Dwarf or mini hostas are those that reach a size of 4 to 20 inches in width and up to 10 in height. They are more like indoor plants but can still grow in the garden. Today we will look at 20 varieties of small hostas, sorted into four categories according to their ornamental features.
Small green hostas
The first type of dwarf hostas are the green varieties. Even though they have a green color they can be very cute because of the small rounded leaves.
Monster Ears Hosta
Monster Ears Hosta has very beautiful almost round leaves. The tip of the leaf is pointed and on the opposite side, there is a depression resulting in a heart-shaped leaf.
The leaf size is quite large as for dwarf hostas and can reach about 4-5 inches across. The leaf color is a deep green but in the full shade, a slightly bluish tint may appear.
This hosta can reach about 15-20 inches in width after years of growing in one spot. At the same time, it rarely exceeds 10 inches in height.
This variety prefers full shade or partial sun (a few hours of sun in the morning).
Frosted Mini Hearts Hosta
Frosted Mini Hearts Nosta is quite a rarity. It has dark green leaves misted with a lighter shade of green. This effect is very highly valued among hosta collectors. The leaf shape is sharp and slightly elongated.
The size of this variety is quite small. It reaches about 4 inches high and 10 inches wide. It can be grown in the landscape as well as in a pot. However, it will grow a little better in the first case.
Frosted Mini Hearts prefers full shade, but at the same time can tolerate about 2-3 hours of direct sun in the morning or evening. Also in very dry weather requires watering.
Tiny Tears Hosta
Tiny Tears is a miniature hosta with bright green leaves. The leaves are teardrop-shaped, hence the name. The leaves are actually small, but there are a lot of them, which makes the hosta look great.
Over time, it forms a mound up to 4 inches tall and up to 10 inches wide. Perfect for miniature rock gardens or containers.
It grows best in full shade. That is, where there is plenty of reflected but not direct sunlight. Also needs feeding in early spring and extra watering in the heat.
Baby Bunting Hosta
Baby Bunting is a miniature hosta with small leaves. The leaf shape is round and looks very nice. The leaves will look nice when the hosta reaches maturity and the number of leaves will be large.
The color of this hosta is green, but depending on the growing conditions a waxy coating may appear on the leaves. As a result, the color will change to a bluish green and this is another advantage of this variety.
Baby Bunting grows up to 15 inches wide and 6 inches tall. It is a great variety for a small shady bed. It also grows well in pots.
Tears of Joy Hosta
Tears of Joy is a miniature hosta with narrow leaves. The leaves are long enough to sag slightly. In addition, the leaf edge is slightly wavy. All this makes Tears of Joy delightful to look at.
As for the color, it is dark green and very rich. It will be a great contrast to the other dwarf variegated hostas that we will be discussing below.
This hosta can grow up to 4 inches tall. At the same time, it is usually about 10 to 12 inches wide. The variety is quite slow growing, so it requires protection from weeds. In other words, you will need to keep the weeds out of the bed where Tears of Joy is growing.
Dwarf variegated hostas
Next, I offer you a look at five variegated dwarf hostas. These are the most interesting type of mini hostas because they have a combination of two or three colors. Add to that the small leaves and you have a fabulous plant.
Baby Bunting is a truly miniature hosta. This tiny little thing does not reach more than 8 inches wide and 4 inches high. It requires special attention because it can be severely damaged by pests and pets alike.
It has small rounded leaves with a pronounced tip. The leaves are colored green and light yellow. The center of the leaf is green and the border is light yellow or cream. In addition, the green color can turn blue-green.
An excellent variety for containers but can also grow in the landscape. Requires watering and fertilizing.
Cherry Berry Hosta
Cherry Berry is an amazing dwarf variegated hosta. It has narrow leaves with sharp tips. The main color of the foliage is bright green with an even narrower band of white in the center. Sometimes the band can be cream or even yellow.
The highlight of this variety is the red petioles that enhance its already beautiful appearance. In summer, when it blooms, it becomes unique because the flower stalks are also red and there are purple flowers at their tips.
Cherry Berry reaches about 20 inches in width. At the same time, the height is usually about 10 inches. It requires special care and attention.
Mighty Mouse Hosta
Mighty Mouse is another mini hosta with two colored leaves. In spring, the leaf is colored bluish-green with a yellow-cream edge. When summer comes, the color changes to green and the edge to creamy white. An added advantage is the waviness of the leaves.
This variety is very compact and rarely exceeds 18 inches in width. The height is usually 5 inches. After a few years, a dense mound of many small leaves is formed which looks delightful.
The leaves of this variety are hardy and very resistant to slugs. It needs watering in the summer and fertilizing once a year in March.
