Streaked Hostas, About Streaked Hosta

Streaked hostas produce leaves with irregular patterns of white, yellow, gren, or blue. Each leaf of these hostas is unique, and will vary from year to year. Not only are these hostas useful for breeding, the plants are also striking additions to gardens!

However, streaked hostas are prone to reverting, and gardeners should remove any leaves or divisions that have reverted to a solid color. If this is not done, the entire plant will revert. Examples of these fascinating hostas are:

streaked hostas Hosta Galaxy from
H. ‘Galaxy’
Hosta William Lachman from
H. ‘William Lachman’
Hosta Ice Age Trail from
H. ‘Ice Age Trail’
Hosta Dorothy Benedict from
H. ‘Dorothy Benedict’

Search the HostaSearch Database for streaked hostas under leaf characteristics.

Instability in streaked-type hostas

In general, hostas are unstable compared to most plants. Streaked hostas are particularly unstable. Normal hosta leaves have two layers of tissue – the layer around the edge and the layer in the center of the leaf; this difference results in the typical margined or medio variegation. In streaked-type hostas, the two tissue layers are mixed together, and are constantly working to separate or group together in order to form a more stable plant. (Gardeners wishing to keep their streaked hostas should remove leaves that are reverting.)

In addition to their unique beauty, another benefit of these hostas lie in their genetics. Streaked-type hostas are the only reliable way to grow variegated seedlings. Seed collected from solid colored and/or marginal or medio variegated hostas normally only result in solid-colored seedlings. Seed collected from streaked hostas will usually result in a percentage of streaked seedlings.

Stable streaked hostas

There are a few varietes of hostas that reliably remain streaked with little or no special care. The streaks in these stable hostas are usually more uniform and more evenly distributed across the entire leaf. The coloration is generally more subdued in these plants as well. It is unknown why these streaked hostas are stable, but the difference also affects the seedlings from these plants. Stable streaked hostas usually produce a very low percentage of streaked seedlings, and are of little interest to hybridizers who are hybridizing for variegation. These special hostas are much easier to propagate in tissue culture, so are usually available more cheaply than most streaked hostas.

The following Hostas are considered stable streaked Hostas:

Hosta Spilt Milk from
H. ‘Spilt Milk’
Hosta London Fog from
H. ‘London Fog’