Winter Care of Hostas


Hostas are versatile, low-maintenance plants in the home landscape, equally at home in a hosta garden, taking center stage in a flower bed, in patio containers or in a shady area where little else will grow. Sturdy, cold-tolerant plants, hostas don't usually require extra care during the winter months. However, hostas grown in extremely cold winter climates or hostas that were newly planted in autumn will benefit from some extra winter protection.

Step 1

Trim off any dry or damaged leaves or leaves with brown edges in autumn. Water the hosta, as well-hydrated plants will survive the cold of winter better than plants in dry soil.

Step 2

Mulch hostas in autumn, after the ground has frozen to a depth of approximately 3 inches. Use an organic mulch such as pine bark or needles, bark chips, straw or dry leaves. Mulch will keep the soil temperature even, protecting the hostas from damage caused by freezing and thawing.

Step 3

Remove the winter mulch in the spring and toss it on the compost heap. Allowing the mulch to remain on the hosta after the weather warms up can cause the plant to rot, and the moisture and heat buildup can attract pests and disease. Spread 2 inches of fresh mulch around the plant to conserve moisture and deter weeds.

Things You'll Need

  • Organic mulch


  • University of Minnesota: Hostas
  • Iowa State University: Ask the ISU Garden Experts: Twig Beetles, Hostas and Magnolias
Keywords: care of hostas, organic mulch, winter care

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.