What is the deal with minis and smalls?

BungalowMonkeys(6-VA)July 26, 2014

Just recently purchased this popcorn and love it. It's pretty cute. Not sure exactly what about it makes it cute, but it is. I've seen many of you say you dislike small and mini hostas. Main reasons given were, they do not grow or just plain disappear. Have so many places for both sizes and would hate to exclude them from the collection. Does anyone have success with them? Is there anything different that can be done to ensure they make it and thrive?

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Babka NorCal 9b

Popcorn is a medium large hosta. Nice photo.

Smalls and mini's do well for me in pots. My space is very limited. I like the mini's for shallow bonsai type pots. I like the smalls in terracotta bowls. It's a proportional thing.

-Babka

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 8:05PM
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DelawareDonna(7A)

They have a place - but not at my place.

DD

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 9:15PM
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funnthsun z7A - Southern VA

It's not that they don't survive for me, I just refuse to pay the same amount or more for half or 1/4 (or 1/10, LOL) of the hosta. It's just that simple for me. Large hostas make a big statement, minis don't ever get a wow like that. That's just my opinion, FWIW.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 10:10PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

I suppose you could have a complete hillside of one large hosta, but it would be boring, you know, like a whole hillside of Gold Standard.

Unless you are really good at design, varied large and larger hosta would end up being a hodge podge and not at all pleasing to the eye. You have to have various textures, colors and sizes.

You're filling that need for a small plant with something, why not a hosta?

I have a few smalls. I didn't know the sizes when I ordered them, I just lusted and bought. So, I have smalls through giants.

Next winter, I'm going to start looking for the nicest, healthiest small hosta out there. I need some smaller ones.

bk

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 10:41PM
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leafwatcher(zone 5)

Rabbits would decimate them here. If I had a perfect safe spot for some.. I would be more likely to add some.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 11:54PM
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leaflover76(5b)

I had Popcorn put on my wish list because of seeing pictures on this forum. Got it last year. Grows well and the cupping is so .....cute

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 8:23AM
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BungalowMonkeys(6-VA)

Bkay- thats pretty much what has happened with me. Fell in love with the pic and grabbed it without knowing the size until after. Would love to know what your "healthy list" of smalls is when you get it figured out.

Leaflover - great pic. My 4 year old has really been getting into gardening (hostas) with me and this one is her favorite because of how cute it is.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 10:18PM
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hostacats(zone 3b)

popcorn didn't make one year for me. Have not been able to find it since. I have cherry berry about four of them and I really don't care for the smaller ones either. They just don't shout out "LOOK AT ME". But with that being said I still have a couple others that are small, also not really paying attention when buying some of them.
Michelle

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 11:04PM
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sandyslopes z5 n. UT

I like smalls in the gardens. They're nice along the edges. And a lot of the smalls are not really all that small. They can hold their own and show up well.

Minis are darned cute! I tried growing them in pots and killed eight out of eight. BUT that was my fault. I used MG moisture potting mix even though I've read time and time again not to. It's what I had, and I consider myself to be lucky so rot wouldn't happen to me, lol.... lesson learned. But I'm not hurrying to try them again just yet.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 2:34AM
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bernd ny zone5

I like large hostas because I can see them from a distance. Small ones easily get covered up by large hostas, you will think you lost them. I stepped on some. Note that small ones have also smaller roots and will dry out faster, so you have to watch out for them more in summer heat - more watering. In winter there is more effect of thawing / freezing cycle on them, will get lifted out due to shorter roots.
Bernd.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 5:31PM
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hostacats(zone 3b)

Bernd with that being said about the thawing freezing cycles and the heaving its more for me not to try them yet. I'm just not liking small. I like the show, the "I SEE YOU" hostas. I like mediums to super large. But mainly the mediums......large takes up so much room and don't have that much.

Michelle

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 7:32PM
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don_in_colorado

Don't have too much interest in the smalls, proof being in my purchasing records, but this 'Forest Shadows' I got as a gift plant from Bridgewood is real cute, and has been a great grower. I think Babka has the nicest one I've seen. Was that you, Babka?

Don B.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 8:23PM
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paul_in_mn(4b)

Big difference between smalls and minis.....smalls cuts a pretty big swath......and many are plenty big enough to be seen and fight for space.

Paul

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 9:03PM
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Kate1970(7a)

Mini's are like potato chips you can't buy just one. These guys are being babied a bit before they go in the ground.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 9:07PM
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Linda's Garden z6 Utah

Paul, Beautiful pictures, as always! It would be great if you give us the names. The only small I have is Lakeside Paisley Print. I would like to get more smalls (not mini's) and you have some great examples. I really like the last one.

