Variegated hostas are those with leaves colored in two or three colors. Usually, it is a combination of green and white, but often there is a combination of green and yellow or blue and green. That is exactly the kind of hosta we will talk about in this article.
White variegated hostas
Let’s start with the varieties that have a combination of green and white. This is probably the most numerous group and there is a lot to talk about.
Minuteman is an extremely popular variegated hosta. It has dark green leaves framed with a snow-white border. The contrast of green and white is so bright that the leaves seem to shine.
This variety is very easy to grow almost anywhere because of its compact size. It is less than a foot and a half tall and no more than four feet wide. It can be grown in the ground as well as in a pot.
The Patriot hosta is a competitor to the previous variety because these varieties are very similar. Patriot has a light green leaf center framed by a thick white and cream border.
It is quite vigorous and a bit larger than the previous variety. It can reach a height of about two feet and a width of up to five feet. It is slightly more flowery than most variegated hostas.
Revolution is a very interesting variegated hosta. Its leaves are a dark green color with a creamy white center. The transition from one color to another is irregular and very beautiful. On the white color there are green dots, which gives even more originality.
This is a compact variety that grows up to 1 foot tall and up to 2 feet wide. Plant it with other hostas that are not variegated to make your garden as colorful as possible.
Fire and Ice Hosta
Fire and Ice Hosta is a unique hosta that has a combination of three colors. Its center is white, followed by a thin, light green border that turns into a thick green. A thick border of dark green or almost blue follows.
This is a small hosta suitable even for a small garden or container. It does not exceed 14 inches in height and 24 inches in width.
Whirlwind is another wonderful hosta with leaves in two colors. The leaf is green-blue around the edge, while the middle is yellowish white. In the center of the white part of the leaf there are greenish veins which is very interesting.
The highlight of this hosta is its curled leaves. In addition, the tip of the leaf is sharp, which gives it a little charisma.
This is a medium-sized hosta that grows to be about 18 inches tall and about 35 inches wide. It is best planted in the garden in partial shade.
Yellow variegated hostas
Next, let’s take a look at hostas with leaves colored green and yellow. In fact, this is also a broad category of variegated hostas, but here we will look at the top 5 varieties.
Wide Brim Hosta
Wide Brim is a very popular and common hosta that has a very wide yellow edge. The center of the leaf is a deep green, which is an excellent contrast to the yellow.
It is a medium-sized hosta, as it can reach a width of 4 feet. The height of this hosta is usually less than a foot and a half, not counting the flower stalks. It is a very interesting variety that will grace any bed.
Cape Cod Hosta
The next yellow-green hosta is Cape Cod. Most of its leaves are yellow from edge to center. The center of the leaf is bright green. The leaves are actually very contrasting and noticeable.
In terms of size, this variety is not large. It reaches about 18 inches tall and 36 inches wide. It prefers partial sun and slightly acidic soil.
Remember Me Hosta
Remember Me is a wonderful hosta with a bright yellow central part of the leaf. The leaf edge is green, but blue stripes may appear between the yellow and green. In fact, it is a tricolor hosta, which gives it even more interest.
It is quite compact in size and rarely exceeds 3 feet in width. The height is about a foot and a half. A great variety for pots and small beds.
Rainbow’s End Hosta
Rainbow’s End Hosta has a unique variegation. Yellow and green colors are chaotically banded on the leaves. Both yellow and green colors are very bright and saturated. This gives a very contrasting and vibrant picture.
This is a fairly compact hosta that usually grows up to 2 feet wide and up to 1 tall. The growth rate is medium which is ideal for small beds or containers.
If you’re looking for something interesting for the garden then be sure to take a look at Liberty Hosta. It has large leaves even though it is not a large variety. The leaves are colored bright yellow and green. The transition from one color to another is irregular and very unusual.
This variety can grow up to 60 inches wide at maturity. The height is usually about 20 inches. A distinctive characteristic is that the colors can change to white and blue and this gives more vibrancy to both the variety and the garden.
