Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’
Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ is an enchanting feature in the shade.
Tiny blue-grey leaves, shaped just like mouse ears, grow as a tight, neat, symmetrical and decorative clump.
Blue little mouse ears in shade
Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ is a miniature Hosta, and has taken the shade gardening world by storm in the last few years.
Because it is so very cute, especially as a decorative pot (and pot culture also helps protect it from slugs and snails). Gardeners cant resist having one as a pet, and it is perfect for small gardens and rockeries, as well as pots.
Spires of lilac & lavender striped flowers
Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ is topped with 20cm. spires of trumpet shaped, lilac and lavender striped flowers in spring.
And though Hostas are of course chiefly known for their dazzling foliage, they are also beautiful flowering plants.
Plus they make excellent cut flowers, and have lovely autumn foliage colours as a bonus.
(Skip to “Growing” section below for plant details, how / where to grow).
Prizewinning Mouse Ears
So no wonder Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ has received the prestigious “Award of Garden Merit” from the Royal Horticultural Society, awarded for all round garden performance and hardiness, as well as “Hosta of the Year 2008” from the American Hosta Society. Because everyone is simply enchanted.
Dispelling the myth of “Water Guzzling” Hostas
Hostas have had a mistaken reputation as being “water guzzlers”. But their excellent performance and tough persistence during recent droughts has put that myth to bed.
So Hostas require minimal water, once they are established in the shaded conditions they love.
Hostas with bulbs for succession of colour
Hostas and bulbs cohabit in the garden very successfully, and ensure a succession of colour, because the Hostas are quite late starters. So they are coming up and unfurling their colourful leaves, just as you are in need of something to cover the dirty rags of the bulb foliage dying down.
So Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ can look wonderful in a decorative pot planted with miniature bulbs like Crocus.
Help the birds to your garden
Hostas help attract helpful birds to your garden, because small native honey-eating birds love sipping from the nectar rich flower trumpets.
Tips for thwarting those evil slugs and snails
Slugs and snails are the bane of Hosta lovers. And certainly there is nothing more disappointing than seeing the beautiful leaves unfurl with rows of holes punched through them.
But there is much you can do.
And Hostas are such beautiful, hardy, useful colour in the shade, that it is worth thwarting those dratted slugs and snails.
Firstly choose more resistant varieties
Slugs and snails are less inclined to eat Hosts varieties that have thick, waxy leaves. Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ is one of these, with the textured, blue-grey leaves thick enough to give some resistance to slugs and snails. Although it is a good idea to also protect your plants, especially in the open garden.
And mulch your Hostas with sharp coarse gravel
Gravel thwarts the slimey marauders, as they can’t crawl cross it. And the gravel also keeps your Hosta roots cool, so it can grow even more spectacular leaves.
Copper collars to place around the plant and physically protect it are also available. And they are very effective as slugs and snails cannot slime across the copper.
Grow your Hosta in a raised pot
Hostas make excellent pot specimens for shaded places, and it is then easy to protect from the slimey bandits.
Make sure your snail traps are on duty from late winter onwards
Because most of the snail damage is done as the new leaves push their noses up in late winter and early spring. So whatever snail traps you favour, make sure they are at the ready from late winter on.
The leaves are in less danger once they are higher.
Personally I like the idea of beer traps, because at the least the slimy foes die happy.
Growing: Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’
– Height with flowers: Summer flower spires to 20cm. approx.
– Width: A tight, neat clump to a diameter of approx. 25cm.
– Position: Dappled shade to Deep Shade, though Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ is one of the varieties that can tolerate and thrive with a little dappled morning sunlight. Gentle morning dappled sunlight is preferred as protection from any hot afternoon sun is needed. Hostas are perfectly happy in either deciduous or evergreen shade.
– Soil: Hostas prefer retentive soil because their natural habitat is amongst the leaf litter under trees and shrubs. So soils from loam to clay based are preferred. They also enjoy mulch because they are woodland plants. Likewise they prefer soil pH from neutral to acid, so they are natural companions with Camellias, Rhododendrons, Azaleas and other acid loving plants. Though ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ is more tolerant of some lime than many other Hostas.
– Frost: Hostas are extremely frost hardy, and are able to withstand severe frost to at least -25C.
– Water-wise: Hostas are water-wise shade plants. So once they are established they require minimal extra water, and have proved drought resistant. Normal, average garden watering is ample.
– Growth: Herbaceous perennial, which has a winter dormancy. Because Hostas begin growth fairly late in spring, they are ideal companions for bulbs.
– Beneficial for wildlife: Bees and small native honey eating birds adore the spires of trumpet flowers, as they are rich in both pollen and nectar.
– Care: Hostas are easy care, low maintenance plants, as long as you implement your slug and snail protection. Once they are established, the only other work is to tidy up the spent foliage at the end of autumn.
– Deer & Rabbit resistant: Unfortunately deer regard them as salad, and rabbits are not far behind them.
– Edible: Hostas are deliciously edible, and the young shoots are a prized delicacy is some Asian cuisines. However please be aware that they are toxic to horses. Unfortunately they are not toxic to deer.
– Origin: Hostas originated in the wild amongst the forests in China. But they were brought into gardens by Chinese gardeners before the time of Christ. And from here they spread to other Asian gardeners, particularly in Japan. So ever more beautiful colours and fancy variegations have been bred by gardeners for well over 2,000 years. It is love at first sight, which becomes obsession. with Hostas.