Hosta plant care doesn’t have to be complicated. Hosta plants are ornamental perennial plants popular in gardens around the world. They’re part of the Liliaceae family, along with other common perennials like tulips and lilies.
Hosta Care and Propagation
This article will cover everything you need to know about hosta care, including how to grow them successfully in your own garden!
Hosta Light Requirements:
Hostas naturally grow in partial shade to full sun exposure. Since hostas are perennials, you can replant them every year for an abundance of flowers. They do especially well in the dappled sunlight or morning light of shade trees.
All plants need fertilizer to maintain strength and vigor, but hostas are slow-growing plants that won’t need feeding every month of the year.
Feeding should begin in early spring with a portion of balanced plant food (10-10-10) at half the recommended dosage on the fertilizer container. In late summer, you can repeat this dosage to promote a lush fall foliage color.
In spring, apply a slow-release granular fertilizer around the perimeter of each plant. This will provide all the nutrients your hostas need for growth and flowering during their growing season.
Once they’re finished blooming, switch over to a general-purpose fertilizer at half the recommended dosage. This will help provide nutrients for next year’s flowers and leaves!
Hosta plants are drought resistant, but should not be allowed to dry out completely. Hostas thrive in moist soil conditions, but can’t handle soggy soil that stays wet for extended periods. Water plants deeply each day until water runs out of the bottom of the pot.
After they’re done blooming, hostas can handle being dry for a week or so during hot summer months. Make sure they have enough water to keep the leaves from wilting until new leaves appear. Once new growth is visible, you can resume watering at your normal frequency.
At the end of the growing season, hostas should be cut back to the ground. This will encourage new root growth for next year’s flowers and leaves. If desired, you can remove the old foliage with a leaf rake. Replant each clump immediately or store them in moist peat moss until replanting time.
Many people like to grow hostas from seed, but for faster and more predictable results, consider using a plant division instead. Divide the clump at least once every three or four years when new growth is visible in late summer.
Use a sharp spade to remove the entire clump from the ground and chop it into evenly-sized sections using a sharp knife. Replant each section immediately for best results!
Plants should be spaced at least 18 to 24 inches apart to provide enough room for their leaves to fully spread out. This will also make them easier to care for once they’re planted in the garden!
Cold Protection for Hostas:
All hostas are cold-sensitive plants and need to be brought indoors before temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in a climate where winter temperatures usually dip much lower, you can dig up your hostas and replant them each year after the first frost.
Hostas growing in containers should be stored inside until nighttime temps return to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If you grow your hostas in the ground, cover them with 4 to 6 inches of mulch before the first frost. This will act as insulation and prevent roots from freezing.
Most hosta plants can be stored indoors on a sunny windowsill or under grow lights until temperatures rise above 50 degrees Fahrenheit again.
Additional Care Tips:
Most hostas are slow-growing, which makes them ideal for the small garden. If you’d like larger plants, consider using a container or planting multiple clumps in one area to create an instant display!
Make sure that all containers have good drainage and aren’t too heavy for their planters. Always use potting soil as opposed to the garden soil as it always drains well and doesn’t retain nutrients.
Many varieties of hostas are fragrant, so they make a great addition to the garden next to a patio or seating area. Their colors vary from white, yellow, pink, and purple depending upon the variety you choose! There’s a perfect one for every garden!
When planting hostas, plant the crown (or junction between the roots and stems) just below soil level. Do not cover it with soil! Firmly pack around each clump to remove any air pockets left by removing the potting mix from the original container.
Hostas are deer-resistant plants that can also be used as companion plants to attract beneficial insects to your garden.
I love hostas because they have beautiful leaves that are attractive. They can also be grown in pots and containers that can be placed outdoor or indoors.
If you love plants don’t forget to follow me on Flowerthings Pinterest for more on flower gardening and indoor houseplant care.