Mini Skirt Hosta
The undoubted advantage of the Mini Skirt hosta is the very strong undulation of the leaves and the wide light margin. The color of the margin is creamy yellow while the center of the leaf is green-blue. All these combine to give a delightful appearance.
This hosta eventually turns into a dwarf mound of curled leaves and looks like some kind of fairy tale animal. It reaches a height of 4-5 inches and a width of about 13.
The leaves of this hosta, like the previous one, are quite hard. As a result, they are not susceptible to slugs and snails, which is very convenient for the owner of this variety.
Pandora’s Box Hosta
Last on the list of miniature variegated hostas is Pandora’s Box. It has small, delicate leaves that do not exceed two inches across. The leaves are in three colors. The center of the leaf is white and the edge is green, with flecks of lime green in between.
It really is a miniature variety as it does not exceed eight inches in width and about four inches in height. Great for both pot growing and small beds.
Pandora’s Box grows best in full shade. Also needs regular removal of weeds around it and watering during dry weather.
Small yellow hostas
In this chapter, we will look at the small yellow, golden, and lime green hostas. This is actually a very interesting and sought-after subcategory of hostas.
Sun Mouse Hosta
Sun Mouse is a very interesting variety from the mouse series. Its leaves are very similar to those of Blue Mouse Ears, but the color is not blue but golden yellow. The shape of the leaves is rounded, which in yellow looks wonderful and would be a great addition to the blue and variegated dwarf hostas.
To make the yellow more vivid and saturated, plant Sun Mouse Hosta in a location where there will be several hours of the direct morning sun. At the same time, avoid planting in full sun.
This hosta usually reaches about 18 inches wide and 6 inches tall. It requires careful care. Every spring it needs to be fertilized with mineral fertilizer and mulch the root zone with compost. Watering is also mandatory during hot summers.
Twist of Lime Hosta
Twist of Lime is a wonderful hosta with lime-yellow leaves. The leaf shape is elongated with a sharp tip. Overall the bush looks quite charismatic, like a yellow hedgehog.
This hosta can reach about 8 inches tall and up to 15 inches wide. It is ideal for compositions with other dwarf hostas. It blends well with blue, variegated, and green varieties.
As far as care is concerned, it needs feeding with organic matter and mineral fertilizer. Watering and mulching are also recommended during dry weather. Provide it with about 3 hours of morning sunshine to make the yellow color more vivid.
Tiny Bubbles Hosta
Tiny Bubbles Hosta has wonderful narrow leaves with slight undulation. The beauty of the leaves is complemented by a lemon yellow color at the start, which then turns to a lime yellow.
This variety reaches up to 8 inches tall and 16 inches wide. It is an excellent component for a small garden of shade perennials. If you follow the cultivation rules you can keep it in a pot.
Tiny Bubbles prefers a few hours of sun in the morning. The rest of the time it should be in the shade. It needs drought watering and protection from disease.
Dragon Tails Hosta
Dragon Tails is a very beautiful hosta with narrow and long leaves. Over time, it forms a round bush that looks like some kind of tropical plant. The color of the leaves is yellow, but the hue can vary from golden to creamy yellow depending on the time of year.
This hosta grows up to 8 inches tall and up to 20 inches wide. Great for small spaces and for container growing.
The growth rate is quite vigorous so you will quickly get a great-looking hosta. But give it a few hours of sunshine to make the color more intense.
Marrakech has very interesting leaves. First, the leaves are elongated and sharp at the tip, which makes them aggressive. Secondly, the leaves are ribbed, which makes them very voluminous.
Also, the leaves have a bright yellow-green color. All together the qualities of the leaves make for a marvelous look. It will be a great contrast to the blue hostas of similarly small size.
This hosta reaches about 20 inches in width and up to 12 inches in height. The height is achieved by the longer leaf petioles. In addition, the leaves are quite hard and their tips point upward.
Miniature blue hostas
The final subcategory in this article is dwarf hostas with blue leaves. This is a very appreciated type of hosta because their blue leaves look very unusual in the garden.
Blue Mouse Ears Hosta
Blue Mouse Ears is probably the most famous blue dwarf hosta. It has very small leaves that do not exceed 2 inches across. The shape of the leaves is almost round and really resembles mouse ears.
The color is usually blue-green, but if there is too much direct sun, Blue Mouse Ears will turn green. It grows best in full shade and in a slightly cool place. These are ideal conditions to produce a rich blue color.
During the flowering period, beautiful purple flowers appear on top of the blue leaves. They look like little bells and are a great addition to the overall appearance of the plant.
This hosta reaches about 18 inches wide and up to 8 inches tall. Great for small gardens and containers.
Popo Hosta is another miniature blue hosta with leaves slightly folded in half. As a result, the plant looks very original and unusual.
