Hostas hiding

(Question)

Some of my hostas are not doing well this year. While a few have come up, somewhat weakly, others are hiding that were previously just fine. Would it be because of the long winter we had? Or the different varieties?

It doesn’t seem to matter which type of area… where two or three were next to one another, only one has shown up…where three large ones were in one spot under a tree, there’s only a little weakling this year… and yet I have three large ones elsewhere, in both sun and shade… so it’s “go figure!” around here.

(Answer)

The last two very cold winters and abnormal freezing and thawing cycles have affected lots of trees and plants in the Toronto area. However, most hostas are quite hardy in our area and have managed to pull through. Another cause of die-off could be salt damage, although the fact that some of your hostas died next to ones that are healthy makes this unlikely.

The fact that several that were affected were under a tree suggests that either they’re not getting enough sun or the tree’s roots are affecting their growth. The answer may be to move them a little farther out from under the tree and to ensure they have lots of organic material to nourish them.

In addition, some varieties of hosta prefer more sun than others. In general, hostas with yellow leaves or fragrant flowers need more sun than hostas with green, blue or white leaves.

Taking a close look at the type of hosta that died and the location of each should help you plan where and what to plant to ensure healthy hostas next spring.

For more information on growing hostas, see:

When can I transplant hostas ?

https://gardening.about.com/od/perennials/qt/Sun_Hosta.htm