What do you do with hostas in the winter?

Answered by Ricardo McCardle

During the winter, it is important to take proper care of your hostas to ensure they survive the cold temperatures and come back strong in the spring. Here are the steps I take to care for my hostas during the winter:

1. Water deeply once a month in the fall: Before the ground freezes, it’s a good idea to give your hostas a deep watering. This will help them store up moisture and nutrients for the winter months ahead. I usually water them deeply in late October or early November.

2. After the first hard freeze, cut off dead leaves: Once the temperatures have dropped and the first hard freeze has occurred, you can trim off any dead or yellowing leaves from your hostas. This helps to keep them looking tidy and also prevents any potential diseases from spreading.

3. Cover the remaining plant with mulch: To protect the hostas from frost and extreme cold, I like to cover the remaining plant with a layer of mulch. This acts as insulation and helps to regulate the temperature around the plant. I use a thick layer of organic mulch, such as shredded leaves or straw, and spread it around the base of the plant, covering the crown and part of the leaves.

4. Do not water during the winter: It’s important to avoid watering your hostas during the winter months. The cold temperatures and frozen ground make it difficult for the plant to absorb water, and excess moisture can lead to rot and damage. Instead, rely on the moisture stored in the plant’s roots and the insulation provided by the mulch.

5. Remove mulch during the spring months: As the weather starts to warm up and the danger of frost has passed, it’s time to remove the mulch from your hostas. This allows the plant to receive adequate sunlight and air circulation, promoting healthy growth. I usually wait until late March or early April to remove the mulch.

6. Potted plants need a cold dormant area: If you have hostas in pots, they will require a slightly different approach. Potted hostas need a cold dormant period, similar to those planted in the ground. I usually move my potted hostas to a cool, dark area such as a garage or shed for the winter. This protects them from extreme temperatures and helps them go dormant.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your hostas survive the winter and continue to thrive in the spring. Remember to monitor them regularly and make any necessary adjustments based on your specific climate and growing conditions. Happy gardening!