Proper Care of Hostas

Overview

Hostas are extremely low maintenance plants that are grown for their interesting foliage. Hosta plants have large, 3- to 6-foot-tall leaves that are often variegated in shades of green and white or yellow. These plants grow in shady areas where many other common landscape plants fail to grow. Hostas also bear tall flower spikes in early to mid-summer, blooming in colors ranging from white to lavender, depending on the cultivated variety. Hosta plants form a lush groundcover and grow from bulbs, which multiply rapidly.

Step 1

Water your hostas deeply and thoroughly once each week during the summer months when rainfall is less than 1 inch. Watering isn't necessary when rainfall is adequate.

Step 2

Spread a 1- to 2-inch-thick layer of organic compost on the ground around your hostas once every year in early spring. On top, spread a 2- to 4-inch-thick layer of organic mulch, keeping the mulch away from the hosta plant's central crown.

Step 3

Feed your hostas a nitrogen-based garden fertilizer once each year in spring, spreading the fertilizer on the ground around the plants, but keeping it away from the leaves and crown. Select a slow-release fertilizer and follow the dosage instructions on the label.

Step 4

Cut the hosta plants back to 1 or 2 inches above ground level after the first hard, killing frost or freeze in late fall.

Tips and Warnings

  • Watch out for slugs infesting your hostas. If you see slugs on your hosta plants, place slug bait around the plants according to the instructions on the package.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose
  • Organic compost
  • Organic mulch
  • Nitrogen-based, slow-release garden fertilizer
  • Sharp knife or pruning shears

References

  • National Gardening Association: Plant Care Guides -- Hosta

Who Can Help

  • University of Minnesota Extension: Hostas
Keywords: hosta plant care, grow hostas, maintain hostas

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.