Linda

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 9:11PM
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paul_in_mn(4b)

Linda, the four hosta in pic - Curly Fries, Little Treasure, Candy Dish, Stand By Me.

Paul

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 10:09PM
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hostacats(zone 3b)

Paul, I'm a newbie you mentioned four names but you have five hosta pictures. I know which one is curly fries. The little treasure is the one that looks like fire and ice, the second picture. Candy dish is the green one with what looks like pie crust edges. Stand by me is the third or fifth picture??? And then whats the other one???

michelle

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 10:52PM
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paul_in_mn(4b)

lol, try this again....five hosta in pic from top to bottom are....Curly Fries, Fireworks, Little Treasure, Candy Dish, Stand By Me.

Paul

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 11:12PM
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Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)

I really like the smalls. With limited space, the smalls pack a good punch when used in small spaces. If you have the Grand Canyon for a yard, and you are REASONABLE about the number of hosta you can put in it, then good. But I like to try them all, and have many spaces where they fit in nicely.

I'm surprised that Fair Maiden isn't among the smalls being mentioned, because it will change your mind about what small hosta look and grow like. I have seen nothing like it, and it even has WHITE variegation! But I saw Don's picture last year, and had it ordered from Hallsons for delivery this spring. I love it. I also think you are missing out because some smalls really live large. Look at Blue Cadet. Want to miss out on that nice mounded SMALL blue? It is a blue small which lives LARGE. So do many others. It is with the real MINIS that I get into difficulty, not due to frost heave, but due to squirrel heave.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 11:53PM
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hostacats(zone 3b)

Thank you Paul!! Fireworks is the one that looks like fire and ice!! Should have known!!

Ohhh Moccasin somebody posted Fair maiden the other day and I liked it a lot. I didn't know its size or anything but I wrote the name down to purchase. hmmmm

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 12:01AM
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sandyslopes z5 n. UT

If you rule out the smalls you could miss out on some nice hostas. Here's a couple that a listed as smalls...

High Society

Rainbow's End

Just wait until your gardens start to get full then the smalls will look better to you. ...I'm really wanting Fair Maiden now, too!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 2:00AM
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hostacats(zone 3b)

Ooohhh sandyslopes I like it I like it!!!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 12:28PM
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ryseryse_2004

Pretty pictures! I tried smalls in the past and because I don't tend to keep things neat, they all would get crowded out by their neighbors. Gave them all to my son who has a small yard and appreciates the fact that they don't want to take over.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 3:24PM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Don, I just have to have a Forest Shadows! Better start looking...it is really lovely..love the soft shades!

Last year I started in earnest looking for more smalls and minis to add to my small garden. Space and proper siting is at a premium here so I welcomed the small fry.

Don't underestimate these smaller guys. At maturity some reach a goodly size, a couple of feet - I agree about Blue Cadet. I kept thinking there was a mistake made on the Library information....

Pandora's Box, Blue Mouse Ears, Lakeside Cupcake, English Sunrise

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 4:40PM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Trifecta, one year old...NOT a disappointment! Very bright addition to the garden.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 4:43PM
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hostalisa

I think minis and smalls are best when they are in their own bed. Here is mine, not complete yet, but getting there. Lost only two this past winter.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 9:31PM
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hostacats(zone 3b)

OMG hostalisa...I like I like. You must live on an acreage??? I LOVE the rocks........and I see bugs and creatures with those rocks!!! I paint rocks for my gardens, but sometimes when you live in the city its hard to find good rocks!!!
My better pictures or on my new phone and haven't figured out how to download yet. Everything else is lost. But this should give you an idea. Bug left hand corner at bottom. Sorry not a good photo but all I have at the moment. I have a huge rock at the lake painted like a real lady bug. Too big too lift, just rolled the rock with my son and painted it where I set it.

michelle

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 11:34PM
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Eleven(Metro Detroit 6A)

Hostalisa, those look great! I like the bigger small hostas, but minis tend to croak on me. I plant them in the ground and don't really baby them. Even the ones that do well for a couple years (Pandora's Box) eventually up and die.

I think the smallest hostas I have surviving right now are Yellow Boa, Twist of Lime, Radiant Star, and London Fog.

This post was edited by Eleven on Sat, Aug 2, 14 at 0:30

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 8:16AM
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hosta_freak(z6 NC)

Minis are not really for me. They get lost in my 'land of the giants'! I have Blue Mouse ears,and it is still alive,but that's all. I had Frosted Mouse Ears,but it only lasted a few years,before disappearing. The only small I ever had is Allen P. McConnell,and it is vigorous,for me. I prefer mediums,larges,and giants,in my garden. Phil

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 8:47AM
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