With so many varieties of hosta now available it is no surprise that as well as solid coloured and variegated varieties there are also streaked varieties. Unlike variegated varieties that have a centre colour and a different colour around the edge, streaked varieties have colour running through the leaves and it can be rather irregular.
It is important to know before growing streaked varieties, that they can be incredibly unstable and require more attention than your everyday varieties.
How to keep your streaked hostas streaky
Keeping your streaked varieties streaked isn't always an easy job. On the nursery, we are diligent to observe the streaked varieties throughout the season, if any reversions occur we divide these out immediately to prevent the whole plant reverting to a solid colour. This can be time consuming and sometimes frustrating, but important to maintain your plants colouration.
Steaked varieties cannot be planted into the ground and left like standard varieties as you will simply loose them to reversion in a short time.
Why are streaked hostas so expensive?
As beautiful as streaked hostas are, they are particularly expensive. As growers, we always try and make our plants as affordable as possible but simply put, streaked varieties are too unstable for us to sell like normal varieties. If you imagine in a tray of 10 plants of a standard variety we would be able to sell all 10, with a streaked variety there is a high chance that a large number of the plants will revert and we may only be able to sell 3-5. Some streaked varieties are also slow growing which makes propagation slower so they are less readily available.
As well as general difficulties propagating new plants, there is also the need to maintain the plants available for sale. This takes time and some may need reversion removed once or twice a season.
Similarly to streaked varieties, speckled hostas do not have a conventional solid or variegated colouration. Speckled hostas tend to be a little more reliable than streaked varieties although their colour is not quite as striking.