How Hosta Change as They Mature

One of the things I found most challenging in my new gardens this year, aside from the surplus of pink sun-loving flowers, was how tall each plant would get, in particular the height of mature hosta in each variety I have.

I spent a week before my latest big garden do over looking up each variety and noting their mature height and spread. I used that information, along with color, to decide each plants place. A mature hosta can look so different from a young plant just purchased, that some of my choices look odd right now.

Hosta 'Rhino Hide'
Hosta ‘Rhino Hide’ has thick heavily waxed leaves good for deterring slugs.

Consider Hosta ‘Rhino Hide’, at maturity it will have a height of 20″ and a spread of 30″.

Hosta 'Blue Cadet' in front of Hosta 'Rhino Hide'
Hosta ‘Blue Cadet’ in front of Hosta ‘Rhino Hide’

But it still looks lost in behind a Hosta ‘Blue Cadet’ that is a year old from division. Blue Cadet should have a mature height of only 12″ and a spread of 30″.

Hosta 'Golden Meadows'
Hosta ‘Golden Meadows’

This one is Hosta ‘Golden Meadows’. At maturity it should reach a height of only 18″ and a spread of 36″. Right now, newly planted, it’s taller than ‘Rhino Hide’.

To make it even more complicated:

Mature Blue Cadet at my moms

Then just to muddy the waters even further, here is a mature Hosta ‘Blue Cadet’ in my mother’s garden. My mother intends to divide it next year, but it makes me wonder how true the expected height of 12″ really is. Of course she’s got crazy good dirt on her property too.

My mother tells me there can even be some variation in leaf patterning on mature hosta as opposed to newly planted hosta. Brims may get wider or more defined. The leaves themselves can also be much larger, noticeable when you compare my 1 year old Blue Cadet, to her more mature one.

Something tells me that even though I’m finished tweaking my gardens for this year, I’ll have more changes next year. It’s also highly likely there will be other additions to contend with. Who knows, a few years from now I could have a yard that’s just garden. I’m okay with that idea.

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