Hosta Minuteman vs. Hosta Patriot: What’s the Difference?

Written by Carrie Woodward
Published: October 21, 2022
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Gardeners love to find low-maintenance plants that are easy to grow and care for, have lush foliage, and can thrive in parts of the garden that are shady or get indirect sunlight. For that reason, plants in the Hosta genus, also known as plantain lilies, are popular perennials that bring beautiful greenery and interesting texture to the most remote corners of a yard or garden throughout spring, summer, and fall. Some of their bell-shaped flowers even emit a pleasant fragrance!

This article will discuss the key differences between two Hosta variations: Minuteman and Patriot. Let’s get started!

Comparing Hosta Minuteman vs. Hosta Patriot

As a hardy perennial, hostas can be planted in USDA hardiness zones 3-9 but flourish least in hot climates in full sun.

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MinutemanPatriot
Scientific ClassificationBelongs to the Hosta genus and Asparagaceae family.Belongs to the Hosta genus and Asparagaceae family.
DescriptionA Minuteman leaf is a bold, darker green at the center than its Patriot counterpart, with gleaming white edges.The edges of a Patriot leaf are white, surrounding bold green centers.
SizeMature plants grow up to 18 inches tall with a spread of 30 inches.Mature plants grow about 20 inches tall with a spread of up to 51 inches.
OriginHostas are native to Asia, particularly China, Japan, and Korea.Hostas are native to Asia, particularly China, Japan, and Korea.
Growing PreferencesOutdoors; it grows best in USDA zones 3-9 and flourishes most in part or full shade.Outdoors; it grows best in USDA zones 3-8 and can withstand full sun, part shade, or full shade.

Describing Minuteman and Patriot Hostas

Plants in the genus Hosta, referred to as “hostas,” are perennials with many different cultivars and varieties. Hostas originally come from Asia and are now a popular landscaping staple in the United States. They grow in clumps that rise 1.5 to 2.5 feet tall, and while they do flower, they are not known for their blossoms. Rather, hostas are distinctive due to their large, striking foliage.

The Minuteman and Patriot hostas are no different. Both have bright green leaves surrounded by stark white borders. This makes them strikingly beautiful when planted in perennial garden beds, used to line rock or shade gardens, or in other landscaping borders.

Key Differences Between Minuteman and Patriot Hostas

The key differences between Minuteman and patriot hostas include size, leaf color, flowers, classification, and growing preferences.

Minuteman and Patriot hostas look so similar that many gardeners have difficulty telling them apart!

Minuteman vs. Patriot: Size

Patriot hosta is more suitable for conditions with lots of sun.

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One way that the Minuteman and Patriot hostas differ is their maturity size. Minuteman hostas grow to be up to 18 inches tall with a spread of 30 inches. While Patriot hostas grow only slightly taller, up to 20 inches, they can achieve a spread of up to 51 inches.

Minuteman vs. Patriot: Leaf Color

Minuteman hosta foliage typically has a darker green center and brighter white edge. In contrast, Patriot hosta foliage may initially have edges that are more of a creamy white rather than “pure” white.

Minuteman vs. Patriot: Flowers

Both the Minuteman and Patriot hostas will bloom with bell-shaped flowers during the spring or summer, rising out of the mound of foliage on vertical scapes, leafless stems that arise from the crown of the plant. These lavender flowers add an additional layer of color and vibrancy!

Minuteman vs. Patriot: Hosta Classification and Origins

Both the Minuteman and Patriot are part of the Hosta plant genus, which is a member of the Asparagaceae family. Historically, Hosta was classified in the Liliaceae family, and hostas were known as “plantain lilies.” The genus originates in Asia, particularly China, Japan, Korea, and parts of Russia, but gained its name from a botanist named Leopold Trattinnick in 1812. Trattinnick, an Austrian, named the genus Hosta in honor of a fellow Austrian botanist named Nicholas Thomas Host.

Minuteman vs. Patriot: Growing Preferences

Minuteman hostas grow to be up to 18 inches tall with a spread of 30 inches.

©iStock.com/RobsonPL

In general, both the Minuteman and Patriot hostas will thrive in full or part-shade conditions with consistent watering. As a hardy perennial, hostas can be planted in USDA hardiness zones 3-9 but flourish least in hot climates in full sun. However, the Patriot hosta is much more resilient in full sun than its counterpart, the Minuteman hosta. While both can thrive in the shade, the Patriot hosta is more suitable for conditions with lots of sun.

Each year, the plants will bloom with lavender-colored flowers and have bold foliage that lasts until early autumn, at which point it may be trimmed to the ground.

Bottom Line…

Both Minuteman and Patriot hosta varieties are beautiful, lush additions to any garden and can grow well with relatively little attention. Plant either one in a shady part of your yard or garden and enjoy their bright green foliage with eye-catching white edges year after year.

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The Featured Image

Hosta minuteman in garden.
Hosta minuteman in garden.
© iStock.com/RobsonPL

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About the Author

Carrie is a writer, bookworm, and fan of all types of plants and animals. Her apartment is home to more than dozen different houseplants and she aspires to adopt more in the near future. You can usually find Carrie walking the shores of Lake Michigan or reading a book under the trees in Chicago's Lincoln Park.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Do hosta plants come back every year?

Hosta plants are fairly low-maintenance and will return reliably each year with foliage from spring to fall. Their beautiful foliage and blooms make hostas a perennial of choice among many gardens, as their lush appearance adds beauty to any garden.

Do hostas multiply?

Yes, hostas can spread, both through the dispersion of seeds or through underground runners, or “stolons,” which stay in the soil to form shoots that come to the surface at the ends of nodes, allowing the plant to grow.

How big do Minuteman hostas get?

Minuteman hostas grow to be up to 18 inches tall with a spread of 30 inches

How can you tell apart Minuteman and Patriot hostas?

Though Minuteman and Patriot hostas are remarkably similar in appearance, Minuteman hostas often display foliage with a darker green center and brighter white edge, while Patriot hosta foliage may have edges that are more of a creamy white rather than “pure” white.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

Sources
  1. University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, Available here: https://extension.uga.edu/publications/detail.html?number=C955
  2. Illinois Cooperative Extension, Available here: https://extension.illinois.edu/blogs/garden-scoop/2020-08-01-hostas
  3. North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Available here: https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/hosta/
  4. Academic Dictionary, Available here: https://en-academic.com/dic.nsf/enwiki/1979590
  5. Missouri Botanical Garden, Available here: https://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?taxonid=281958&isprofile=0&