Large variegated hostas
Next, I offer you a list of five large variegated hostas. In fact, these are very interesting and unusual hostas because they have huge leaves painted in two or three colors.
American Halo Hosta
The largest variegated hosta is the American Halo Hosta. It grows 70 inches wide and 25 inches tall! After a few years of growing, you get a huge mound of variegated leaves.
The foliage color is green in the center with a thick yellow and cream border. Sometimes the color can change to green-blue, meaning this is another chameleon hosta.
Brother Stefan Hosta
Next is the Brother Stefan hosta. This is also a large variety, although not as large as the previous one. It reaches a width of 40 inches and a height of about 25 inches.
The leaves are a combination of green-blue and lime-yellow. The leaves are also very corrugated and look delightful. This variety is very popular these days because of the foliage.
Barbara Ann Hosta
Barbara Ann has large green leaves with a wide white border. Dark green or almost blue stripes may appear on the green part of the leaf, which makes the hosta even more unusual.
It is quite a large hosta that grows about 5 feet across and about 2 feet tall. It requires nutritious soil and generous watering to thrive.
Earth Angel Hosta
Earth Angel is an amazing variegated hosta whose leaves have a combination of lime yellow and dark blue in spring. By mid-season, the foliage turns yellow-green. These changes give a vibrancy to the bed in which this hosta grows.
Earth Angel can exceed 50 inches wide at maturity while 28 inches tall. This is a great variety for large yards with lots of shady spots.
Dream Queen Hosta
Last on our list of large variegated hostas is Dream Queen. It has a narrow yellow part in the center of the leaf surrounded by a wide dark green border. In addition, the leaves are ribbed, which gives the hosta even more beauty.
As for size, Dream Queen is about 60 inches wide and about 25 inches tall. It is a rather large variety that requires a lot of space and is not well suited to container growing.
Small variegated hostas
Next, I suggest taking a look at dwarf-variegated hostas. This is my favorite category of hostas because they look so cute you can’t take your eyes off them.
Mighty Mouse Hosta
This tiny hosta has beautiful round-shaped leaves with a green middle bordered in yellow. A charming variety for a small bed or rock garden. It looks delightful as a collection plant or specimen plant.
It has a very compact size. It rarely exceeds 15 inches in width and 4 inches in height. Such hostas can be grown in large numbers in a very limited space.
Cameo is a miniature hosta that would make an excellent specimen in a small composition of similar dwarf hostas. It reaches up to 8 inches in width and up to 4 inches in height.
The leaves of this tiny hosta are slightly elongated and slightly pointed. The center of the leaf is green which is intertwined with yellow. The border between the colors is not clear resulting in a wonderful pattern.
Funny Mouse Hosta
Funny Mouse is another small hosta in the mouse series. If you are looking for a tiny variegated hosta, look no further than this variety as it rarely exceeds half a foot in width and 4 inches in height.
Funny Mouse has elongated but not pointy little leaves. The central part of the leaf is green surrounded by a creamy white edge. This is a great variety for container growing in small areas.
Mini Skirt Hosta
Mini Skirt is another wonderful small variegated hosta. Its leaves have a blue-green center and a broad yellow border. In addition to variegation, its leaves are curled, which gives it an even more unusual and original appearance.
In fact, this variety is highly prized by collectors. It rarely exceeds 5 inches in height and 13 inches in width. If you choose it, you have to take good care of it because of its compact size.
Lakeside Little Tuft Hosta
Lakeside Little Tuft is a small but very charismatic hosta. It has narrow and pointed leaves which give it an aggressive appearance. The center of the leaf is yellow while the edge is deep green.
Lakeside Little Tuft reaches 16 inches in width and 8 inches in height. It can grow almost all over the country. Requires drained soil and mulching against weeds.
Medium variegated hostas
Next, we’ll look at five medium-sized variegated hostas. This category is probably the most numerous and therefore the most popular.
