Hostas, also known as Plantain Lilies, are one of the most popular foliage plants for home gardeners, and are also commonly used by landscape contractors in Vancouver. They are perennial – meaning they can endure the winter and grow again in the spring – and require relatively little maintenance.
However, with just a little bit of work, and some knowledge about the best fertilizers for hostas, you can ensure that your plants grow big and beautiful – and avoid pests like snails and slugs. Here’s what you need to know.
The Different Types Of Fertilizer For Hostas
Typically, hostas do not need any other nutrients except nitrogen to grow well, as long as your soil is high-quality. We recommend using a 10-10-10 fertilizer – a fertilizer that contains 10% nitrogen, 10% potassium, and 10% phosphorous.
However, if you experience poor growth, we recommend having a soil test performed, and selecting a fertilizer that contains the essential nutrients and minerals that your hostas need.
There are typically 3 types of fertilizer that can be used for hostas.
- Liquid – Liquid fertilizer absorbs more quickly than other types of fertilizer. This makes it the best choice for fertilizing hostas at the beginning of the growing season. However, liquid fertilizer is harder to apply as the hosta grows.
- Granular – Granular fertilizers contain nutrients in small, solid “grains”. As rain and the elements take their toll, these fertilizers wear away, and soak into the soil.
- Slow-release – Slow-release fertilizers are specialized forms of granular fertilizer. They incorporate advanced coatings to release a steady stream of nutrients over a given time, usually 30, 60, or 90 days.
Any of these types of fertilizer can be used for hostas. Simply choose your favorite 10-10-10 fertilizer, distribute evenly, and watch your hostas bloom beautifully this spring!
How To Make Homemade Fertilizer For Hostas
If you want, you can make a very effective homemade fertilizer for hostas. The ingredients are mostly up to you. Most people incorporate Epsom salts for hostas, as it can encourage growth, and use other materials like bone or blood meal, manure, or cottonseed.
Interested in how to make homemade fertilizer for hostas? Our favorite recipe is totally simple!
All you need is:
- A large watering can or spray jug
- 1 gallon of water
- 2tbsp of Epsom salts
Combine the Epsom salts in the gallon of water, and add it to your watering can or spray jug. Douse your hostas thoroughly!
This works because Epsomsalts are not salt at all – instead, they’re made of magnesium sulfate. Magnesium is a crucial nutrient for hostas, and ensuring that they have enough magnesium will help them grow bigger, and make them more resilient to pests!
How To Make Hostas Grow Bigger
Whether you’re a home gardener, or you’re one of the many landscape contractors in Vancouver looking to grow bigger hostas, you’ve come to the right place! Here are our best tips on how to make hostas grow bigger.
Trim regularly – Trim and cut down your hostas regularly in November, or whenever they become dormant. You can cut off withered or unsightly foliage, and trim your hostas into a more pleasing shape. This will help the plant grow bigger during the next spring growing season.
Use the right fertilizer at the right time – You should use a 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 fertilizer as soon as your hostas come out of dormancy in the spring. This will ensure they have plenty of nutrition throughout the early growing season. You can also supplement this with an Epsom salts application every month.
Water often – Hostas need about 1 inch of water per week. If you live in a more dry area, ensure that they get all of the water they need, and try to water in the mornings. This will help the plant absorb more water, and grow healthily.
Fight back against slugs – Slugs and snails are the main pests that affect hostas. To fight back against them, simply combine 1 part ammonia with 9 parts water – 10oz ammonia with 90oz water, for example. Then, spray this solution all around your hostas.
It’s diluted enough that it will not harm your plants, but ammonia is highly toxic to slugs and snails, because they absorb it directly through their mucous membranes. This will kill adult slugs, baby slugs, and any slug eggs that may be present in your garden.
Follow these tips for bigger, healthier, and more beautiful hostas during the next growing season!
Proper Care For Hostas Leads To Better Results – Follow Our Tips!
With these helpful tips about hosta fertilization and care, you’re sure to have everything you need to ensure the health of your hostas during the upcoming growing season! Thanks for reading, and happy gardening!