Hosta 'Sum and Substance' in a PotThe Hosta Helper is devoted to the number one selling genus of herbaceous perennials for the landscape in the U.S. today.  As the trees in our yards increase in size, more and more gardeners find themselves working in an environment dominated by shade. Among the many plants adapted to these conditions, hostas have emerged as the type most commonly used in totally or partially shaded gardens.

This website specializes in all things associated with the "Queen of the Shade", the Hosta. Thanks to Don Rawson, Past-President of the West Michigan Hosta Society, for creating this site back in the 1990s. He gathered a lot of good information on a few hundred hostas to share with other gardeners. Around 1999, Don turned the site over to us so he could devote more time to his own hosta garden. Since that time, we have greatly expanded the number of hostas to over 13,300 names (including duplicates and invalid ones) . Thanks for stopping by!


There are probably more than 11,000 different hostas with 6,115 cultivars registered with The American Hosta Society through 2019. Determining which ones fit the needs of your landscape can be a daunting task for the home gardener.

What are the traits that set one hosta apart from another hosta? Well, that is a complex question. We have tried to simplify some of that information in our Classifying Hostas Section.

Hosta Helper Collection - So far, we have included information on over 13,300 cultivar and species names in our database. This includes both registered and non-registered plants along with duplicate, incorrect or out-dated names. We also display 8,219 pictures of 4,061 different hostas that we have taken in public and private gardens, nurseries and at 17 National Conventions of The American Hosta Society. Over 2,000 of the pictures have been donated for display by 24 generous hostaphiles. You can find our complete listing of pictured and non-pictured hostas in alphabetical order in our Hosta Cultivar Section. 

 

 

Starting in about the 1930s, gardeners started becoming involved in using hostas in the landscape. Early pioneers such as Liberty Hyde Bailey and Eunice V. Fisher started organizing and hybridizing hostas. Way before them, plant explorers such as Philip von Siebold were exploring Asia and discovering hostas in the early 1800s.

We have created 413 short biographies for people who have contributed to the world of hostas in some way. This ranges from writing books about them like W. George Schmid's The Genus Hosta to people who have hybridized new cultivars such as Dr Ralph (Herb) Benedict and Mary Chastain.

Visit the Hostaphiles section to become familiar with this group of wonderful people who have chosen to become leaders in hybridizing, promoting and educating others about hostas.


With all the variety in sizes, shapes and colors of hosta leaves, stems and flowers, the possible number of combinations becomes mind boggling. To bring some organization to this chaotic problem, we have created a hosta database with information on all of the relevant hosta characteristics by cultivar and species. Also listed in the database are data on originators and hosta registrations.

 

As with many species of popular plants, hosta enthusiasts have joined together to form numerous international, national and local hosta groups to share their knowledge and joy in hosta gardening. 

Key to the hosta fan is The American Hosta Society which provides members with two printed versions of their wonderful publication, The Hosta Journal and one Online The Hosta Journal each year. They also hosta an annual convention in various parts of the country where you can meet other enthusiasts and see magnificent tour gardens.

The AHS offers many awards to its members for their contributions to the organization. They produce annual Hosta Popularity Poll results and are the home of the International Registrar for the Genus Hosta.

In addition to the national organization, there are many state, local and regional organizations devoted to hostas. There are also international groups such as the British Hosta and Hemrocallis Society and The Dutch Hosta Society.


Although hostas are often considered "low maintenance" plants, they are best when given at least some loving care. Also, in recent years, several pests and other problems have become more common as the number of hostas has multiplied in our landscapes.

Our Hosta Care pages will give you tips on pest problems, companion plants for hostas, soils, propagation, and much more.


We are happy to provide this hosta information to you. Our main website, presents a wide array of information on all types of landscape plants, hardscape, ponds, plant people, plant care, and famous gardens of the world. Click on the located at the bottom of this page to visit the various units.

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