How to Stop Pests From Eating Hosta Plants

Overview

Hostas, with their large, mounded foliage in solid and variegated shades of green, are one of the simplest perennials to grow and maintain. A relatively disease-free plant coveted for its hundreds of varieties, hostas are a staple in shade gardening. If there is a downside to this versatile plant, it's its vulnerability to pests, mainly slugs and snails.

Slugs and Snails

Step 1

Inspect the underside of your hostas for any slugs or snails in the early evening. Look for evidence of these hungry pests, such as slime trails, which leave a silvery streak.

Step 2

Pick up any visible slugs and throw them into a bowl of soapy water to kill. Look for slugs in the evening hours or after heavy rains.

Step 3

Place a shallow dish of beer near your hostas; the slugs are drawn to the scent and will climb in and drown. Check regularly for dead slugs.

Step 4

Place wet newspaper in your garden near the hostas overnight. Early in the morning, remove paper to discard any slugs or snails taking refuge underneath.

Step 5

Sprinkle a commercial slug bait around your hostas in early spring as directed by the product's instructions.

Tips and Warnings

  • Slugs are not the only pests who eat hostas. Deer can be another pest that eats hostas, but there is no real defense outside of a fence to deter them. Other insects may munch on hostas but will not do the same type of damage that a slug will.

Things You'll Need

  • Shallow container like a jar lid
  • Beer
  • Copper strips
  • Newspaper
  • Soapy water in a bowl
  • Commercial slug bait

References

  • Growing Hostas

Who Can Help

  • Hosta Pests
Keywords: hostas, slugs and snails, pests

About this Author

Bobbi Keffer attended Kent State University to study education but soon found her true love to be in the garden. She prides herself on her frugal skills reusing, recycling and reinventing her whimsical style in her home and garden.