2007 Benedict Garden Performance Medal
Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit
Registered by John Kulpa in 1989 as a “probable” sport of Hosta ‘Fortunei Hyacinthina’. In The Hosta Handbook, Mark Zilis says ’Whirlwind’ does not act anything like ‘Fortunei Hyacinthina’. In his book the Field Guide to Hostas, he says ’Second Wind’ (a green-leaves sport of Whirlwind’) is not at all like ‘Fortunei Hyacinthina’. (I found this information on The Hosta Helper).
THERE ARE A FEW LINKS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE FOR FURTHER READING.
When I was at Lowe’s on June 10, they had MANY really NICE Hosta. The problem was, most of them were from Monrovia, in larger pots, and a little more than I wanted to pay. Monrovia does have great plants for sure, though. They had several cultivars in smaller pots, but I either already had them or didn’t want them. I first decided on Hosta ‘Wide Brim’ but then I found another rack with Hosta ‘Whirlwind’ on several shelves. I looked through them and put back the ‘Wide Brim’ and brought this ‘Whirlwind’ home. I liked the thicker leaves of the ‘Whirlwind’ because that means better slug resistance (even though I don’t have a problem with slugs right now). I also liked the dark green color combination and the pointed leaves.
Besides the leaf color, it will have interesting leaves as well. Information online says ovate to heart-shaped, twisted, pointed, folded… On long petioles.
Family: Asparagaceae (formerly in Liliaceae)
Origin: Registered by John Kulpa in 1989.
Zones: USDA Zones 3a-8b (-40 to 15° F).
Size: 18-20” tall x 36” give or take.
Spacing: 36” apart.
Flowers: Lavender flowers in mid to late summer on 30” stems.
Leaves: Variegated leaves change color with age, heart-shaped, folded, twisted and pointed.
Light: Light to full shade.
Soil: Prefers moist, well-drained soil.
Water: Average water needs once established.
Propagation: Division every 3-5 years.
Uses: Attracts hummingbirds, shade garden, containers, etc.
Tolerates: Dry shade and high humidity.
Resistant: Information suggests this cultivar is slug and snail resistant.
I measured all the Hosta for a post on June 20 and 21. The clump of Hosta ‘Whirlwind’ measured 8″ tall x 15″ wide and was doing quite well.
Since I recently purchased this cultivar, I don’t have much experience to share. I was attracted to its nice thick, pointed, medium green leaves with its wide irregular dark green margins. However, after reading about this Hosta I find out the color of the leaves changes with age and temperature. The leaves emerge in the spring with creamy white margins then change to light green by midsummer. Then, as the summer progresses, the leaf center changes to dark green…
The largest Hosta ‘Whirlwind’ leaf was 3″ wide x 5 1/2″ long when the above photo was taken on June 21, 2018.
Hosta ‘Whirlwind’ did very well over the summer of 2018.
When I went to check to see what Hosta had started coming up on March 7, Hosta ‘Whirlwind’ had not made an appearance. Then, on March 24, I still couldn’t see it. It looked like some soil had washed over it over the winter so I ran my fingers through the dirt and found it starting to sprout. We didn’t have a very cold winter, but temperatures were up and down with a little more snow than last year. The rise and fall of the temps can cause roots to heave and do other weird things.
By April 7 when I took the above photo the Hosta ‘Whirlwind’ had a few more sprouts. Looks like it is getting ready to face the new year.
NOW WE ARE GETTING SOMEWHERE!
Hosta ‘Whirlwind’ is definitely one of those delightful and entertaining Hosta. Emerging in bright colors in the spring then darkening as the season progresses.
Hosta ‘Whirlwind’ is always a little different every time I look at it. By May 5, temps had been getting warm enough for the Hosta to start growing much better.
Its new leaves are always kind of twisted like it has been in a whirlwind.
Hosta ‘Whirlwind’ is now starting to flower.
The Hosta ‘Whirlwind’ is always a dazzler. Its leaves change color with age which just adds to its interest. It isn’t a big plant, but it puts on a big show!
Within a few days the tubular flowers of the Hosta ‘Whirlwind’ were opening.
August 11 was the last day I took photos of the plants in the shade bed in 2019. They had a great summer despite the Japanese Beetle invasion which wasn’t bad in 2019 as it was in 2018. It wasn’t as bad in 2019 because I had a trap right next to the shade beds. I had to keep an eye on them and water a little more often.
Spring was in the air when the above photo was taken on April 1 and the Hosta have been “working on it”. Most of them have been poking out of the ground for a while and now are beginning to turn green. They are a bit slow sometimes when cool temps linger, but as soon as it gets warm enough they will start growing better. It seems like they are waiting for the perfect opportunity.
The Hosta did great but I was fairly busy over the summer in 2020 so I didn’t get to take many photos. The plants in the shade bed did very well and we had rain off and on. Luckily, we didn’t have much of a problem with the Japanese Beetles like in 2018 and 2019, so the shade beds stayed shady…
If you are looking for an interesting Hosta that doesn’t take a lot of space, then ‘Whirlwind’ may be right for you. It is classed as a medium-sized Hosta that only grows 18-20” tall by about 36” wide. Walters Gardens says this Hosta has a habit like no other.
As with many Hosta cultivars, this one may do OK in the sun if it is provided with adequate moisture. Even though it may also be dry shade tolerant, all Hosta perform their ultimate best in good consistently moist soil. Well, it’s a good thing they are dry shade tolerant because sometimes I get behind watering.
I will continue adding more photos and information as time goes by.
If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on the “Like” below if you have visited this page. Click HERE for my page about the Hosta genus, growing information and sources. The links below are specifically for this cultivar. There are several good sources of Hosta somewhere toward the bottom on the right side of the page.