How to Feed Hostas


Beautiful hostas can brighten nearly any shaded area of a garden. Lush around the base of trees, in partially shaded corners of the garden, or against the back sides of buildings which block out direct sunlight, the hosta is an easy plant to grow and care for, requiring very little maintenance for attractive results. To get large, full leaves, feed hostas each year starting in the spring as the plant begins to break dormancy.

Step 1

Clear away any dead leaves, old mulch, or other debris from the area of your hosta once you can see the tips of the new plants coming up from the soil. Use the rake carefully around the plant so as not to gouge or pierce the fragile hosta tips sticking up from the ground.

Step 2

Apply equal parts nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium fertilizer such as 10-10-10 to the plant according to the directions on the packaging. The dose, method of application, and the frequency of treatment should be listed.

Step 3

Spread a 3- to 4-inch layer of fresh mulch around the base to hold the fertilizer in and keep weed growth down. As you work the mulch, make sure you don't cover over the new hostas, which may still be quite short.

Step 4

Repeat adding the feed to your hostas as frequently as the manufacturer's instructions state until midsummer, when fertilizing should stop.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid letting any fertilizer granules or powder come into direct contact with the body of the hosta as this can sometimes lead to scalding and damage. Always apply granules or powders in a ring around the base of the plant, but not on the plant since the concentration has not yet been diluted by water.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden rake
  • All-purpose fertilizer, granules or water soluble
  • Water, if needed
  • Mulch


  • "Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to Gardening"; Carroll C. Calkins; 1993
  • Cultivation of hostas
Keywords: how to feed hostas, how to fertilize a hosta, fertilizing hostas

About this Author

Margaret Telsch-Williams is a freelance, fiction, and poetry writer from the Blue Ridge mountains. When not writing articles for Demand Studios, she works for as a contributor and podcast co-host.