Cheatin Heart Hosta: A Miniature Beauty with Radiant Foliage

‘Cheatin Heart’ Hosta is a miniature yellow hosta, known for its small size and bright yellow leaves. A splendid choice for adding a pop of color to rock gardens, containers, and small spaces. Read on and learn more about this charming little plant.

‘Cheating Heart’ Hosta Plant

Standing at 6-8 inches tall and 15-18 inches wide, Hosta ‘Cheatin Heart’ adds a pop of vibrant color to your garden with its bright gold leaves that change to chartreuse with more shade.

A note at the Hosta Library states that the plant can take on an orange-gold color with more sun.

It forms a nice golden mound when planted individually or in small groups.

While only a moderate grower, this little hosta does well as a ground cover carpeting small areas with a golden carpet.

The American Hosta Society Registrar lists ‘Cheatin Heart’ as a miniature. However, as the height is at the upper height limit for minis, some growers list it as a small hosta.

Appearance and Characteristics

Height:

7-8 Inches

Spread:

15-18 Inches

Size Classification:

Miniature

Plant Habit:

Mound

Foliage Color:

Yellow

Sunlight:

Part Sun to Light Shade

Growth Rate:

Moderate

Scape Height:

8 Inches

Flower Color:

Light Lavender

Bloom Time:

Mid-Season

Fragrant:

No

Ploidy:

Diploid 2-2-2

Flowers

Flowers appear on 8-inch yellow scapes in summer. Purple buds open to  1 ½ inch tubular flowers that are sometimes described as light purple but more often light lavender in color.

The History of Hosta ‘Cheatin Heart’

‘Cheatin heart’ Hosta is a selection from the cross of an unnamed F-2 seedling of Hosta ‘Subcrocea’ and Hosta ‘Birchwood Gem’.

The originator and registrant of Hosta ‘Cheatin Heart’ is William (Bill) Zumbar of Alliance, Ohio. Bill registered the four-year-old plant in 1995.

‘Cheatin Heart’ Hosta in the Garden

‘Cheatin Heart’ does well in bright to light shade. While it takes more sun than many dwarf hostas, exposure to hot summer sun can easily damage the plant.  

It does well as a ground cover, making a gold carpet in semi-shade. The plant also displays well in small clusters.

An excellent plant in mixed containers because of its size and color.

Propagation

The home gardener can easily propagate this plant by division. The seed is viable if you are interested in hybridizing. ‘Cheating Heart’ is a diploid 2-2-2 (see footnote 1 in the link).

Availability

This plant is readily available online. You should find a few local sources in areas where hostas are in high demand.

Hosta Cheatin Heart leaves in shade.
An Example of Hosta Cheatin Heart showing chartreuse coloring when growing in the shade.

Doppelgangers

Hosta ‘Cassandra’

A small hosta that is hard to find. Leaf color is chartreuse to gold, however, the plant is more chartreuse in color than ‘Cheatin Heart’. Nice display of darker lavender flowers in the summer.

Registered in 1985 by Wally Wagner.

Sports

‘Change of Heart’ Hosta

Growing to about 8 inches tall, most would call this a small hosta, though some list it as a miniature. Leaves have a gold center and white margin.

Between the two primary colors is a faint outline of green. Plant Delights calls it “a green pattern shadowing the border between the two primary colors”.

Light lavender flowers appear in the summer on 8-inch scapes.

This plant is not listed in the Hosta Registry. Originator: Hans Hansen.

‘Faithful Heart’ Hosta

Yellow-golden wavy leaves with a green margin grace this small, fast-growing hosta. Lavender flowers in the summer.

Registered in 1995 by Kirk Brill.

‘Illicit Affair’ Hosta

Myhostas.be describes this small hosta best. “Comes up in the spring with bright gold leaves looking just like ‘Cheatin Heart’, but then develops a green center. By mid-season, the center is dark green. The second flush is again initially gold, contrasting well with the older leaves.”

Originator: Winterberry Farms & J. Anderson – Registered in 2003 by Jim Anderson.

Hosta ‘Stolen Kiss’

The sport ‘Stolen Kiss’ is frequently attributed to ‘Cheatin Heart’ but is most likely a second-generation sport of ‘Cheatin Heart’ from ‘Emerald Scepter’ according to Tony Avent (Hosta Journal 2002 Volume 1).

This plant is not listed in the Hosta Registry. Originator: Jim Anderson.

What Others Are Saying

Plants Galore lists further details about the plant from several well-known hosta authorities.

Additional images are available at the Hosta Library.

Registration information is available at the American Hosta Society Registrar.

Why Grow Hosta ‘Cheatin Heart’

If you are looking for a gold miniature hosta to plant in a bright location, ‘Cheating Heart’ could be the plant you want. Great name as well.

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