Louise
Louise
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Asked on Jul 21, 2012

Here are old, established hostas that have always done very well, even with my neglect. Never fertilized, never watered

LouiseJoan N.Eric C.
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Answered

except when it rains. This summer has been brutal with temps sometimes over 100, often in the 90s and until recently, nearly no rain. I'm assuming it's the heat and lack of water and that next year they'll be fine? When should they be fertilized, or do they need to be?
here are old established hostas that have always done very well even with my, gardening
30 answers
  • Lori J
    on Jul 21, 2012

    Our temps have been brutal and we haven't had much rain (could say none, but it rained this week for about 20 minutes). Mine do not look like this. I do top dress my hosta beds with composted manure every spring, but I am betting the difference is that I do water.

  • Becky (J) P
    on Jul 21, 2012

    They'll be fine. I have some that are in the sun and they do this every July. You can cut back the leaves to make them more presentable and they will probably start to grow back once we get some much needed rain!

  • 3po3
    on Jul 22, 2012

    I agree with Becky. I have had the same experience. I am very neglectful of my hostas, and they do fine. Just give them a chance. I think they will do fine.

  • Liz C
    on Jul 22, 2012

    Hosta's are very hardy and out of all the plants and shrubs that I've dealt with, It's the easiest to maintain. Just simply water a little more than possible if u can, dehead/Cut out the dead foliage.....if you have spiked flowers coming through the centers of them, that already bloomed, cut those down to the bottom...give it a little fertalizer boost and before you know it....they'll come right back to life sooner than you think! Their great space fillers!

  • Lin R
    on Jul 22, 2012

    Mine look that way also. They have not shade so the hot temps really got to them. Thanks for the info everyone.

  • Z
    on Jul 22, 2012

    I'm sure the heat alone can be a problem for hostas, but all I've seen say they prefer shade for healthier growth.

  • Sherry R
    on Jul 22, 2012

    I'm over here in TX and the heat is 100+ somedays and running 97- 95 on the cooler days. It's drying out all my potted plants and my grass is yellow. The heat is stressing everything. Last year was bad, also. Had tree losses, even cracked foundations due to the evaporation rate. Atleast water around your houses, so the shrinkage does cause settling issues.

  • Angela A
    on Jul 22, 2012

    Hostas are shade loving plants, so full sun and hot temps are very stressful to them. Cutting out the dead would help, mulching, fertilizing, too, but its not going to "fix" the full sun problem. I would venture to say, you will continue to have this problem if they are in an area getting full sun, or full direct afternoon sun when it is at its hottest.

  • Michelle
    on Jul 22, 2012

    I would agree with Angela and Becky. I have many of mine in the shade and a few in the sun. The hosta's in the sun do not fair as well.

  • Jeff C
    on Jul 22, 2012

    Some of our hostas are starting to look like this. We have two little hostas where the entire plant looks brown and terrible while on some of the others, it's just a few leaves. Can't afford to water them everyday. The hostas that receive quite a bit of sunlight during the day are still looking pretty good.

  • Ann S
    on Jul 22, 2012

    All plants need a bit more water to make up for all the no rain we are getting! Think of it like that. Mine are a bit brown in spots but not that bad at all, I think cause I've watered them to make up for what rain we haven't been getting.

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Jul 22, 2012

    You can apply a good slow-release fertilizer like Osmocote in the spring when the foliage emerges. And a top-dressing of compost certainly would not hurt either. If you can get your plants any supplemental water it will help them get through tough periods like you're having now.

  • Ann S
    on Jul 22, 2012

    Great idea Douglas!

  • Ann S
    on Jul 22, 2012

    Douglas do you think Epson Salts mixed with water would help her too!

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Jul 22, 2012

    Ann, the only real reason to apply Epsom salts is when there is a magnesium deficiency. Louise's hostas are suffering from a combination of sun and lack of water.

