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How to Deadhead Hostas

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The large leaves of the hosta (Hosta spp.), which are often textured or variegated, are the main draw of the plant, but many varieties also produce striking flowers in summer. Hostas grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 9. Many varieties produce small, inconsequential blooms you can prune off immediately, while the flowers are the main attraction on other varieties. Deadheading, or removing the flower stems either before or after bloom, prevents the hosta from forming seeds so it can focus its energy on healthy leaf growth.

Step 1

Mix 1 part bleach with 9 parts water in a bucket. Soak the pruning shears in the solution for five minutes to sanitize them, then allow them to air dry before use. Rinse the shears in the solution between each hosta you deadhead to prevent the spread of disease.

Step 2

Cut off the flower stem as soon as it emerges if you are growing the hosta for foliage instead of flowers. Cut through the stem at its base where it emerges from the crown of the plant.

Step 3

Cut the stem off at its base after most of the flowers have wilted, if your variety produces attractive flowers. You can pinch off individual flowers on the stem as they wilt to improve the plant's appearance during flowering, if you wish.

Step 4

Trim off any hosta leaves that have yellowed or become damaged. Leave the remaining leaves in place after flowering until the hosta dies back naturally in fall or early winter.

Warning

Wear gloves when handling a bleach solution.

Warning

Keep the solution and sharp pruning shears out of the reach of children.

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