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How to Water Hostas

Hosta is a genus that comprises a large number of shade-tolerant perennial flowering plants. They come in a vast array of colors, leaf shapes, variegation patterns and sizes, with over 2,500 known cultivars propagated commercially. They grow from underground rhizomes and enjoy moist, nutrient-rich soil. Hostas are very long-lived plants, maturing by eight years of age and living for more than 25 years with good care. Native to Asia, hostas have been a staple in the shade and woodland gardens of North America since the 1800s.

Water your hosta regularly and deeply year-round, maintaining evenly moist soil at all times and never allowing the ground soil to dry out below the surface between waterings. Err on the side of more, not less, water when caring for hostas.

Provide a bare minimum of one inch of water to your hosta plants each week. Apply by watering can, drip irrigation, a soaker hose or natural rainfall. Water hostas growing in arid or hot climates or in sandy soil more generously. Irrigate early in the day to lessen plant stress from drought.

Increase water application if the fine leaf tips begin to curl and brown, if the leaf margins take on a singed appearance or if the leaves droop and look listless.

Mulch around the root area of your hosta plants with several inches of organic mulch to prevent moisture loss to evaporation and reduce watering frequency. Use shredded bark, compost or cocoa bean hulls for best effect.

Hostas In October?

Hostas are herbaceous perennials grown in China, Japan and Korea before they were imported by Europeans in the 18th century. In the U.S., they grow throughout the East, Midwest and Upper South; hybrid forms are hardy over a range of U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 3 to 9. Allow your hostas to continue to grace your garden as long as the weather stays warm -- but remove leaves that turn brown or dry out around the edges during autumn’s dry weather. Over-watering may lead to root rot or a burst of new, tender growth that makes the plant vulnerable to frosts, so don’t water them as they prepare for dormancy in late September and early October.

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