How to Prepare Hostas for Winter


Hostas are hardy plants with beautiful foliage that provide lush boarders and pretty ground covers for beds. Hardy in zones 3 to 9, hostas require little effort to prepare them for the winter season.

Step 1

Apply the last fertilizer application prior to July. Fertilizing in late summer may encourage new growth and prevent the plant from preparing for dormancy during winter.

Step 2

Cut the stalks of all spent flowers back to the crown of the plant.

Step 3

Remove yellow, wilted, or dead leaves.

Step 4

Rake leaf litter and dead material out from under and around the plant. Slugs, pests and diseases love to hide in decomposing material.

Step 5

Apply a thin layer of mulch carefully in the fall. Wait until several hard frosts have occured, freezing the ground to about 3 inches deep. Remove mulch from around the crown as soon as the soil begins to thaw, or you may provide a home for pests and conditions ripe for crown rot.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden shears
  • Rake


  • Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet, Growing Hostas
  • University of Minnesota Extension, Hostas
  • Clemson University Cooperative Extension, Hosta
Keywords: hosta winterization, winter hosta preparation, winter care for hostas

About this Author

Desirae Roy began writing in 2009. After earning certification as an interpreter for the deaf, Roy earned a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from Eastern Washington University. Part of her general studies included a botany course leading to a passion for the natural world.