Fertilizing Your Hosta Plants
It's no surprise that hostas continue to be one of the most popular perennial plants in a variety of gardens. Their beauty, toughness, and ease of care make them well suited for a shady or partly sunny area, and they will quickly become even a new gardener's favorite plant!
But how can you keep those beautiful hostas thriving year after year?
Hostas are tough plants and they may not need fertilizer if grown in very rich, well-draining soil. But following a yearly fertilization schedule will ensure that you keep your hostas remaining healthy and looking their best.
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There are as many ways to fertilize your perennials as there are gardeners. Here's the schedule that we follow for our hostas at Sunset Hosta Farm.
It's important to remember that the new season's hosta roots don't begin to grow until the first leaves have been fully open for three to four weeks. So feeding your hostas with a root stimulant like seaweed feed is beneficial to hostas between February and May.
As the more mature hostas emerge from the ground in the Spring, rake back leaves and mulch and apply a 10-10-10 balanced fertilizer (preferably granular slow-release) around the emerging clumps. Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK) are essential nutrients to support their root growth.
Further Reading: Using Epsom Salt on Hostas!
Avoid using a fertilizer with very high nitrogen which can make hosta leaves curl or turn grown, or cause them to grow so fast that the leaves can become thin or spindly.
Don't forget to replace the mulch around the hostas keeping the mulch away from the emerging clumps.
Hostas In Pots
If you've stored your potted hostas in an unheated garage or shed over the winter, slowly begin to acclimate the hostas to the outside temperatures as it warms.
Fertilize pot-grown hostas with a balanced diluted fertilizer t (at 25% strength) every few weeks, stopping in early summer. I prefer liquid fertilizer for my potted hostas. It's just a personal preference.
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Hostas generally will not need fertilizer during the summer if adequately fertilized in the spring. However, if a second fertilizing seems to be necessary, do it in early summer.
Be sure to stop all fertilizers two months before your expected first frost date to allow the hostas to slowly settle into their winter dormancy.
To find the first and last frost dates for your area, click here.
Fall and Winter
Your hostas need no further fertilizer other than what was added in the Spring and early Summer.
However, your hostas will need to be well watered in the summer and into and through the fall.
Epsom Salt on Hostas
The benefits of Epsom Salt on plants are many, including that it’s organic.
The main ingredient in Epsom Salt is magnesium sulfate which is an important soil additive for healthy plant life. It allows plants to take in nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen and assists in the creation of chlorophyll which is used by the plant to convert sunlight into food.