Hostas are a popular, shade-loving plant that originated in Japan, China and Korea, according to Ohio State University's Horticulture and Crop Science experts Gretchen Heinke and Jane Martin. Hosta leaves come in many colors and produce lavender or white flowers, which sit atop a long, slim stem. Hostas grow best in well-draining soil, with a pH of between 6.5 and 7.5, and an abundance of natural or store-bought fertilizer.
Fertilize hosta plants in the late winter or early spring, before they break the soil.
Use a slow-release fertilizer, such as a 13-13-13 mixture.
Water the hosta well to distribute the fertilizer and wash any granules off the leaves.
Follow up with a water-soluble fertilizer after the hosta's leaves emerge.
Add well-seasoned manure to the soil, if desired.
Wait to fertilize newly planted hostas until they have put out new roots, or use a time-release fertilizer immediately after planting.