Now that the leaves have all fallen and the days are shorter, it’s time to start thinking about winter. Specifically, how to prepare your hostas for the cold weather. Hostas are hardy plants and can survive in many environments, but there are a few things you can do to make sure they stay healthy through the winter.
Below, you’ll find some tips on how to prepare your hostas for winter, so read on for everything you need to know!
What You’ll Need
To get started, you will need a few basic supplies:
- Vole traps or bait runs (as needed)
- Insecticide (as needed)
- Sharp clean pruning shears
Step-By-Step Guide to Preparing Your Hostas for Winter
Hostas are dormant in the winter, which means that they don’t grow at all. Unlike many other perennials, they don’t put out new roots during this time.
Most hostas need 600-700 hours below 40 degrees Fahrenheit to go through their winter dormancy successfully and emerge as stronger plants. Here’s how to prepare your hosta for the winter.
Step One – Label Your Hostas
First, gather some labels and write down important information about each of your hostas. This could include things like the plant’s name, where it was purchased, when it was planted, or anything else that you think might be useful.
Step Two – Make Sure They Get Enough Light
Next, choose a location in your garden that receives plenty of sunlight throughout the day. This may mean moving your hostas from a shady corner to somewhere with more direct sun exposure.
Hostas need partial, weak-intensity sun to survive the winter cold. To achieve this, consider planting them under deciduous trees.
Step Three – Pest Check
Checking your hostas for pests is an important task that you should do every fall to ensure that your plants will be healthy and strong through the winter.
First, take a look at your plants to see if there are any signs of insects or other types of pests. Some common pests found on hostas include slugs, snails, and voles. If you notice any signs of these pests on your plants, it’s important to take action right away.
To get rid of such pests, try using natural methods like manually removing them or spraying the leaves with water to dislodge them. You can also use chemical pest control products if needed, but eco-friendly options are better. And, always be sure to read the label carefully and follow all instructions. Additionally, you can use bait runs or traps to eliminate any voles.
Step Four – Pruning
At the end of fall, after a few frosts have passed, it’s important to cut back your hostas and clean up around the plants. This will help prevent issues like slugs or diseases from affecting your plants over the winter months.
If you’re feeling impatient or run out of time, however, you can simply wait until spring to cut back your hostas.
Step Five – Mulch
If you haven’t already done so in the fall, mulching your hostas now is a great way to protect them from the cold winter weather. You can use 2 inches of organic mulch like straw, hay, or shredded leaves to help keep their roots nice and warm.
Step Six – Watering
During dry winters, watering once or twice may be necessary to keep them healthy and strong. This is important if there is no snow on the ground – as this usually indicates very dry conditions.
If you live in a climate that gets snow every year, stop watering! Since your plant is dormant it won’t need the extra moisture.
Step Seven – Do Not Propagate
Many gardeners make the mistake of propagating their hostas in the fall, thinking that they need to “prepare” them for winter. But if you want your hostas to survive through the cold winter months, it is important to focus on maintaining their health during the fall season and not propagating them until the active growth season. If you make that cut, new growth won’t survive the winter.
Step Eight – Do Not Fertilize
As a plant enthusiast, you know that one of the most important things you can do for your hostas is to fertilize. However, did you know that fertilizing too close to winter can actually be harmful to your beautiful plants?
One of the main reasons why fall is such an important time to not fertilize your hostas is because of their dormant stage. During this phase, your hostas are focused on storing nutrients in their leaves and roots so that they are ready to grow when warmer weather returns. By adding additional nutrients to your hostas during the fall, you are actually interfering with their natural process and causing them to expend unnecessary energy that they could otherwise save for spring.
Hosta Care The Right Way
Winter is coming, but that doesn’t mean your hostas have to suffer! By following these simple tips, you can help them stay healthy and happy all season long. So don’t wait – get started preparing your hostas for winter today! And be sure to share this article with your friends and family. They’ll definitely want to know how to prepare their plants too.
Do you have any tips on how to prepare your hostas for the winter? Leave a comment below!