How to Prune Coral Bells

For your garden to look neat, organized and attractive, you need to prune your plants regularly. This applies to perennial species in particular, such as hostas and heucheras. This involves use of tools such as hand clippers, shovel and gardening trowel.

Coral bells plants

Coral Bells border planting

Here are some guidelines for pruning heucheras:

• Use hand clippers to cut off unattractive, infected or dead flower stems and foliage. Cut these parts down to the base without disturbing the crown of the plant.

It is better to prune coral bells during early spring or late winter when they start growing again. Cut off any foliage that dies during this growth phase.

• Mix one part of bleach with three parts of water to make a clear solution. Alternatively, you can use a mixture of water and rubbing alcohol having equal quantities of both.

Dampen a clean rag with this solution. Sterilize your hand clippers by cleaning its blades with this rag. Do the same with other tools such as garden trowel and shovel.

• Any heuchera flowers that start fading need to be pinched or cut off. This pruning technique is referred to as deadheading. It facilitates better growth of flowers in coral bell plants.

• After pruning your heucheras, make sure you don’t leave any clippings around the plants. This can attract pests such as slugs and black vine weevils which chew on the foliage of these plants, causing leaf damage.

These clippings may also include infected flower stems which may spread diseases among your plants if left lying around them. You can either keep these clippings in waste can or mix them with organic matter such as compost.

Precautions While Pruning Your Plants

Pruning is an important task in garden maintenance, regardless of whether you are planting hostas, heucheras or any other species. You need to take certain precautions while pruning your plants. Some of those have been mentioned below:

You should know the right usage of your garden tools. Using them carelessly may even end up hurting you! It is also necessary to clean the tools after every use so that your plants stay free from diseases.
• If there are any electrical lines passing through your garden, stay away from those while pruning your plants.
• Wear gloves while doing any gardening work.

Designing a Perfect Garden Hostas

Hosta Varieties Avoid Planting Too Many Bright Colored Hostas

One mistake that numerous gardeners make is to plant too many brightly colored hostas in their garden. In an attempt to make the garden stand out, they actually end up making it chaotic. To balance your garden, you can choose blue hostas or green solid-colored hostas – this will keep the hostas more balanced.

Make Use of Flowers to Make Hostas Significant

Playing with colors can be a perfect trick to design your garden in an appealing manner. The solid-colored hostas can be enriched by planting flowers along with it. For example, blue hostas planted along with purple and pink flowers look alluring. You can also plant flowers and hostas of the same color together. For example, yellow flowers and gold hostas, or white flowers with white hostas are excellent companions.

Plant Thick-Leaved Hostas in Slug-Prone Areas

If your garden has wet areas that might be infected with slugs, it is best to plants thick-leaved hostas as they have the ability to withstand the damage done by slugs. Also, these hostas are tolerant enough to prevail against any conditions, allowing them to grow all year round.

Use One Hosta to Complement the Other One
When planting two hostas of different varieties together, make sure one hosta complements the other one. While designing the garden, plant a solid-colored hosta with a variegated hosta – this will certainly appear pleasing to the eyes. Also, it is important to allot a specific territory to every hosta, so make sure you plant each hosta at a considerable distance from one another.

Facts about Slugs

Facts about Slugs

how to get rid of slugs on hostas

Slug Eating Hosta Leaves

Before taking any measures to kill slugs in your garden, it is helpful to know some facts about them.

•During winter season, slugs wait under garden debris and other areas that are protected from chill. They lay eggs mainly during early summer and spring. Based on temperatures, it may take 10 to 100 days for these eggs to hatch.
•In places where the climate is moist and cool, slugs lay eggs more than once in summer. Slugs show maximum activity in damp and cool days, and nights when they get out of their shelter to feed on foliage of plants.
•There are multiple species of slugs, which differ from each other in size. While some species are 7 inches long, some other are only one and a half inch long.
•A trail of slime in silver color indicates the presence of slugs in a garden.

Methods to Boost Sluggish Hostas

H. 'Empress Wu'

H. ‘Empress Wu’, the largest hosta ever!

Certain adverse factors can slow down the growth of hosta plants.

Following are some methods to deal with sluggish growth in hosta plants:

Water Your Plants Sufficiently

To ensure proper growth of your hostas and to keep them healthy, you need to provide them with ample moisture by watering them regularly.

Lack of water will restrict the plant from utilizing energy for foliage growth. A water level of 1 inch per week needs to be maintained during summer, so if it doesn’t rain that often, you’ll need to take care of them yourself. Level of water can be reduced during late winter, but the plants’ water intake should not be cut off suddenly, and should be tapered.

Optimal Fertilization

As far as healthy growth of hosta plants is concerned, excessive quantities of fertilizer is not a major requirement. However,a certain amount of nitrogen is needed by these plants during their initial growth phase so that more foliage can be produced.

At the start of spring, add a cup of 10-10-10 slow-release fertilizer to the soil in which you are growing hostas. Make sure that roots of the plant do not get disturbed while you are fertilizing the soil. After adding fertilizer, add water to the soil so that it can absorb the fertilizer. Soil fertilization is an essential step while growing heuchera as well.

Pest Control and Disease Prevention

Growth conditions can become unfavorable for your hostas due to the presence of pests. Snails and slugs are common pests that can damage hostas. Place copper strips around your hosta plants to control these pests, or diatomaceous earth. You can also lure them into a saucer filled with beer. Attracted to beer, these pests will enter the saucer and drown as they are unable to get out of it.

Disease prevention is also necessary for your hostas to grow steadily. Avoid over- watering your plants; hosta plants with wet and soggy roots are vulnerable to fungal infection such as anthracnose. Cut off any infected or damaged parts of the plant to prevent infections from spreading among other plants.