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Hosta Books

Can't get enough? The following independently published books may be of interest to you or someone you may know who loves gardening with Hostas.


The Book of Little Hostas: 200 Small, Very Small, and Mini Varieties 

Michael Shadrack, Kathy Guest Shadrack

Hostas are irresistible. Their sculptural leaves and appealing textures make it difficult to stop at one, and it is easy to fill a garden with them. Help is at hand with this attractive guide to the popular new small hostas that take up less space and are ideally suited to container cultivation. They can be used on their own or with companion plants to make charming displays on the patio, porch, or even windowsill.

Many small hostas are simply scaled-down versions of classic hostas, while others offer distinctly new attributes in terms of color, leaf shape, and patterning. Like full-size hostas, small hostas can be upright, flat, or cascading; there are varieties that are full of substance, and others that are fine and delicate; there are green ones, gold ones, blue ones, variegated ones, and splashed ones. Some are better garden plants than others, and a valuable function of this book is to showcase the very best of the new introductions. Photographs of the hostas in garden settings show how admirably they respond to imaginative display in a wide range of situations including waterside, woodland, and rock gardens.

Beautifully illustrated and highly informative, this handpicked selection of diminutive hostas will inspire hobbyists and gardeners alike and provide inspiration for new planting schemes.


The New Encyclopedia of Hostas 

Diana Grenfell, Michael Shadrack 

The lush, sculptural hosta is loved by gardeners for its ability to both combine well with other plants and project a strong presence when planted alone. The New Encyclopedia of Hostas—the second edition of Diana Grenfell and Michael Shadrack's classic work—provides growth and cultivation information for seven hundred cultivated hostas. 

Detailed, easy-to-read descriptions include growing tips, recommendations for landscape use, and suggestions for companion plants. Clear cultivation advice is provided, including recommendations for hostas that succeed in challenging environments, such as the warmer regions of the United States. Captivating photographs show hostas up close and in a wide range of different garden situations.

Gardeners will appreciate the depth and scope of this essential reference and use it time and again to help with plant selection and identification, and to inspire new plantings.


The Color Encyclopedia of Hostas 

Diana Grenfell, Michael Shadrack 

Hostas are consistently voted the gardener's favorite perennial — their clean lines, sumptuous leaves, and elegant flowers offer great potential for striking specimen plantings and also make them the most accommodating of companion plants. The core of this encyclopedia is a fully illustrated collection of the world's finest hostas. This valuable resource provides a full description and color photograph for more than 750 plants. Informative sections on hosta classification and botany, gardening ideas, advice on pests and diseases, and a quick-reference list of the best hostas for different purposes add depth to this comprehensive review of the present-day hosta. 


The Hostapedia: An Encyclopedia of Hostas 

Mark R. Zilis

The Hostapedia by Mark R. Zilis is a large 1125 page hard-bound encyclopedia featuring over 7400 hosta descriptions, A-Z. There are over 1897 color photos. This is the most definitive work on hostas to date. The author is the same who published the very popular Hosta Handbook which is out of print, but continues to be sought after by hosta collectors. The descriptive format for each hosta in this encyclopedia is nearly identical to that of the Hosta Handbook. That is, for each hosta, the following information is included: name, name of hybrid & hybridizer (if known), origin, history, description of hosta (size, coloration, habit, etc), flower, status of availability, author's comments, similar hosta types, significant sports and significant seedlings. This hosta guide is the ultimate guide for anyone interested in hosta information. Published in 2009 by the author's hosta nursery: Q & Z Nursery, Inc 


The Genus Hosta

W. George Schmid 

The first complete classification for the genus, this labor of love reflects the author's long fascination with hostas. All hostas known at the time of writing are detailed, including their 3500 names and synonyms in many languages (300 in Japanese kana). Practical information on growing hostas is just as complete and detailed. 



Timber Press Pocket Guide to Hostas 

Diana Grenfell, Michael Shadrack 

Boasting diverse leaf shape, size, color, and texture, it is no wonder that hostas continue to reign as the most popular perennial plants in North America. Not only are they the supreme plant for shade, but they also can be used in the landscape either as striking specimen plantings or as accommodating companion plants. Few pests bother them, and little maintenance is required, making hostas even more attractive to busy gardeners.

Each year a staggering number of new hostas are introduced. To assist gardeners and landscapers in selecting the right hosta for a particular situation, veteran plantswoman Diana Grenfell has teamed up with distinguished photographer Mike Shadrack in selecting 280 of the best hostas. Ranging from tried and true favorites to cutting edge newcomers bursting with potential, each plant has been handpicked for its superb performance in the landscape. An additional 545 hostas are briefly mentioned.