A Many-splendored Thing Hosta
First in this subcategory is A Many-splendored Thing Hosta. This is a very interesting variety that has medium-sized leaves. In spring, the middle of the leaf is blue-green and the edges are light green. By summer, however, the edges turn yellow and the middle green.
This hosta grows a little over 40 inches wide and 25 inches tall. It needs a bit more space than most other hostas. In addition, adequate watering and fertilizing once a year is a must.
Beyond Glory Hosta
Next comes Beyond Glory. This wonderful variety is the offspring of Old Glory. The leaves of Beyond Glory have a very bright greenish-yellow center but are blue-green along the edge. This combination is very vigorous in appearance.
This hosta reaches about 4 feet in width and about a foot and a half in height. It does not require much care but a nutritious and drained soil would be ideal for planting.
Ann Kulpa Hosta
Ann Kulpa is a unique variety whose leaves are colored green. In the center of the leaves there is a narrow yellow stripe that is an excellent contrast to the green. As a result the hosta looks very vibrant and dynamic.
It reaches about 4 feet wide and up to 2 feet tall. Requires partial sun and moderate watering. Great for planting with blue and green hostas.
American Sweetheart Hosta
The American Sweetheart hosta reaches up to 3.5 feet wide and about a foot and a half tall. This means that it needs plenty of room to grow, even though it is not a large hosta.
Its leaves are colored green and yellow. The main color is green, but there is a long yellow area in the center. White or lime stripes can sometimes appear between the colors, which gives the variety even more value.
Alligator Alley Hosta
And last in this subcategory is the Alligator Alley Hosta. It has very beautiful leaves with a pronounced corrugation. It has a wonderful combination of dark green and light yellow colors.
This hosta can be about 4 feet wide and about 2 feet tall. It needs a nutritious substrate rich in organic matter. It also needs watering during summer droughts.
Blue variegated hostas
Next we will look at the type of variegated hosta in which one of the colors is blue. This is a very popular and interesting group of hostas, so be sure to study it.
Blue Ivory Hosta
The first variety in this group is the world famous Blue Ivory. This is a real celebrity in the hosta world. Its central part of the leaf is blue surrounded by cream white. The colors may change throughout the year but either way it looks amazing.
It is quite a compact hosta in size as it grows up to 30 inches in both width and height. If you would like to have a variegated hosta in your yard, you should definitely consider Blue Ivory.
Bobcat is a delightful hosta with two colored leaves. There is no even border between the green and yellow flowers. The colors go from one to the other chaotically, which gives a wonderful patterned effect.
In addition, the colors can change throughout the year. Green can turn into blue and yellow into cream-white. This property is a definite advantage.
It is a fairly compact hosta that grows up to a foot and a half in height and width. It can be grown almost anywhere and does not require much maintenance.
Tokudama Flavocircinalis Hosta
Tokudama Flavocircinalis Hosta is a very beautiful and common variety. It has large roundish leaves with noticeable ribbing.
In spring, the color of the leaves is dark blue with a light green border. By midsummer, however, the blue turns green and the border turns golden.
In size, this variety can reach 3 to 4 feet in width and about 2 feet in height. It grows best in a nutritious substrate with added organic matter. It also needs watering in the summer.
Frances Williams Hosta
Frances Williams is a well-known hosta that has gained popularity over many years of cultivation. Its leaves have a blue center which occupies about 80% of the leaf. The leaf edge can be either light green or golden.
It exceeds 60 inches in width and 25 inches in height. This implies that it is a large hosta that requires a lot of space and good nutrition. Also, don’t forget to water it in the summer heat and drought.
El Nino Hosta
El Nino is the kind of hosta that should be in every yard. Its leaves with a blue center and cream border will not leave anyone indifferent. The leaf shape is heart-shaped with a sharp tip and it looks marvelous.
