Seasonal Care

When should I cut off the flower scapes?

To many this is more a matter of taste than science. However, the longer the scape remains on the plant and the plant is required to provide nourishment to the seed pods, the less energy is being stored in the crown for future growth. Therefore, unless you are specifically hybridizing with a plant, you would be well advised to cut off the scape as soon as flowering is completed. Furthermore, some hostas, such as H. `Lemon Lime', have been found to rebloom in certain areas. Cutting off the flower scape as soon as possible tends to increase the probability of rebloom for those hostas.

What should I do with the hosta leaves after they go dormant?

There are several options. Hosta leaves will decompose, so if you have no problem with the appearance, you could leave them in place. However, be advised that leaving the decaying leaves in place provides a home for slugs and other unwanted critters to over winter. Many people chose to compost them and in so doing recycle nutrients. Finally, if you feel that your hostas may be affected by foliar nematodes you may want to just throw them away; DO NOT COMPOST THEM!

My H. plantaginea is coming out of the ground (I can see its roots); why is this happening?

Some hostas seem to be more susceptible to this problem than others. It appears that these hosta "climb" out of the ground when the ground heaves (goes through repeated freeze/thaw cycles). Most people keep an eye on the problem and put additional mulch around the hosta as it "climbs" its way out.
<em>H</em>. Liberty

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