hosta care for fall/winter

MnLamb(usda 3)October 8, 2005

This will be our first fall/ winter in our new home- Our gardens consist of primarily hostas- My previous gardens consisted of anything and everything besides hostas- Looking for what needs to be done prior to frost and or snow- Any help would be much appreciated! Thanks!!

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creatrix(z7 VA)

I don't do much to mine until after frost when I clean up the old foliage. You can cut it before that, but I find it easier to wait- then you can just yank it up. I used to cut the bloom spires off, but I don't even get to that anymore. I do remove seed pods.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2005 at 1:27PM
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qqqq(z7 AR)

From what I've read, Hostas are hardy to zone 3. So you ought to be fine.

I don't do anything with mine either but since you live in zone 3 -- you may want to mulch yours -- just in case.


    Bookmark   October 12, 2005 at 6:02PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Most hosta varieties are hardy to z2, so you shouldn't need to worry about them. But they'll be among the last things to come up in spring, so be sure you know where they are so you don't accidentally dig into them when you get the urge to start planting next spring.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 12:49AM
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meldy_nva(z6b VA)

Skybird has a good point! Down here, annuals get transplanted before the hosta starts poking through the ground. Let us not consider how many times the impatiens was shoved out by the hosta /..\ Now I plant crocus bulbs in the fall around each hosta... the crocus comes up and blooms early, but its leaves stay long enough to mark where the hosta is sleeping.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 1:49PM
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I noticed someone said they remove the seeds. Ok I am new to this where are the seeds on a hosta and when do you remove them?
Most of my hostas are verigated but I do have one (that was so big we spilit into 7 pieces I kept 3 gave away four. It is dark green the leaves are kinda round. And it does get the blooms I think they are white. Does anyone know what kinda hosta this is?

    Bookmark   October 16, 2005 at 6:40PM
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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

There are about 3000 varieties of your white flowered ones could be a lot of things.
No need to do a thing to them....not even cut dowh the old leaves if you don't want to....but your beds will look better in the spring if you do.
Hostas want lots of to keep them looking their best and most lush, keep them well watered.
Linda C

    Bookmark   October 16, 2005 at 9:26PM
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I have a couple of hostas that have managed to seed and grow beautifully under my porch and I would like to transplant them to a shade garden. Is it best to move them in the fall or spring? I also have a hosta that has grown quite large and it's been suggested it may do better if I split it. Again, should I do that in the fall or spring? Thank you!

    Bookmark   October 26, 2005 at 11:05AM
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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

Don't know where you live....but to be safe do it in the spring.
Linda C

    Bookmark   October 27, 2005 at 12:32PM
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I have just bought a home in Ogden Utah right against the Wasatch Mountains, it has approx. 100 Hostas plants in the landscaping. Do need to do anything special this fall as they are becoming dormant. I want to insure healthy growth next spring?

    Bookmark   October 27, 2005 at 5:16PM
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username_5(banned for no reason)

No John, nothing special need be done for hostas, they are very hardy, take care of themselves landcaping plants.

You can give them a small amount of any nitrogen source in the spring as they wake up, but even this isn't necessary.

Hostas are tasty to some bugs/slugs so take a look at yours to see if they have lots of holes in the leaves. If not, you are in luck and need not do anything. If they are eaten up looking then you can consider protecting them next year. Wait until you can ID the bugs that eat them before doing anything though. A few holes is not a cause for concern, but if the leaves look like swiss cheese they require protection to maintain optimal health over the years.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2005 at 5:57PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

You may want to stop by the Hosta Forum. I am including a link to the Frequently Asked Questions there.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hosta FAQ

    Bookmark   October 27, 2005 at 10:01PM
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As to the enquiry about slugs on hostas. I always set an aluminum foil pie pan of beer under the leaves. The slugs then go into the pan and drown. Easy to do.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 4:57PM
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This is my first year in this zone and with hostas.

There is nothing to 'do' to them. When the first real freeze hits, they'll flatten like gelatinous road kill. Just cut off the leaves. I mulched the area. I did that last year and they came up in the spring beautifully.

I used alfalfa and Plant-tone during the year. They like it. :D

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 10:34PM
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Note sure of zone, Live in Port Clinton, Oh
Just moved in this spring, lots of hostas. Is there anything I need to do in the fall to ensure healthy hostas in the spring. Do not want to lose them.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2005 at 1:30PM
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I just moved into this house in the fall. It had large beautiful Hostas planted infront of our entryway to the house.I followed all the advise about cutting back stalks, trimming dead foliage and mulching for protection and now this spring when I cleared out the mulch I found chipmunks had tunneled right through and under my hostas. I am wondering if I should bother to wait and see if they will grow back or just dig everything up and just plant annuals that are less appealing to those annoying little buggers.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 11:07AM
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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

Likely not chipmonks but voles!!
Wait and see.....chances are very good that any large hosta has some eyes and roots the voles missed....wait about 3 more weeks.
The problem is not the tunnel but rather that voles eat the crown of your plants and are active all winter. Chipmonks stay in their holes beginning about October 20th until it gets warm...I saw my first one out and about about a week ago.
I would be putting down some mothballs around thost hostas and maybe filling in the vole holes.
Linda C

    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 12:08PM
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two months after planting them in sept/oct, all the leaves on my variegated and non-variegated hostas wilted and died. the slugs had been feasting and the non-toxic pellets i used to circle the plants seemed to speed the process. can anyone tell me if they are dead? if not, when can i expect new leaves to pop up?

    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 3:22PM
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k-mac, hostas are herbaceous perennials - they die to the ground in winter and return each spring. The situation you describe is simply the plants entering a normal period of winter dormancy. Look for new growth in spring.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 9:53AM
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new to hostas but I live in Iowa and winter is upon us and I was wondering how far do you prune the hostas plant from the ground ??

    Bookmark   November 1, 2008 at 7:18PM
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I'm in cold zone 4 MN and have consistently cut my hostas very close to the ground each late fall with absolutely no ill effects. I don't mulch anything either, but mulch/no mulch seems to be a personal call rather than a gardening universal. Hostas don't seem to require any kind of extra protection here at all.

They are about the last thing to pop up in the spring though - hostas and balloon flowers show up late. Marking their general locations can be a good idea to avoid digging or plant-over errors.

I don't seem to have a slug problem - my hostas do beautifully with what moisture they get naturally by rainfall as opposed to all the supplemental water, water, and more water threads I read. We all have different habitats and practices within those habitats, but I'd think a constantly wet environment adds to the creation of a real slug haven.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 5:23PM
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