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.

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.

When and How to Fertilize Hosta Plants

Hostas Plant

Hosta plants

Popular for their colorful foliage, hostas add appeal to the look of a garden. Apart from the minimal basic needs, hostas also require regular fertilization of the soil to stay healthy.

Without fertilization, hostas sometimes grow more slowly than you may prefer. At the same time, excessive use of fertilizer can result in abnormal growth of hostas, and also make them vulnerable to infections.

Here are some essential points regarding the fertilization of hostas.

Right Time to Fertilize the Hostas

Spring is the best time to fertilize the soil for hosta plants. You should wait for the new shoots to emerge from the soil, both to better place the fertilizer where it will do the most good and to  prevent burning the sensitive, growing tips.

For encouraging proper development of foliage, it is a good idea to use a balanced, granular fertilizer. Add the fertilizer to the soil once every six weeks. This way, the hostas will get all the essential nourishment they need during their rapid growth phase. Fertilization can be continued till midsummer.

During the fall season, hostas enter dormancy, so there is no need to fertilize the soil during this season. To know the amount of fertilizer needed by the soil, and the right way to add it, refer to the directions given on the package.

Cut Back the Hostas During Winter

Cutting back hostas is an important part of their maintenance routine during fall season. Sometimes, it is done during early spring. In this process, the foliage is cut near the soil using a pair of shears and then removed. These plants go dormant in the fall season and develop new foliage during spring. Cutting the foliage helps to prevent slugs and diseases from overwintering and ruining the plants.

Use Compost for Nutritious Soil

If you are growing your hosta plants on a rich and nutritious soil, you can also use compost instead of a chemical fertilizer. Spread a 2 inch thick layer of compost around the hostas during winter, after cutting their foliage.