Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Fertilizing Your Hostas - The Do's and Don'ts

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.

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.com.

Spring Fertilizing

As the hostas emerge in the Spring, rake back leaves and mulch and apply a 10-10-10 balanced fertilizer (preferably granular slow-release) around the emerging clumps. 

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 diluted fertilizer (at 25% strength) every few weeks stopping in early summer.  I prefer liquid fertilizer for my potted hostas.  It's just a personal preference.

This is what I like to use, however, for a small number of hosta pots, any fertilizer which is higher on the nitrogen side will be great.   
A boost of nitrogen through the season will keep those beautiful leaves looking their best.

Summer Fertilizing

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.

Give the hostas a second (and last) feeding of a balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer.   If the hosta leaves aren't looking their best, a fertilizer with a little more nitrogen can be used. 

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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 than the Spring and early Summer. 

However, your hostas will need to be well watered in the summer and into and through the fall.

About Epsom Salt on Hostas

The benefits of Epsom Salt on plants are many, including that it’s organic.  To read about the many advantages of using Epsom Salt on hostas, click here.


Hostas continue to be one of the most popular perennials on the market because of their beauty and ease of care.  I hope you found the above article helpful for keeping your hostas healthy and beautiful season to season.

And if you haven't incorporated hostas into your garden yet, you are really missing out!

Take a stroll around our website for some great hostas at an affordable price!  But ... a word of warning... There is a good reason why there are so many Hosta-Holics, including myself!

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