The world of hostas is so diverse and interesting that we can talk about it endlessly. Today we are going to compare two wonderful hosta varieties.
The main difference between Guacamole Hosta and Stained Glass is the color of the leaves. The Stained Glass Hosta has a bright yellow center while the Guacamole is usually light green. Because of this, the green leaf edge is more pronounced on Stained Glass than on Guacamole.
There are also a number of other differences between the two varieties which we will talk about in this article.
If you dig into history, it turns out that Stained Glass is a sport of Guacamole. This means that Guacamole had a mutation with a brighter coloration of the leaves. The originator of the variety separated that mutation and named it Stained Glass. After some time, nurseries propagated this hosta across the country.
The main advantage of Stained Glass over Guacamole is that it has a bright yellow middle leaf surrounded by a dark green border. The contrast of green and yellow is very pronounced and adds to its value.
Guacamole, on the other hand, has an apple-green middle of the leaf and a dark green border. The difference in color is less noticeable so the variety is less exciting. Sometimes Guacamole leaves have almost no dark border and are just green.
In general Stained Glass is more interesting than Guacamole from an ornamental point of view. You will immediately see Stained Glass in the garden because of its contrasting leaves.
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Growth rate and size
The second noticeable difference between Guacamole and Stained Glass is size. Stained Glass is slightly smaller than the competitor and is 15 inches tall and 32 inches wide. Guacamole, on the other hand, can reach 24 inches high and over 50 inches wide.
Also, the growth rate of both varieties is different. Because Stained Glass is a variegated hosta, it has less chlorophyll in its leaves. As a result, it grows a little slower than Guacamole.
The variegated nature of Stained Glass also affects its immunity. This variety is slightly more susceptible to leaf fungal disease than Guacamole.
If you want a vigorous and larger variety with less leaf contrast, Guacamole is a good choice. But if you like bright, medium-sized yellow-green hostas, Stained Glass is a better choice.
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The sun tolerance of both varieties is not the same. In general, like most hostas, they prefer full or partial shade.
However, Stained Glass will tolerate direct sun much better than Guacamole. It can grow with up to six hours of direct sun a day. There are examples of Stained Glass growing successfully in full sun in northern states.
Guacamole on the other hand should not get more than 4 hours of direct sun per day. It is best if it is in the morning sun. Never plant it in a place where it will be exposed to the afternoon sun. If you live in zone 8 or 9, this is best planted in full shade.
However, even though it has excellent sun tolerance, Stained Glass can suffer sunburn if planted in full sun in southern states. Read more about this in the article Do hostas prefer sun or shade?
One last thing to look out for is the flowers. Both hostas have wonderful white flowers with a purple hue. Their scent is very subtle and pleasant.
The difference here is that Guacamole is more likely to bloom. Because it is a more vigorous variety, it blooms more abundantly and produces more seeds.
Stained Glass blooms less profusely. The inflorescences have fewer flowers and do not set seeds as often. In addition, the seeds are not as survivable as those of the competitor.
If flowers are important to you, Guacamole is certainly the best choice. However, if you value the leaves more, then Stained Glass is a good choice.
In addition to the differences, these varieties have some similarities so to fully disclose the topic let’s briefly review them.
Both varieties need nutritious and well-drained soil to thrive. Most soils do not have these properties, so you need to improve the soil in the garden.
The best way to do this is to add some organic matter. Buy compost or soil conditioner and add it to your planting hole. Choose only a quality product free of pests and diseases.
One or two buckets are enough for one bush. Mix the organic matter with the native soil and plant the hosta in it. After that, your hostas will grow vigorously and delight you with gorgeous leaves.
The second thing these hostas need is enough water. Because they have large leaves, moisture evaporates quite quickly, especially in hot weather.
If it hasn’t rained in a few days, check how wet the soil near the hostas is. Once it has dried out more than 2 inches, water the hostas by 1 gallon under each bush.
Avoid watering too often or with too much water. Otherwise, crown rot may occur and you will lose the plant.
Also, avoid watering in rainy weather or in winter. During these periods, the hosta does not need much water and can make do with internal supplies.
Both Guacamole and Stained Glass need a little feeding once a year. If you fertilize in early spring, they will respond with more vigorous growth and larger leaves.
The best fertilizer for them is a slow-release fertilizer. The ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium can be universal. In other words, choose a multi-purpose fertilizer that is suitable for most plants.
Always follow the manufacturer’s directions and do not overfertilize your hostas. Also, do not fertilize late in the season to avoid frost damage to the hosta.
The second thing you can do is mulch your hostas with organic matter, such as compost or pine bark chips. This will give the hostas some organic nutrition and prevent the soil from drying out and overheating in hot weather.