How to Care for White Hostas

Overview

Hostas are popular perennial plants that can grow in a wide range of climatic regions and are beloved for their large, colorful foliage. Grown from tubers, hostas can withstand winter temperatures as cold as minus 25 degrees Fahrenheit and multiply rapidly. Hostas are the standard landscape plants for shaded, moist locations where few other plants will thrive. They bloom in tall flower spikes in early to mid-summer, with flowers ranging in color from white to lavender. The leaves come in a wide array of color combinations, including white or variegated mixtures of green and white.

Step 1

Water your white hostas deeply and thoroughly once each week from spring until early autumn when rainfall is less than 1 inch. If your hostas are planted beneath eaves or shallow-rooted trees, they may not receive the rainfall, so you'll need to provide this supplemental watering.

Step 2

Feed your hostas with a 10-10-10 NPK all-purpose garden fertilizer once in spring as the plants begin to emerge from the ground and again right before the hostas flower. Follow the dosage instructions on the fertilizer label.

Step 3

Spread a 2- to 4-inch-thick layer of organic mulch on the ground around your hostas in late spring or early summer, after the soil has warmed up. The mulch will help to regulate soil moisture, slowly release nutrients into the soil as it decomposes and control weeds.

Step 4

Cut the white hosta's flower stalk back to the crown when the flowers begin to fade and before they produce seed. Cut the hostas back to about 1 inch above the ground after the first hard, killing frost in fall. Rake away and remove any dead, diseased or fallen leaves from around the hostas.

Step 5

Divide your white hostas once every three or four years, just as new growth emerges in spring. Gently dig up the clump of hostas and divide it into sections, leaving as much of the roots intact as possible. Replant the divided hostas immediately.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid getting the fertilizer granules on the leaves or near the crowns of your white hostas, because the fertilizer will burn the plants. Also, don't fertilize your hostas after late July to allow the plants to harden off for winter.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose
  • 10-10-10 NPK garden fertilizer or organic compost
  • Organic mulch
  • Pruning shears
  • Shovel

References

  • University of Minnesota Extension: Hostas

Who Can Help

  • National Gardening Association: Hosta
Keywords: white hostas, hosta care, grow hosta plants

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.