This variety is relatively easy to grow. It doesn’t require very much space as it is about 40 inches wide and 15 inches high. It combines well with yellow and green hostas.
Green variegated hostas
And the last type of variegated hostas that we will look at in this article are hostas that have one of their colors green. It can be a combination of green and yellow or green and blue and others.
Captain Kirk Hosta
The first variety that deserves your attention is Captain Kirk. This hosta has green leaves with yellow in the middle. The leaves are wide with sharp tips. There is also some ribbing on the leaves.
As for size, it is a medium-sized hosta as it reaches about 4 feet wide and 2 feet high. It looks great as a specimen plant and in composition with other hostas or shade-loving perennials.
Stained Glass Hosta
Stained Glass is an original hosta with a lime green center and a dark green edge. In midsummer, the center of the leaf turns yellow and the edge deep green. This change will give your garden a more energetic look.
It is a medium-sized hosta that reaches up to 2-3 feet wide and about a foot and a half tall. Great for small beds or containers.
Snake Eyes Hosta
Snake Eyes is a unique tricolor hosta. It has dark green leaves with a blue tint. It has a lighter green area in the center of the leaf. In addition, between the two colors, there are white veins that penetrate the leaf like lightning.
As a result, each leaf has a unique pattern. This feature is very appreciated among fans of hostas.
It is quite vigorous compared to other similar varieties. It reaches a height of up to 1 foot and a width of about 2-3 feet.
Queen Josephine Hosta
Queen Josephine is a special hosta because it has medium sized leaves but the number of leaves is very large. As a result it looks very dense and lush. Add to that the fact that the leaves are bright green and framed in yellow and you have a wonderful sight.
It reaches about four feet wide and up to two feet high. It will need some space and nutritious soil to grow. Watering is also mandatory in dry summer weather.
So Sweet Hosta
So Sweet Hosta is really cute because it has beautiful leaves with a green middle and a creamy border. The leaves are also ribbed, which adds to the value of the variety.
This hosta reaches 40 inches in width and up to 20 in height. It goes well with the blue hostas because it contrasts very well with them.
Variegated hosta care
Caring for variegated hostas has its own peculiarities, so let’s talk a little about that.
The best place to plant variegated hostas is in partial sun. It is also important that the soil is well drained and it does not stagnate water. It is best to improve the soil with organic matter.
The place where the variegated hosta grows should have a good air exchange. High humidity and poor ventilation can lead to leaf spots. Variegated hostas are more susceptible to fungal leaf diseases than any other hostas.
Next is watering. Never over-water variegated hostas because they can simply rot. Water them only when the soil in the root zone is about 2 inches dry.
Divide variegated hostas early in the spring before the leaves emerge. Each piece should have at least 5-6 buds. If you divide it into smaller pieces, it will take a very long time to root. This is because most variegated hostas are slow growers. So the bigger the piece, the faster you can get a full-size plant.
Variegated hosta sun or shade
Variegated hostas like the partial sun. This means that they can tolerate 2-4 hours of direct sun a day, depending on the area in which they grow. Also, different varieties tolerate different numbers of hours of sun. However, they should not receive afternoon sun, but only morning or evening sun.
Avoid planting variegated hostas in full sun as this will cause burns. The white tissue of variegated hostas is very easily damaged by the sun, so they should only receive mild sun in the morning.
Variegated hostas can also grow in full shade. In most cases, the colors will be quite bright. However, if such a hosta gets about 2 hours of direct sun per day, the variegation will be a little more pronounced.
Why do hostas lose their variegation?
The reason why the hosta loses its variegation is a mutation. This can be either a reversion to the original state or a sport that can be completely white or green.
Such mutations are very common among hostas. To fix this you will have to cut off the green leaves, leaving only the variegated ones. That way you will weaken the green part and it will not appear less and less often.
If there are very few variegated leaves left, divide the hosta into two parts. Separate the variegated part from the green part and plant them separately. You will end up with two hostas, one variegated and one green.