Caring Hostas In The Fall Season
Hostas are shade loving plants known for their showy foliage. If you are making your list of fall chores for the year, you may be wondering what to do with your hostas. You’ll be happy to learn that hostas require very little care in the fall. They are probably one of the lowest maintenance plants in your entire landscape. After fall’s first hard frost, you should cut back the entire plant to the ground. Some gardeners have a difficult time cutting their plants back so drastically. Don’t worry though; you will have beautiful plants again in the spring. Mulching is always a great way to conserve water and insulate roots from extreme temperatures. Weeds are also kept at a minimum when you use mulch in your garden. If you choose to mulch your hostas, be sure to keep mulch away from the stem of the plant. Mulch lightly, only using an inch or two, to discourage pests from making a winter home.
If you decide to mulch over your hosta plants, use pine needles to prevent slugs and other pests from taking up residence there. Just as fall is a great time to divide and plant many of your favorite plants, hostas can be divided in the fall before the first frost. Be sure to do it early enough so that newly planted hostas have time to establish themselves before the ground freezes. Fall care for hosta plants does not include fertilizing, unlike many of your other landscape plants that benefit from the extra nourishment for their roots as they prepare to go dormant in the winter. Hostas do need fertilizer; however this chore is most effective in the spring when they need a balanced (10-10-10) fertilizer for that extra boost.
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