Small Hostas That our forum has that grow quite fast...

don_in_coloradoFebruary 16, 2014

Hi everyone,

One other thing I'd love to do this season is to buy a few different varieties of small-sized (heightwise) hostas that I can underplant below larger plants. If they like to spread quickly and effectively cover otherwise barren ground I'd consider that a bonus. What I'd like from the hosta forum members....Could you please let me know, by your own gardening experiences with small hostas, which are the vigorous ones, the ones that grow quickly; And some of your personal favorites you've found to be robust and/or aggressive growers.

Or if you have any examples of your personal work you've done underplanting you'd like to share in pics, please feel free to do so.

I appreciate very much any ideas, hosta types, etc. that you would be willing to share with me.

Thank you, everyone...

Don B.

P.S. Pic is St Paul with an underplanting of Fair Maiden. The only 'knock' is that FM is a slow grower, so I have ordered a few more clumps of FM to plant near St Paul as it grows...Ramble off/

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bkay2000(8a TX)

Don, I had a Diamond Tiara that I had in a small pot for YEARS! Those years were not when I was a "hostaholic". It survived for many seasons and eventually succombed to a virus and the trash can.

It's tough.

If I were looking for an underplanting, that would be one of my first choices. I don't think it's a mini. I believe it is small.

Radiant Edger was a big zip for me.


    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 9:28PM
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Okay here, DonGuac, my favorite smalls would be
Verna Jean...I just ordered 4 more at 3.98 ea from somebody....I hate it when my brain goes pfffffbt..... I got my first 2 from GreenMt for less than that, so check them out.

I also got Gold Drop from Green Mt, 3 of them. This picture shows one Verna Jean and the 3 Gold Drop

One that I like and which flourishes for other people is Masquerade that makes a pompom ball of a plant, and someone on the forum grows it to perfection. I've purchased about 10 of them, and hope that my one remaining pot of it comes back this year. If not, it was not meant to be. However, I KNOW IT FLOURISHES ELSEWHERE. It multiplies and you divide!

My pot of it was in the shade, and had not turned to the white midleaf look. Taken in July 2013

If I think of any others, I'll come back. My brain is tired.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 10:11PM
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Stiletto is one that should be mentioned here. It looks good all summer for me. I also love Tongue Twister and Curly Fries but have only had them for a year so I can't attest to their longevity. So far they have grown well.


    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 10:53PM
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jan_on zone 5b

Take a look at Spartan Arrow. I don't know how quickly it grows - mine is an infant - but there is a great photo of a mass planting of them In the library.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 10:00AM
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Lemon Lime has been divided three times since I first bought it. Each division is now a lush large clump, which could be divided again, but where would i put them all? Its a fantastically strong as fast grower for me.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 10:12AM
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bernd ny zone5

I agree, 'Lemon Lime' is a fast grower, have it in rows, also others in that family. 'Stiletto' clumps up fast. 'Blue Mouse Ears' quickly forms a clump.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 11:47AM
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Here are some favorites that have been fast growers for me.

Feather Boa
Limey Lisa
Little Wonder
Grand Tiara and other Tiaras
Tick Tock
Vanilla Cream
Ice Cream
Plug Nickel (Cracker Crumb)
Emerald City Chick (Dixie Chick)
Carolina Sunshine

The one's pictured below show their size relative to the larger plants above them. I like the idea of smalls under bigger plants since it shows off both the the best advantage. The ** are the really fast and easy ones. * also have good growth. Some of them haven't been grown long enough to know but I like Shade Parade and Boyz Toys a lot.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 1:21PM
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Don, I found Golden Tiara & Allan P. McConnell to be good for under planting. Both are very vigorous and clump at about 10-12 inches. I think Golden Tiara is faster growing and more colorful but seems to go "down" earlier in the fall.

P.S. I really like European Wild Ginger as an under study. It's taken a few years to get a nice patch established but now it reseeds itself and have been transplanting several small clumps among the hostas and along pathways.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 4:52PM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Hi Don!
Nothing beats covering dirt, in record time, like Gingko Craig! It makes a great candidate for underplanting or what I call a ground cover hosta. It is a small, doesn't get that tall, is a vigorous grower and looks great to boot.
Another one would be Golden Tiara and Golden Scepter. I have at least 4 GS's simply from divisions...can't tell which was the original by looking at them. These two are from the same family so you can't go wrong with the tiara line at all.

I wish someone would come up with a Plantagenea that is a shorter version of mama...I would love a double-decker display of that one---as an underpinning to the taller one. :-)

I'm sorry I don't have any examples of actual under planting but will show pics of my recommendations. On the plus side, these are probably on the cheap side as they have been around for a while.

This trio is not the best pic I have but two for one as Golden Scepter is on left and Gingko Craig on right. Blue cadet is in the middle btw.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 2:03PM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Here's Golden Tiara, always a favourite and IMHO, a truly valuable hosta in any garden, for a multiple of functions, I keep dividing mine so don't have a mature size on hand. It truly is a little beauty.

I hope you will let us know what you decide on and post some pics. :-)

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 2:16PM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Here's GC can see how good a groundcover/ under planting it would make.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 2:21PM
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Look at the COLOR in the flowers of Ginko Craig! Jo, your garden is perfectly planted and maintained. I always enjoy seeing your pictures and those of McTavish, so beautifully arranged.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 3:17PM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Thank you, Mocc. :-). That is one plant where the crispness of leaf colour and flower colour match in intensity.

I just realized that I have been misspelling the name, as you have noticed... it is 'Ginko' . Apparently Alex Summers was gifted, at that time an unnamed hosta and named it after Craig's wife, Ginko. Love these interesting stories.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 5:43PM
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Thanks everyone, lots of great little hostas you have shown me.

The European wild ginger looks like a winner as well; it's beautiful. Gorgeous leaves with what looks like a nice ground-hugging habit. I'm adding some to my Green Mountain order. Tons of ideas here. : )

Appreciate the pics!

Don B.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 9:07PM
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sandyslopes z5 n. UT

Lakeside Zinger is short, cute, and spreads. As for quickly filling in, I don't know if I can say that about any of my hosta. It depends on our different conditions, I think. But see how I planted just one, and this is how it came up last spring. I need to get the name tag moved forward because it has spread out some.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 11:47PM
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