Flexibility and abundance are the first two words that spring to mind when I think of hostas. There are over 3000 registered cultivars of hosta!
They are so easy going and popular it is easy to forget what a low-maintenance standard they are in the garden or the showy diversity of foliage they can bring to a space. In mid-summer stems rise above the foliage bearing stalks of white-purple flowers - some with lovely fragrance.
Clumps of this long lived perennial can be tiny or huge, grey-blue, green, or variegated and shade or sun tolerant. In their natural habitat in the Far East of Japan and China they can be found in an astonishing array of situations; high altitude meadows, rocky sunny cliffs, along streams with their roots dangling in water and as epiphytes. Most however are from areas of high rainfall and shade, making them perfect for Pacific Northwest gardens. They routinely do well in temperatures from 28-100° and can survive even more extremes.
They can be planted in the ground or in containers (Hosta elegans is best avoided in containers). In containers large leaved types like more soil in the potting mix, while smaller leaved types like a soilless mix.
Here at Portland Nursery in spring we often have nearly 50 kinds of hosta in stock! The lists below offer a few of our favorites sorted by commonly asked for traits. How to find the perfect hosta fit for you? Check out the lists below or come on in! We would love to help you select a hosta that will add character, beauty, and fullness to your garden.
We have a wonderful selection of perennials year round, but if you are looking for a specific perennial we will have the best selection when it is in bloom around town. Note: Native plant pages will take you into the Native Plant section.