There are around 10,000 named cultivars and species of hostas. So, how do you decide which ones to use in your landscape? Physical traits such as size, leaf color, variegation and clump form are probably the key traits that most people consider. However, this does not narrow the field very much.

One more factor to consider would be those hostas which have received major awards or have been recommended by people who know hostas. We have accumulated information from a wide variety of sources and have divided it into two categories: Awards and Recommendations.

Click on a link to see a listing of the winners or recommended hostas from The Hosta Helper database.


I. Each year, The American Hosta Society offers three awards that include naming an outstanding hosta as part of the process. These include:
  1. Alex J. Summers Distinguished Merit Award and Alex J. Summers Distinguished Merit Hosta - Named for one of the originators of the society and its first president, this award goes to a person who has contributed service to the AHS and/or to the genus Hosta in general. The winner gets to name an outstanding hosta during his or her acceptance address.

  2. Eunice Fisher Distinguished Hybridizer Merit Award and Eunice Fisher Distinguished Merit Hosta - This is the highest award for outstanding work in hybridizing new hosta cultivars. The winner names one of his or her favorite hybrids.

  3. The Benedict Garden Performance Medal - Named for hosta pioneer Dr. Ralph (Herb) Benedict, this award is determined by a committee of The American Hosta Society. Plants chosen for the award are recognized for their superior garden performance. Plants may be nominated by originators or by the committee. There are three levels to this award:

    1. Honorable Mention Award - The base recognition if for plants that are widely grown in home landscapes and that have been registered for at least 3 years prior to selection. These hostas become eligible for the next level in future years.

    2. Award of Merit - The second highest award for garden performance is for those plants considered superior is some ways to others in the Honorable Mention group. These plants are eligible for the top award.

    3. Benedict Garden Performance Medal - One or two plants from the Award of Merit group are chosen for the ultimate award in this category. These are hostas that have been shown to give maximum performance in terms of beauty, reliability and low maintenance in the home garden.

II. Hosta of the Year - Since 1996, the American Hosta Growers Association has sponsored the Hosta of the Year promotion. It is selected by a vote of the membership to single out hostas that grow well in all regions of the U.S., are widely available at nurseries and can retail for about $15.00.

III. Proven Winners Hostas - A nursery association runs the Proven Winners National Plant of the Year program which covers a wide variety of plants. It is to highlight excellent hostas for use by growers and gardeners nationwide. Hostas are chosen from those in the Proven Winners Perennials brands.




Many books, gardening magazines, gardening organizations, hosta websites and other sources often make recommendations for what they consider to be outstanding hostas for use in the home landscape. Over the years, we have gathered many of these lists together and have added the information to our database.

  1. Hosta Popularity Poll. from The American Hosta Society's

  2. Mark Zilis' books including The Hostapedia, The Hosta Handbook and Field Guide to Hostas

  3. W. George Schmid book The Genus Hosta

  4. Diana Grenfell books including The New Encyclopedia of Hostas

  5. The Hosta Journal of The American Hosta Society

  6. Mark Zilis' All-Stars

  7. Mr PGC Classics from The Hosta Helper

  8. Better Homes and Gardens Magazine

  9. Fine Gardening Magazine

  10. Home and Garden TV

  11. National Gardening Association

  1. Accent Plants - focal point plants in the landscape
  2. Blue-Green - hostas with exceptional blue-green foliage
  3. Breeders - plants that are or should be used by hybridizers
  4. Corrugation - hostas with high levels of leaf corrugation
  5. Classics - long-term recognized hostas
  6. Edgers - smaller plants that work well as edging plants in beds & borders
  7. Favorites - personal favorites
  8. Flowers - hostas with outstanding displays of flowers
  9. Foliage - hostas with "sturdy" foliage
  10. Fragrance - Fragrant flower types
  11. Giant - outstanding very large size clumps
  12. Green - hostas with exceptional green foliage
  13. Groundcover - plants the spread quickly
  14. Marginal - hostas with marginal variegation
  15. Medial - hostas with medial (center) variegation
  16. Sellers - reported by nurseries as being Best Selling Hostas
  17. Species - several of the species of hosta are also recommended
  18. Upright - those with an upright or vase shaped form
  19. Yellow - outstanding yellow to golden-yellow foliage

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