How to Fertilize Hostas


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.

Step 1

Fertilize hosta plants in the late winter or early spring, before they break the soil.

Step 2

Use a slow-release fertilizer, such as a 13-13-13 mixture.

Step 3

Water the hosta well to distribute the fertilizer and wash any granules off the leaves.

Step 4

Follow up with a water-soluble fertilizer after the hosta's leaves emerge.

Step 5

Add well-seasoned manure to the soil, if desired.

Step 6

Wait to fertilize newly planted hostas until they have put out new roots, or use a time-release fertilizer immediately after planting.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not let fertilizer granules to sit on the hosta's leaves because they will burn.

Things You'll Need

  • Slow-release fertilizer
  • Watering can or hose
  • Water-soluble fertilizer
  • Manure (optional)


  • Hosta Fertilizing Tips
  • How to Fertilize Hostas
  • Hosta Information from Ohio State University

Who Can Help

  • Hosta Facts
Keywords: fertilize hostas, fertilize hosta plants, fertilizer

About this Author

Sophia Darby is a former professional hairstylist who has spent the last six years writing hair-related articles for both online and print publications. Her work has appeared in Celebrity Hairstyles Magazine, as well as multiple websites.