The color of the leaves is green-blue but in summer it can turn green. The less direct sun this hosta gets, the bluer it will be. It is best to keep it in full shade.
It is really a mini hosta when it comes to size. It is rarely more than 10 inches tall and 4 inches tall. Because of its small size, it requires more attention and protection from pests and weeds.
It needs to be watered during the hot summers. Also, be sure to feed it at least once a year.
Cat and Mouse Hosta
Cat and Mouse is a very interesting dwarf hosta. It has two colored leaves. Most of the leaf is blue but in the center, there is an area of greenish-blue. Such a combination looks very unusual. In addition, the color can change throughout the season.
This variety is rarely more than 12 inches wide and about 3 inches tall. This is a true miniature hosta that is perfect for small hosta compositions. It looks very pretty in combination with yellow and variegated varieties.
Plant Cat and Mouse in full shade to make the blue more intense. Water it in hot, dry weather. Also, be sure to mulch the root zone with nutritious compost.
Blueberry Tart Hosta
Blueberry Tart is a unique hosta because it has long petioles and oval leaves with sharp tips. The bush looks quite sprawling.
The color of the leaves is blue in full shade and green-blue in partial sun. This variety has absolutely no tolerance for planting in full sun.
At maturity, Blueberry Tart reaches just over 20 inches wide. Because of its long petioles, it can reach a height of about 8 inches.
Last on this list is the Bluetini hosta. It is a rather vigorous variety that quickly reaches 18 inches wide and 8 inches high. It is great for small to medium-sized beds.
The leaves are elongated and sharp at the tips. The color is deep blue if the hosta is growing in full shade. In the partial sun it can turn green.
It doesn’t need much nutrition but needs to be watered.
What is the smallest miniature hosta?
The smallest miniature hosta is Cameo Hosta. It reaches 8 inches in width and less than 4 inches in height. The growth rate is slow and it can grow in very small spaces.
In general, the smallest of the dwarf hostas are the variegated varieties. This is because some of the leaf area of these hostas is chlorophyll-free, which means that it does not benefit the plant. As a result, they grow noticeably slower and are smaller than the green varieties.
Another very compact variety is Pandora’s Box. It is the same size as Cameo. Although the number of hosta varieties is so great, there are probably even smaller varieties than these two. If I find out about them I will be sure to write. Hosta
How to grow miniature hostas?
Because of their small size, dwarf hostas require special care. Medium and large hostas are much easier to care for than dwarf hostas. This chapter will show you how to do it properly.
The first important aspect of growing dwarf hostas is sun exposure. Such hostas are less tolerant of direct sun than their larger counterparts.
This is because they have a smaller root system and rhizome. As a result, they suffer from too much sun much more often than others. Even yellow dwarf hostas are not as sun-tolerant as, for example, medium yellow hostas.
Plant small hostas in full shade. This is especially true of mini blue hostas. Yellow small hostas can be planted in a location with about 2 hours of the direct morning sun.
The second issue you need to pay attention to is watering. Because dwarf hostas have a much smaller root system, they can suffer from dehydration in the summer.
In the heat, the soil around the roots of a miniature hosta can dry out very quickly. This can even cause it to droop a little. To prevent this from happening, constantly check how moist the soil in the root area is. Once it is 1-2 inches dry, water the dwarf hosta with half a gallon of water.
To prevent the soil from drying out quickly, mulch the hosta. Use compost or pine bark chips for this purpose. Avoid putting mulch too close to the leaf petioles.
On the other hand, never overwater dwarf hostas because this can lead to crown rot. Even if you over-water a little, dwarf hostas can suffer. For this reason, only water them when the soil has dried out a little.
The next thing you need to take care of is the soil. The best time to do this is when you will be planting dwarf hostas. For the most part, they are not vigorously growers, so it is very difficult for them to get their roots into heavy soil.
If your yard has clay or other types of hard soil you need to improve it. To do this, pour about half a bucket of compost or soil conditioner into the planting hole and mix it with the native soil. Only then can you plant the hosta.
Adding organic matter to the soil will make it lighter and make it easier for the hosta to take root. In addition, the soil will become better drained, which is very important for dwarf hostas.
Dwarf hostas need to be fertilized every year. If you fertilize them, they will grow noticeably faster and be healthier and more vigorous.
It is best if you apply a slow-release fertilizer in the spring. The composition of the fertilizer can be multipurpose. One portion will be enough for the entire growing season.
Take as much fertilizer as indicated on the label. Usually, one teaspoon is enough for one mini hosta for an entire year. Never overfeed dwarf hostas or you might lose them.
The second type of fertilizer is organic matter. Apply it directly at the time of planting. Also, mulch the root zone with it. Replace the mulch with fresh mulch every year in the spring so that the hostas get uninterrupted organic nutrition.