How To Care For Your Hostas

Hostas are shade perennial plants that bloom in the summer. The tubular flowers come in white, lavender, blue, or purple. The plant’s foliage can be green, yellow or blue along with variegated varieties. Proper hosta care can give you long living plants. 

Step 1: Planting, transplanting and dividing hostas

Hostas should be planted, transplanted and divided in the spring or late summer. Hostas grow well in any kind of soil but they prefer slightly acidic soil. 

Step 2: Planting hostas

Be sure to plant hostas in well draining soil because hostas that sit in water are prone to root and crown rot. Dig a hole twice as deep as the root ball and place the hosta in the hole. The crown of the hosta should be above the soil. Fill the hole in with soil but be careful not to cover the crown of the hosta. Water the hosta regularly to establish the roots. 

Step 3: Watering hosta plants

Hostas require a lot of water. They need at least 1 inch of water a week. It is best to water hostas with a drip soaker hose so the foliage doesn’t get wet. You want to keep the foliage dry to control the development of disease. 

Step 4: Fertilizing hosta plants

Hostas are hardy plants that need little fertilization. They can benefit from a slow release fertilizer applied in the spring when growth emerges from the ground. Note that too much nitrogen fertilizer can wilt foliage and make the foliage susceptible to disease. Also the pattern of variegated foliage can be diminished with an abundant presence of nitrogen. 

Step 5: Deadheading and maintaining hosta plants

Deadheading allows the plant to use water and nutrients for the roots and crown of the plant instead of seed pods. Cut off the flower stem after blooming. Remove any dead foliage at the end of the season to prevent a slug problem. 

Step 6: Hosta Care

Applying 1 inch of mulch around the hostas helps reduce weeds, retain moisture and stop soil compaction. Do not add a heavy layer of mulch because too much mulch can make conditions right for slugs. Water the hosta plants in the morning so the mulch dries before night. 

Step 7: Dividing Hosta Plants

Divide hostas when they become oversized or you want more plants. To divide hosta plants dig and lift them out of the ground. Using a sharp knife slice a section off the clump along with roots. Transplant the new divided hosta to an already prepared hole and water.