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.