Tips for Easy Hosta Maintenance

The following blog talks about the tips a gardener needs to take for Hosta maintenance to promote the growth of their hostas and entails advice for their protection from slugs.

Tips for hostas maintenance

There is no gardener who does not admire the hues of hostas! Hosta maintenance has always been a cakewalk and that’s the major reason behind their popularity. In order to promote their growth there are a few steps which should not be overlooked.

  • Hostas grow best in a neutral soil and that implies the pH of the soil should be strictly between 6 to 7 and hence it is important to check the acidic content in any possible fertilizer before mixing it with the soil.
  • Hostas are shade-tolerant plants and have been nicknamed as “shade-lovers” but keeping them in a completely dark area is not at all advisable.
  • The hole should be dug wider for hostas plants as their roots tend to grow away from the center. Hostas are also suitable for green-walls and vertical gardening as they have a tendency to soften the walls.

Slugs

The slug is the mortal enemy of hostas. Slugs will eventually attack your hostas and to overcome that there are various steps you can take-

  • The process of protection from slugs begins before planting and ideally starts with mulching. It is necessary to keep the soil well-mulched and add organic materials like bark and composted manure.
  • Slugs are attracted to hostas but are often repelled by hair or plastic. So you can ideally keep half-cut plastic bottles or threads of hairs to avoid their visits.
  • To get rid of slug eggs and hibernating slugs, it is best to cultivate the soil during spring to expose them to the elements.

There are various other ways in which you can protect your hostas. Coffee grounds and crushed egg shells are some home remedies.  To see more information on battling slugs and other hosta pests, see our Hosta Pests information page.

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Facts about Coral Bells

Heuchera PlantsCoral bells have become exceedingly popular among the seasoned as well as beginners in the field of gardening.

These plants have incredible foliage patterns and are widely preferred for their vivid leaves and beautiful blooms. These amazing perennials are appropriate for any gardens!

  • These plants grow best in partial shade. They can also be grown in full shade but this often slows down the rate of their growth.
  • The bright and vibrant colors of these plants may fade under strong sun and hence a partial shade is advisable.
  • They should ideally be planted in spring or in the beginning of fall for best growth.
  • These plants should be planted in well-drained soil that has neutral pH ranging from 6-7.
  • For a bountiful leaf production, you should get rid of the stalks once the flowers have completely bloomed.
  • To prevent frost heaving in winters, it is advisable to mulch the soil at regular intervals.  Spread mulch around the plant, NOT on top of it!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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