  • Angela A
    on Jul 22, 2012

    I love Osmocote! Its an awesome slow-release fertilizer! I agree with Douglas on that! I use it ALOT! and on my hostas too, it was the main fertilizer we used at the nursery I used to work at as well, but I am not a professional, this is just from experience Ive had with hostas over the years...but yeh these pics do look like sun scald to me...

  • Betty
    on Jul 22, 2012

    when is it safe to move hostas. Iwant to move mine out of the sun and into shade. Mine are looking like these pics. I think mainly from the heat and sun. we have been getting rain. 2 1/2 inches yesterday

  • Ann S
    on Jul 22, 2012

    Ok thanks for the tip Douglas!

  • Becky (J) P
    on Jul 22, 2012

    Boy I wish we were getting rain! So tired of watering. Jeff, when I was growing up we had a well. My mom used to water with leftover dish water. Pain in the behind!

  • Julie Collier
    on Jul 22, 2012

    Same problem here in Michigan. Mine are in the sun and look just like the picture.

  • Mary D
    on Jul 22, 2012

    I sure the heat is beating them up. I am in south new jersey. The dry hot summer has been brutal to my garden as well and I water everyday.

  • Ann S
    on Jul 22, 2012

    Yes here in Michigan too, watering almost every day! I'm gonna hate to see our water bill!!

  • Adaina Kirkwood Pulliam
    on Jul 22, 2012

    Betty in GA, you can move Hosta anytime as long as you keep them watered. I like to move them when they are first emerging from the ground in spring, but have moved them if they are suffering in sun all summer long. We have lost trees due to winter storm damage and now drought, so where they once flourished, they now wilt. You never know from year to year what Mother Nature will bring.

  • Trish M
    on Jul 22, 2012

    I would say Try Putting Moisture Retailing Products in the soil.Mulch it Heavy..Maybe Put a decorative Umbrella Over it...We do That a Lot in The Desert...The Umbrellas are fun To decorate and They are Mobile..Good Luck!

  • Louise
    on Jul 22, 2012

    These hostas actually get little sun. They get maybe a couple of hours but that's all. Until this year, they were in the shade of a very large sweetgum tree but I had it cut last fall so I wouldn't fall and break my neck on all the sweetgum balls on my driveway. :-( Maybe that made the difference, tho, in what amt of sun they get. I still have many trees around them. I can put more mulch around them, tho. I have a pile of tree mulch leftover from the tree.

  • Ann S
    on Jul 22, 2012

    I have my hostas where they only get the morning sun, so maybe that is a big factor cutting down your tree & need a bit more water too! :)!

  • Vivian S
    on Jul 22, 2012

    Betty, I agree with Adaina. I just bought some new Hostas and planted (in partial shade). Gave them a little extra tlc and daily watering in this heat. They seem to have settled in well. If you dig up a good root ball and soak them into their new location, I think they should be fine. If they are moving into shade they may need a little adjustment but should do well. Louise, I am stumped by the appearance of your hostas if they are getting little sun because they look like they have sunstroke. Are they getting noon-day sun? Are you watering them? Is there a chance they were in contact with any weed killers? Be careful not to get mulch too close to the stems of the hostas. It is usually a good idea to keep mulch an inch or two away from the stems of plants. Also fresh wood chips can deplete soil so it is best to let the fresh mulch age a little.

  • Eric C.
    on Jul 24, 2012

    I have a small hosta garden that I planted in very poor soil. The heat has been brutal and they get about 4-5 hours of evening sun. I have tried to water them daily. I have pruned the dead leaves from them and have pine bark mulch all around them. I have not added any sort of fertilizer at all. They're doing better now. I planted 14 different varieties and I have noticed that the ones that are variegated with yellow seem to be doing much better than the white varieties.

  • Joan N.
    on Jul 7, 2013

    My Hostas always look like this in mid-summer, but always come back prettier then ever next spring.

  • Louise
    on Jul 7, 2013

    This photo was last summer. But this year, they're green and vibrant, and we're having lots of rain for a change.

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