Virtues: Since 1996, the American Hosta Growers Association has singled out one superb variety each year to help nursery owners and gardeners alike choose among the hundreds on the market. Winning hostas are good growers in all regions, widely available and relatively inexpensive. In 2017 the Hosta of the Year is ‘Brother Stefan’. It is treasured for its large size, thick, textural leaves and slug resistance. ‘Brother Stefan’ provides color and heft in part shade or shade.
Common name: ‘Brother Stefan’ hosta
Botanical name: Hosta ‘Brother Stefan’
Exposure: Part shade to shade.
Season: Spring through fall for foliage; late spring to early summer for flowers.
Flowers: ‘Brother Stefan’ blooms in late spring or early summer, with white, tubular flowers that rise just above the leaves. Hosta flowers feed bees and hummingbirds.
Foliage: Named 2017 Hosta of the Year, ‘Brother Stefan’ is beloved for its leaves. They are large and nearly round, with a thick dark green margin surrounding a bright green center. The margin can look blue in spring, while the center has a yellowish tone. ‘Brother Stefan’ foliage is thick, making it resistant to slugs. It has excellent texture.
Habit: ‘Brother Stefan’ host grows to 20 inches tall and 36 inches wide.
Origins: Bred by host hybridizer Olga Petryszyn, who named this selection after her brother as an honor on his birthday. It is a hybrid of hostas ‘King Tut’ and ‘Mildred Seaver’. Introduced in 1998. Chosen as 2017 Hosta of the Year by the American Hosta Growers Association.
How to grow ‘Brother Stefan’ hosta: As a Hosta of the Year, ‘Brother Stefan’ is easy to grow in all regions. Site it in part or full shade, in average soil with good drainage. Hostas prefer even moisture, but once they are established they can withstand some periods of drought. USDA Zones 3–9.
See past winners of the Hosta of the Year award.
Image courtesy of Perennial Resource/Walters Gardens.