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Always happy to meet fellow gardeners and dog lovers! Feel free to e-mail me with questions or comments about all things gardening, especially hostas!

Friday, April 5, 2019

Cutting Back Hosta Blooms

  


Although hostas are basically grown for those beautiful leaves, there are some hosta varieties that have quite beautiful flowers. Removing these are not necessary for the health of the plant, so whether you choose to cut the flower spikes off or allow them to grow and flower is a matter of personal choice.



Hosta flowers form on long scapes that usually tower above the hosta leaf mound. The bell or funnel-shaped flowers hang down from the scapes.


Guacamole in Bloom


Reasons to Remove Scapes and Flowers


Larger Size


If you're trying to grow the size of your hosta, cutting off the flower stalks when you see them will divert more energy to the hosta leaves and roots, giving them the added strength to grow larger.



Quality of the Flower Bloom


Because most hostas have been bred for their beautiful leaves, the quality of the bloom is many times an afterthought. Many hosta varieties have flowers of only  2” high, and some flowers are rather bland and unattractive. Some gardeners prefer to cut the stalks as soon as they appear simply for aesthetic purposes.


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If you remove the flower stems on a hosta, it will usually not flower again that season.

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How to Prune the Flower Stalks


Use sharp shears and remove the stalk at the base.


Disinfect your shears in between plants with a solution of 10% bleach to 90% water to avoid the spread of any disease.



Reasons to let the Hostas Flower!


Beautiful Flowers


Hostas of the Hosta Plantaginea variety grow larger, showy flowers, up to 6” long. The flowers don't usually bloom until later in the summer and the open up late in the afternoon. Hence the name August Lily.




Fragrance


There are fragrant hosta types in the Hosta Plantaginea varieties. The strongly scented white flowers have been likened to the scent of honeysuckle. This type of hosta is also known to perform well in the summer heat. You can plant these hostas near a walkway, porch, deck or patio for fresh summer fragrance.


Here at Sunset Hosta Farm we grow and sell a variety of fragrant hostas, including Blue Mouse Ears, Honeybells, The Shining, So Sweet and Guacamole.


To see the fragrant hostas that we grow and sell, click here.




Drawing in Hummingbirds


The bell or funnel-shaped delicate flowers of hostas are the perfect shape for the long, slender tongues and beaks of hummingbirds and are a great source of nectar for them.



Drawing in the Bees


Bees are also drawn to the hosta blooms. If you have a sunny vegetable garden, giving the bees a shadier place to feed on hosta blooms will help draw them in to pollinate your food plants.


 



Draw in the Birds


Large-leafed hosta varieties hold drops of water on their leaf surfaces or in the flower folds. They can serve as a hydration station for birds and other flying visitors. Birds also enjoy eating the hosta seed heads.



Hosta Flower Arranging


Since hostas leaves are long lasting when in water and are available in a multitude of textures, colors and shapes, they're a great plant to use as an addition to a flower arrangement display.


Harvesting Hosta Seeds


If you're adventurous and want to grow hostas from seed, you can let all or some of the hosta plants go to flower and seed. The best time to harvest the seeds is right after the first frost. The seed pod needs to mature before the seeds inside are viable.


Commercial hostas are propagated through root division, though, as their seed will not produce a plant that is identical to the mother plant. If you're not picky about the exact type of hosta you will get from the seed, you can expand your collection this way. You never know exactly what you'll get!


To read our detailed article on growing hostas from seed, click here.



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Whether you decide to remove the flower stalks and enjoy the beautiful foliage, let them go through the entire cycle and feed your garden eco system, you're sure to enjoy them just the same.



Love hostas or know someone who does?
Visit our website for great hostas at an affordable price.
Hostas are the only plant we grow and sell!


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You Know You're a Serious Gardener When ...



You know you're a serious gardener when...

  1. You have ten left handed garden gloves and only two right handed gloves.  (Or vice versa)
  2. You're itching to deadhead your friends' plants.
  3. You requested a load of manure for your birthday.
  4. You buy your vehicle based on how much soil it can haul.
  5. You think manicures are a waste of time and money.
  6. You think Spring is better than Christmas.
  7.  It’s 8:30 and you haven’t started dinner yet.
  8.     You pull your weeds in the rain because it's easier.
  9. Your hands frequently feel like sandpaper.
  10. You often find twigs in your hair.


  1. Fresh soil is one of your favorite smells.
  2.  You're on a first name basis with the sales clerk at your local nursery.
  3. You automatically brake for garden centers and plant nurseries.  
  4. You’re gardening before all the snow has even melted in your yard.
  5. You frequent the back break hotel.
  6. You worry about your young plants on cold nights.
  7. You do your spring cleaning in February.
  8. You plan your family’s vacation schedule around your gardening plans.
  9. You’d rather plant than party.
  10. You have more gardening clothes than going out clothes.


  1. You have to literally force yourself to take breaks.
  2. Your housework only gets done on rainy days.
  3. You get mad when you see struggling plants at the garden store.
  4. You check the hour by hour forecast every morning.
  5. You use your wheel barrow to bring in groceries from the car.
  6. You have more pictures of your plants than your kids.
  7. You spend more money on your gardening shoes than your regular shoes.
  8. Date night always includes a quick trip to the garden center.
  9. You notice every wrong thing your neighbors are doing in their yard.
  10. You're usually happy when it rains.


  1. You rubber neck as you’re driving by a house to see what they’re planting.
  2. You have calluses on your calluses come summer.
  3. You wash your hair to get the dirt out from under your fingernails.
  4. You never roll up the garden hose because you use it so often.
  5. You can’t sleep because you saw a few aphids that day.
  6. You worry about your plants when you’re sick.
  7. You call home from your vacation spot to make sure the plants are being taken care of.
  8. You collect seeds like it’s your full time job.
  9. You start drinking coffee just to have the coffee grounds to add to your garden.
  10. You lecture your partner and kids about throwing away perfectly good composting material.



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Did you make it to the end?  I'm sure you can come up with more!  Add your answers to the article comment section!
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Where to go next!








And if you love hostas like we do, visit our website for great hostas at a reasonable price!



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