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Sunday, September 1, 2019

Spring Care for Hostas!



After a long, dreary winter, Springtime in the hosta garden seems like a magical time.  The hostas are sprouting their gorgeous green tips signaling the beginning of another great gardening season!



Keep your hostas looking happy and healthy with these seasonal reminders and care tips for Spring!
 




Water

On average, hostas require 1" of water per week, whether by rainfall or irrigation. However, do not water hostas in the Spring until the threat of frost has passed to prevent root rot.  

Drier is better since there are still some pretty cold days and nights ahead.



Soil

Hostas are known for their ability to grow in just about any soil. However, rich, slightly acidic, well-draining soil will keep your hostas looking their best.  An addition of compost worked into the soil can do wonders for their early growth.


To read our garden on the best soil for hostas, click here.



Fertilizer

As the hostas emerge in the Spring, apply a 10-10-10 balanced fertilizer (preferably granular slow-release) around the emerging clumps.  Fertilize pot-grown hostas with a diluted fertilizer (at 25% strength) every few weeks.


Protection

Don't uncover your hostas too early!

Protect ones that have already emerged from any late Spring freezes by covering them with blankets, sheets, cardboard, etc. You will need to do this when the temperatures are expected to go down into the 20s.


Covering plants with plastic is not recommended as the plastic can freeze to the plant causing damage when removed.  


Late frosts can do significant damage to hostas that have already emerged from the ground,  Plants that freeze and thaw and refreeze and rethaw are the most likely to show problems later.


Division

Division is possible now if the ground is workable. However, this is not the best time since the roots will not grow until after the leaves form. The best time is late summer and into the Fall.   To see our article on the best times to divide your hostas, click here.







Other Care Tips for the Spring


  • When all danger of frost has passed, rake the mulch that you mounded up around the hosta as winter protection away from the developing eyes to prevent crown rot.
  • Apply some fresh mulch away from the center crown.
  • Disinfect all hardscapes with a solution of 10% ammonia to water to kill slug eggs.
  • A sprinkling of clean crushed egg shells will deter grubs and give the hosta some added calcium.






Potted Hostas

If you've stored your potted hostas in an unheated garage or shed, slowly begin to acclimate the hostas to outside temperatures as it warms.


This may involve moving the potted hosta indoors and outdoors several times as the weather shifts.  If the temperatures are expected to dip down in the 20s, you should cover the pot with a layer of cardboard, sheet or light blanket, etc, or better yet, bring them back inside.


Water

Be careful not to water too much now. Drier is better since there are still some pretty cold days and nights ahead.



Fertilizer

As hostas emerge in Spring, apply a slow-release balanced fertilizer. Other gardeners prefer to fertilize pot-grown perennials with a diluted fertilizer (25% strength) every few weeks instead.






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A good Spring start on caring for your hostas as they emerge from their sleep will help ensure they stay healthy and beautiful through the seasons.
  





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