Tips for Cutting Back Hostas
By Matt Smolsky
, last updated June 16, 2011
Nothing welcomes guests to your home like a beautiful display of Hostas lining your sidewalk or filling your front garden, but you need to cut them back to keep them looking their best year after year. If maintained properly, hostas are lush and produce a pretty flowering stem.
Caring For Hostas
Cleaning up you Hosta plants is practicing good garden sanitation. Dead Hosta plants do not act as mulch. Other cleaner forms of mulch can be used. If you're concerned about the health of your soil, then amend it with fertilizer or compost. Also, slugs are prone to Hosta, so if there was any infestation at all, you're simply inviting trouble back in.
The long stems that Hostas produce are a distinctive feature. Some gardeners like to cut them back when the flower finishes blooming, and that's perfectly acceptable. Another school of thought is to cut the stems before the flower blooms. That's a good idea on younger plants because then all of the plant's growing energy will go towards the leaves.
Cutting Back Hosta Leaves
Hosta leaves need to be cut back late in the fall before winter sets in. Hosta leaves are quite large and even when withered and brown, they make a cozy hiding place for insects, small creatures and disease that can harm the plant in the spring.
In fact, it's a good idea to cut back the leaves before the first frost, which can cause the leaves to become mushy and difficult to cut.
When cutting back Hosta, cut the stems back to about four inches above the ground. Leaves should be cut back to the surface. Be sure to mulch the Hosta. They can be harmed by severe freeze and thaw cycles.
Be sure to use sterile cutting tools when cutting back your Hosta plants. You wouldn't want to inadvertently spread disease.