RED-LEAVED HOSTAS

Creating a red-leaved hosta has been the ardent pursuit of many hybridizers over the years, with relentless work and effort made to push the red into the hosta petioles and scapes- and ultimately into the leaf blade. As a result, many wonderful hybrids with attractive red petioles are now available. Some of the best known include ‘Almost’, ‘Cinnamon Sticks’, 'Designer Genes', 'Garnet Prince', 'One Man’s Treasure', 'Purple Heart', and 'Red October', to name but a few. But the holy grail of hostas- a red-leaved plant- has remained an elusive goal until a recent introduction came on the scene in early 2015.

Bob Solberg’s hosta 'First Blush'- the first hosta which can be said to have red foliage- is a small to medium plant which "...not only has red petioles that extend into the leaf blade, but also a thin red margin around the leaf, similar but much more dramatic than its parent ‘Beet Salad’."

Bob goes on to explain that "the most exciting thing about 'First Blush' is that in spring the leaf between the veins will start to ‘blush’ red from the tip of the leaf down toward the base. The leaves remain red here [in North Carolina] until temperatures surpass 92 degrees, usually into June. The color should persist longer in Northern gardens."

Bob intends to patent 'First Blush'. This new introduction is being propagated and will be offered by his nursery, Green Hill Farm.

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