Saturday, June 27, 2009

Hosta "Sports"

Hostas are native to Japan, China and Korea. They were first grown and imported into the United States in the late 1800's. Originally hostas were green. Because of hybridizing (seedlings) or mutations called "sports" we now have thousands of different cultivars of hostas. A "sport" is the mutation of a plant. These mutations or sports are discovered in the wild, public and private gardens, nurseries and maybe in your own garden. A sport is a genetic change in part of the plant producing a shoot different from the parent plant. In the picture above, this is what the hosta "Gold Standard" should look like.

This is "Gold Standard" with a mutation. The mutation is white, green and lime green.




If you find a sport in your hosta. Carefully divide the hosta and remove the sport. Plant the sport as a separate new plant. It is important that the sport plant is stable and that it continues to regrow looking the same year after year. If it is stable and really different, you may have a new cultivar for the hosta market and one that can be registered with the American Hosta Society. To learn more about hostas consider joining the American Hosta Society (see the link).


Now go check that garden for a sport!











Happy Gardening!

The Creative Gardener

6 comments:

Ben said...

WOW that's a nice sport. Better then some of the hosta's on the market. Can't wait to see it next year be sure to keep us updated.

Tatyana said...

Very interesting!Thank you Debbie!

Rosey Pollen said...

I guess Hostas "sports are a name I have never heard. I like it though. Love your pictures of hostas. Striking!
Rosey

gardenerprogress/Catherine said...

I haven't noticed any sports, but now I will keep any eye out for them. The one you found really is pretty!

~~Rhonda said...

Love your 'Gold Standard' sport. We've got several hostas sporting this year. 'Janet' has an all green sport. We've already divided out the sport on 'Orange Marmalade' and we have an unknown hosta with a sport, too. Fun! ~~Rhonda

Joanne said...

Hi Very interesting I will go look but can't remember seeing any on my hosta. They are fun to grow from seed too but you need a lot of time and patience the Siebaldi types are most rewarding.