Knowing how to properly prune and care for hostas is essential to keeping these popular landscaping plants looking great all year long. Hostas, also known as hosta lilies or plantain lilies, are a variety of flowering perennial that have made their way stateside from their birthplace in China, Japan and Korea. Hostas have been cultivated in more than 250 varieties and have earned their popularity with their stunning green and white striped variegated foliage and easy care and maintenance. Hostas are an undemanding plant often used for border plantings, accent shrubs, foundation plantings, or in any shady spot in need of some color and pizzaz.
When to Prune Hostas
Hostas are known to be low-maintenance plants that only need infrequent pruning. There are two notable exceptions to this general rule. The first is that outdoor growing hostas will need to be pruned back in fall and winterized to survive the cold temperatures winter brings. The second is that pruning must be done whenever branches or foliage becomes diseased or damaged.
How to Prune Hostas
Prune hostas any time of year when branches are seen to be diseased or damaged. Always disinfect scissors or shears before use to avoid spreading fungal or bacterial diseases to the rest of the plant or neighboring garden inhabitants. Deadhead failing blossoms as necessary throughout the bloom season to encourage reblooming. Also take special care to remove any brown or dead foliage from the base of the canopy as needed. In the fall, outdoor growing hostas must be pruned back nearly to the ground and winterized. This can be done in the late fall or early winter right after the first frost has passed. By covering hostas with a thick layer of protective mulch, they will survive the cold temperatures and begin to grow quickly again when the warmer temperatures of spring return.