Hosta ‘Minuteman’ is considered one of the very best of all the white margined Hostas.
When you see large heart shaped leaves rippling with wide white edges, blue-green and prettily pleated and cupped, then it is easy to understand.
Lavender trumpets on summer spires are very showy on 45cm. stems.
Both flower stems and leaves are wonderful in a cut flower arrangement.
Similarly it is a stunner in a feature pot.
Where to grow in the garden
‘Minuteman’ is a medium to large growing Hosta, particularly noted for its vigour and rapid increase.
So you soon get a big clump of that striking foliage, which is very capable of suppressing weeds under trees and shrubs. Each plant has a diameter of around 80cm. approx.
With multiple plants you can really make a great shade groundcover.
Revels in Shade to Deep Shade, though ‘Minuteman’ can also happily have some Morning Sun, or Dappled Sun under trees.
The foliage has a waxy surface and substantial texture, so it is less prone to sun scorch, and is rated as amongst the most sun hardy of Hostas. Similarly the waxy, substantial leaves make it slightly less vulnerable to slug and snail attack.
Useful companion & ground-cover
Hostas are exceptionally good companions with early bulbs such as daffodils, as they have their timing just right to emerge with their glorious Hosta foliage, and cover up the dirty tea towels that the bulb foliage has become as it dies back.
They look spectacular mass planted, in either single or mixed variety, or as edges in the shade.
Keeping them in raised big tubs in the shade also gives you the opportunity to keep the snails at bay easily, as well as have a spectacular feature.
Both the flower spires and the leaves make lovely cut flowers and vase specimens.
Surprisingly dry tolerant
Hostas are surprisingly dry tolerant once established.
So despite an incorrect reputation, they are not thirsty plants once they have got their roots down.
Consequently drying out a little between waterings is actually to their taste.
They are reliably frost hardy, enjoy average to fertile soil with compost, and are happiest in a pH range just on either side of neutral.
So not hard to please at all.
Growing: Hosta ‘Minuteman’
– Height with flowers: Lavender spires of trumpets to 45cm. approx.
– Width: ‘Minuteman’ will quickly make a circle of 80cm. diameter approx. It makes an excellent groundcover.
– Position: Part Shade to Full Shade, though ‘Minuteman’ is rated as one of the most sun tolerant. It can take gentle Dappled Sun and Morning Sun.
– Soil: They enjoy average to fertile soil, and are happiest a pH in a range just on either side of neutral between 5.5 and 7.5. They love humus and organic matter in the soil. Clay soil will need to be opened up with compost for them.
– Frost: Very frost hardy to well below minus 10C.
– Growth: Herbaceous perennial clump. Deciduous in the winter and giving a colourful autumn foliage colour change.
– Fragrance: Not particularly for ‘Minuteman’, though some Hostas are deliciously fragrant.
Delicious culinary treat – if you can spare them from the garden
– Beneficial to wildlife: Bees of all breeds and small honey-eating birds love foraging the trumpet flowers for nectar. Holes bored in the base of the trumpet mean a big bee was too fat to get in the front door.
– Beware: Hosta leaf shoots and flowers are prized as delicious food in Japan, and they are not toxic to humans. However they are very toxic to dogs, cats and horses if they eat them. Sadly deer follow the Japanese, and eat them with enthusiasm and no upset tummies.
– Care: Easy care once established, and protected from slugs and snails (and deer).
– Deer & Rabbit resistant: Sadly rabbits and deer love eating them.
An interesting history
– Origin: Ground zero for Hostas was the shady forests of China. But even over 2,000 years ago gardeners in China, Japan, and Korea were collecting, trading and breeding them. They had taken European gardeners by storm by the 1830’s, when they began to be traded out of Japan.
– History: Named to commemorate the “Minutemen” of the American revolution of the 1870s. The “Minutemen” were volunteer militia-farmer forces, who pledged to be able to grab their guns and be ready to fight in one minute, should the call come. The name is apt, as Hosta ‘Minuteman’ grows with lightning speed compared to many Hostas.