. I always thought it was a mini and for years it grew like one in my garden, but this year, suddenly the leaves are twice as large. I looked it up and see it's classed as medium.

Ann

Pictures of all my hostas, updated annually and tracked since 2008 begin at: https://violaann.smugmug.com/G...
[Last edited by ViolaAnn - Jun 30, 2017 11:23 AM (+)]
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Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
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Paul2032
May 3, 2017 2:51 PM CST
I would not call Curly Fries a mini. I love it but for me it is somewhere between small and medium and a good grower.
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Ann
Ottawa, ON Canada (Zone 5a)
Hostas Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Composter Region: Canadian Clematis
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ViolaAnn
May 3, 2017 2:54 PM CST
I agree, but it's still registered as a mini! This was mine last August 5.
Thumb of 2017-05-03/ViolaAnn/3f534b

Ann

Pictures of all my hostas, updated annually and tracked since 2008 begin at: https://violaann.smugmug.com/G...
Name: Ann
Ottawa, ON Canada (Zone 5a)
Hostas Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Composter Region: Canadian Clematis
Canning and food preservation Container Gardener Annuals Herbs Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
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ViolaAnn
May 3, 2017 2:56 PM CST
BTW, there are two smaller hostas next to it that weren't on the list - 'Little Treasure' on the right and 'Roller Coaster Ride' on the left. All of them are doing well in full sun.
Ann

Pictures of all my hostas, updated annually and tracked since 2008 begin at: https://violaann.smugmug.com/G...
Name: aud/odd
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
May 3, 2017 4:12 PM CST
Yes I agree I do not know what they were growing when the said Curly Fries is a mini. Maybe they had it growing next to Sum and Substance Rolling on the floor laughing

Now Stilleto I call that a couple leaves hanging on. I dug it up and have it in a pot in the sun hoping I can save it after three years of hanging near death.
Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
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bluegrassmom
May 3, 2017 8:13 PM CST
Ann, thanks for the info Hurray! I have the Little Hosta book but it still helps to have a review of someone that is growing it.
Name: Debbie
Manitoba, Canada (Zone 3a)
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DebbieC
May 9, 2017 9:09 AM CST
Added three new Minis this year: Church Mouse, Mini Skirt and Gemstone that I found at one of my local garden centres. They had others that I am considering including Baby Bunting and Holey Mouse Ears among others I can't recall the names of. I found the Holey Mouse Ears in particular very attractive but resisted due to the concern of it reverting. I may have to get it anyway, as I find myself thinking about how pretty it is now, lol. I came across a pretty little Munchkin Fire at another nursery several weeks ago but didn't purchase that day; went back to get it another day and alas they were all gone. "Snooze, you lose!"
Name: Ann
Ottawa, ON Canada (Zone 5a)
Hostas Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Composter Region: Canadian Clematis
Canning and food preservation Container Gardener Annuals Herbs Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
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ViolaAnn
May 9, 2017 3:02 PM CST
I'm going to go back and start adding pictures to my comments above.
Ann

Pictures of all my hostas, updated annually and tracked since 2008 begin at: https://violaann.smugmug.com/G...
Name: Debbie
Manitoba, Canada (Zone 3a)
Hostas Cat Lover Annuals Bulbs Container Gardener Critters Allowed
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Houseplants Foliage Fan Butterflies Bee Lover Native Plants and Wildflowers
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DebbieC
May 9, 2017 3:26 PM CST
Here are my 3 new additions. From the left: Mini Skirt, Gemstone, Church Mouse.
Thumb of 2017-05-09/DebbieC/bb5920

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