Hostas have become so popular that today you can find them in almost every garden. However, sometimes gardeners have problems with these wonderful plants.
Overwatering is the main cause of the hosta’s leaves turning yellow. Underwatering, scorching summer sun, and disease are other causes of yellowing hosta leaves.
We’ll go over all of these cases and a few others in more detail below. You will also learn what to do in each of these cases to fix the situation.
Hosta leaves turning yellow and brown
Yellowing of hosta leaves accompanied by brown spots or browning is usually a sign of disease. Initially, yellow areas appear on the leaf, in the center of which a brown spot eventually develops.
There are many different diseases that can cause similar symptoms. The diseases can be divided into three groups.
The first is fungal diseases that are most active in wet and warm weather. They are usually not fatal and the hosta is relatively easy to cure.
The second is bacterial diseases. This is quite serious because it can lead to the rotting and death of the hosta.
The third type of disease that causes yellowing is viruses. The most common is HVX. Usually, such diseases cannot be cured.
How to fix
Avoid overwatering the hosta. Water only when the soil has dried out a little. Use organic-rich soil for planting.
Do not plant hostas too deeply. The stems should not be below the ground. Avoid mulching.
Plant the hostas so that air can move freely between them. Spray diseased hostas with an aqueous solution of copper fungicide.
Read more about this in this article: Hosta Diseases and Treatments.
Hosta leaves turning yellow and dying
Overwatering usually causes the leaves to yellow and then die. The whole or part of the leaf turns yellow and brown areas may appear in the center of this yellowness.
This happens because the roots begin to rot if the soil is left wet for a long time. As a result, the leaves do not get any water and slowly begin to die.
The second case of watering problems is underwatering. Lack of water can cause both leaf drooping and yellowing. In this case, the leaves turn yellow starting at the tips. Over time, the yellowing will spread to the edge.
How to fix
Water hostas only when the soil is 1 to 2 inches dry. In hot weather, keep an eye on the soil and keep your hostas from suffering from thirst. Use a moderate amount of water usually 1-2 gallons of water per bush is enough.
If overwatering occurs, pull the hosta out of the soil and clean the roots of the rot. Spray the wounds with copper fungicide and plant the hosta in sterile, drained soil. Provide full shade over the plant until it is fully recovered.
Read more about overwatering in the Overwatered Hosta article.
Hosta leaves turning yellow in fall
If your hostas have started turning yellow in the fall, it’s a sign that the end of the season has arrived. The leaves and petioles of the hosta will die off in the winter, having changed color beforehand.
It all starts in early fall, the leaves turn partially yellow. The edging may become crispy brown or fungal spots may appear on the leaf blade. The hosta can stay in this state until the end of fall.
Some varieties may be completely green until the first frost, after which they turn yellow and droop. This can even happen in early winter if you live in a warm climate.
How to fix
You don’t have to worry about this. Hosta leaves turn yellow in the fall and die off and this is perfectly normal. This is the life cycle of these plants. In the spring new shoots will come out of the rhizome and everything will start all over again.
Once the hosta leaves have died off, you need to get rid of them. Read more about this in How To Care For Hostas In The Fall?
Hosta leaves turning yellow in summer
If your hostas turn yellow in the summer, it’s probably because the sun was too strong. Hostas like shade, but can tolerate some direct sun.
With few hours of sun, the hosta does well in the spring and fall months. But in the summer, when the sun is shining at full strength, the hosta can get damaged.
The sun will destroy the green pigment in the leaves and they will turn pale green or yellowish green. Some varieties will get brown spots from sunburn.
How to fix
Provide shade over the hosta during the scorching summer sun. Water the hostas one additional time. Also, mulch the root zone with organic matter to prevent the soil from overheating.
Next spring, transplant the hosta to a more shady location. Most hostas feel best in full shade.
Read more: How to protect hostas from the sun?
Hostas turning yellow in spring
One possible reason for the yellowing of the hosta in spring is a late frost. Spring is a time when the weather changes drastically. Very often a warm day is replaced by a cold night.
If the hosta has already opened its leaves, and a frost occurs, the leaves may suffer. Wet spots may appear or the leaves may become watery. One possible symptom of frostbite is the yellowing of the leaves.
How to fix
If the leaves have yellowed and drooped, they are likely to die. Carefully tear off or cut them off where they connect to the living tissue. After some time, new shoots will emerge from the rhizome and the bush will recover.
To avoid frost damage, you should cover the hosta with frost cloth for the duration of the frost. Read more about this in the article Will hostas survive a frost?
Hostas turning yellow after transplant
Replanting is quite a challenge for the hosta. This is especially true if the replanting has not been done properly. As a result, the hosta may lose some of its leaves.
If you transplanted a hosta during a hot summer or severely damaged the rhizome, the hosta can become stressed. Strong sun and drought will make things worse and the hosta may turn yellow.
How to fix
Create full shade over the hosta in its new location. The shade should remain for at least a few weeks or even until the end of the season.
Water the hosta with 1-2 gallons of water. Next, keep an eye on the soil, and don’t let it dry out more than an inch.
To avoid negative consequences, transplant your hosta only in early spring on a cloudy day. Read more about this in the article Hostas Transplant Shock.
Indoor hosta leaves turning yellow
The main reason why indoor hosta turns yellow is the growing conditions. Hostas are not capable of growing indoors and sooner or later they will die.
First, this happens because they need a winter dormancy time. If the hosta does not go into winter dormancy, it will be severely depleted. It can survive a season or two indoors, but it will turn yellow and die anyway.
The second is that there is too little light in the room and the leaves will turn pale. If you don’t give her more light, the leaves will turn pale yellow.
Should I cut off yellow hosta leaves?
You don’t need to cut back the yellow leaves of the hosta if they are still alive. If the leaves are damaged by the sun, only the color may change, but the leaf will still be alive and still be beneficial to the plant.
On the other hand, if the yellow leaves are already dead, it is better to cut them off. This usually happens as a result of frostbite or overwatering. There is no need to leave the dead leaves to rot near the bush.
Cut the leaves off just above where the dead tissue joins the living tissue. The cut will dry out and new shoots will emerge after a while if the season is not over.