The Hosta of the Year Award is voted on by members of the American Hosta Growers Association (AHGA), a group composed of wholesale and retail hosta growers across the country. The AHGA started the Hosta of the Year (HOTY) program in 1996 as a way to single out the best Hosta cultivars of the thousands of registered cultivars. They focus on selecting a plant with some outstanding feature that separates it from the masses of merely 'good' hostas.
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The main traits that Hosta of the Year award winners have are: exceptional foliage color or form, unusually showy or fragrant flowers, and exceptional performance in hardiness zones 3-9. The AHGA selects a cultivar for Hosta of the Year only if it has a proven track record, is widely available and is inexpensive. Our owner, Tony Avent, loves shade garden plants and has a huge collection of hostas in his 10 acre garden. Plant Delights strives to sell the best hostas on the market (as well as other perennials for shade) and we always include a number of the past Hosta of the Year award winners in our catalog. Our personal favorites (which include blue hostas and gold hostas) are well represented on this list. If you are looking for tough, reliable, flowering shade plants, Hosta of the Year award winners cannot be beat.
Since 1988, Plant Delights Nursery has been the choice of serious gardeners and plant collectors looking for the best and rarest perennial plants. We are pleased to have received the Perennial Plant Association Retail Award in 2011, the American Horticulture Society Commercial Award in 2002, and to have been selected as one of the Best Mail Order Plant Nurseries - Garden Design Magazine 2010. Welcome to our family of plant lovers!
From the late hosta wild man, Chuck Purtymun, comes this still hard-to-find gem. Hosta 'Abiqua Drinking Gourd' (Hosta 'Tokudama' x Hosta sieboldiana) has round, cardboard-like, deeply-cupped, powder-blue leaves on a 2' wide clump. In early summer, the clumps are topped with white flowers. In a garden, few hostas will evoke more favorable comments! Pot Size: 3 qt. (2.83 L)
From England comes this wildly popular, creamy-centered sport of the old standard Hosta 'Halcyon'. Each leaf emerges with blue edges and a brilliant creamy center that gradually changes to dark chartreuse. This is one of those shockingly beautiful hostas that stands out as soon as you spot it in the garden. We recommend some morning sun for best coloration. The 3' wide clumps of Hosta 'June' are topped with light violet flowers on 20" scapes in early summer...attractive to hummingbirds. Pot Size: 2 qt. (1.892 L)
This mutation of Hosta 'Paul's Glory' emerges with a green center and green edge in spring. Quickly, the center turns to yellow and, as the season progresses, it transforms to parchment white. The edge stays dark green and provides a dramatic contrast. Each 42" wide clump is topped in July with 2' tall scapes of pale lavender flowers...a hummingbird treat. Pot Size: 3 qt. (2.83 L)
Hosta 'Paradigm' is a sport of Hosta 'Abiqua Recluse' (Hosta 'White Vision' x Hosta 'Sum and Substance'), introduced by the late Chuck Purtymun of Walden West Nursery. Hosta 'Paradigm' forms a 3' wide clump of glossy, bright gold foliage surrounded by a wide, dark blue-green border. Hosta 'Paradigm' is a fast-growing clump, topped in early summer with 2' tall scapes of light lavender flowers that attract hummingbirds. Pot Size: 2 qt. (1.892 L)
Amazing...the 2011 Hosta of the Year! Perhaps we should call this the un-hosta, since Hosta 'Praying Hands' is the most un-hosta looking hosta to ever hit the market. Each small, 2' wide clump is composed of strangely folded, dark green crinkled leaves, each with a narrow, creamy yellow border. Indeed, a clump resembles a multitude of hands folded in prayer. Due to First Amendment restrictions, Hosta 'Praying Hands' cannot be planted near courthouses in Alabama or near any Federal government building. The upright clumps are topped with 18" spikes of light lavender flowers...a hummingbird treat in late summer. This sets a new standard for "unique" in the hosta world. Pot Size: 2 qt. (1.892 L)
Would it be too bold to say Hosta 'Stained Glass' is one of the best new hostas to hit the market in the last decade? Oh well, no one has ever accused us of lacking an opinion. This Hans Hansen introduction is a marked improvement on the wildly popular Hosta 'Guacamole' from which it mutated. The brilliantly shiny, golden foliage is surrounded by a 2" wide, dark green margin. This incredibly vigorous sun-tolerant grower makes a 3-4' wide clump topped in late summer with large, very fragrant, light lavender flowers...a hummingbird celebration! Hosta 'Stained Glass' is absolutely fantastic...do not live without this hosta for another day! Pot Size: 3 qt. (2.83 L)
Hosta 'Sum and Substance' is considered to be one of the finest hostas ever introduced. The giant chartreuse clump is a knockout, topped by 30" tall scapes of hummingbird-acclaimed pale lavender flowers in midsummer. Each rounded leaf of Hosta 'Sum and Substance' can reach 2' across, while clumps average 6' wide for good gardeners and may reach more than 9'...great for neighborhood bragging rights! Hosta 'Sum and Substance' is one of the few tetraploid hostas, so no garden seedlings. Pot Size: 3 qt. (2.83 L)
This spectacular introduction was touted as the best new hosta of the 1990s! This sport of Hosta 'Fortunei Hyacinthina' has a wide central band of white that contrasts dramatically with the darkest rich green leaf we have seen. In dense shade, the central variegation tends to fade in summer. The 3' wide clumps of Hosta 'Whirlwind' are topped with lavender flowers in midsummer. Pot Size: 2 qt. (1.892 L)