Award-winning plants are always worth a closer look and, when they’re picked from a huge group like hostas, it’s wise to pay attention. With between 50 and 100 new varieties of hosta introduced every year, gardeners need a little guidance.
Most new hostas are developed in North America, so it’s from there that help comes in the form of the National Hosta of the Year award.
Launched last year, the 2021 and 2022 winners have already been announced! One of the most important criteria for the award is that the winners must thrive all over North America – so they should thrive in the UK too.
‘Coast To Coast’ (2020 winner)
A golden-leaved variety [photo: top] that doesn’t turn green in summer. The broad wavy-edged, boldly puckered leaves unfurl chartreuse-yellow in spring. They then mature to pale gold in summer and retain that colouring into the autumn. The plants have a vase-like shape, pale mauve flowers open in midsummer.
‘Coast to Coast’ is a hybrid of ‘Manhattan’ and ‘Golden Gate’ developed by the multiple award winning Indiana hosta breeder Olga Petryszyn. 75cm x 90cm (2½ft x 3ft). You can order Hosta ‘Coast To Coast’ from these RHS Plant Finder nurseries.
‘Wheee!’ 2021 winner
[Photo: centre] Intensely ruffled, slug-resistant foliage boasts a creamy yellow margin that streaks right down the petiole (leaf stalk) to the crown of the plant. Unlike many ruffled hostas, on which the most striking ruffling develops over a number of years, this bold feature is evident on ‘Wheee!’ when the plants are newly planted. Pale lavender flowers appear in midsummer.
‘Wheee!’ is a sport of an unknown hosta, found by William J Meyer on a nursery in in New England. 40cm x 75cm (16in x 30in). You can order Hosta ‘Wheee!’ from these RHS Plant Finder nurseries.
‘Diamond Lake’ 2022 winner
[Photo: botttom] Making an imposing, mounded plant the large, heart-shaped leaves are up to 23cm wide and 28cm long (9in x 11in). They are also wavy-edged, strongly corrugated and slug-resistant. Pale lavender leaves open just above the foliage in midsummer.
‘Diamond Lake’ is a hybrid between two unnamed seedlings made by Hans Hansen, one of the leading creators of new hardy perennials, at Walters Gardens in Michigan. 2ft x 6ft (60cm x 1.8m). You can order Hosta ‘Diamond Lake’ from these RHS Plant Finder nurseries.
Please note, the contents of this blog reflect the views of its author and do not constitute an official endorsement by the RHS.