The Different Types of Variegated Hostas

Dress up your yard with the splashy leaves of variegated hostas.

By: Julie A Martens
Garden Combines Colors and Textures

Garden Combines Colors and Textures

This flower bed combines plants of various colors and textures to great effect while providing dramatic edging for the garden.

Photo by: DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Garden Design, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Botanical Names: Hosta ‘Wide Brim’, Hosta fortunei, Hosta ‘Brim Cup’, Hosta ‘Whirlwind’, Hosta ‘Gold Standard’, Hosta undulata, Hosta ‘Albomarginata’

Count on season-long color when you add variegated hostas to your yard. These easy growing perennials provide dependable color during the growing season. You can find variegated hostas in green and gold, like Hosta ‘Gold Standard,’ or hostas with a combination of white and green, like Hosta ‘Albomarginata.’ Best of all, you can count on variegated hostas to play many roles in the landscape.

Variegated hostas feature as many different color patterns as you can probably imagine. Hosta ‘Gold Standard’ brings bright gold tones to the garden, with gold leaves edged in green. Leaves unfurl in spring in bright green shades that deepen to gold as summer progresses. This is a sun tolerant hosta — morning sun for a few hours enhances the gold color on leaves.

Hosta ‘Wide Brim’ flips the gold and green to create a variegated hosta with green leaves edged in gold. The gold edging has an irregular pattern that’s eye catching, especially when coupled with the wrinkled, puckered texture of the leaf surface. Hosta ‘Brim Cup’ is an offspring of a cross between Hosta ‘Wide Brim’ and Hosta ‘Gold Regal.’ It unfurls beautifully corrugated leaves that are cupped along the edges. This striking variegated hosta has green leaves with creamy white edges.

Hosta ‘Whirlwind’ also combines green edges with cream leaf centers, but its leaves have a wavy look to them. The cream portion on this variegated hosta looks like a flame in the center of each leaf. It creates a striking look in any landscape.

A classic white and green variegated hosta is known by a variety of names — Hosta undulata, Hosta ‘Albomarginata’ and Hosta ‘Undulata Albomarginata.’ The plant has pointed oval leaves with wavy white margins. It’s one of the first hostas to peek out in the spring. Leaves have a strong venation pattern and a handsome corrugated surface.

In the landscape, use variegated hostas to edge planting beds or paths or to fill in an area beneath a tree. You can position a large variegated hosta as a focal point in a bed, or count on it to add pops of bright color in shade plantings. Many gardeners like to tuck variegated hostas into containers.

When you select variegated hostas for a planting bed, consider typical growing criteria. Most hostas grow best in shade, but some are sun tolerant hostas, which thrive with morning sun. In addition to providing the proper light, take time to make sure the soil is rich in organic matter and drains well. All hosta varieties grow best when soil is rich and drains well.

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