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Hostas When to Plant? (Best Time)

Success in growing hostas depends on many factors, one of which is the time of planting. If you make a mistake, the consequences may not be delightful; to avoid this, plant hostas at the most appropriate time.

The best time to plant hostas is mid-spring or early fall. During these two periods, the weather is best for planting, and you can be sure that if you plant them at this time, the result will be positive.

I also have a lot of other information on this topic that I want to share with you. This is what will be discussed below.

Spring is one of the best periods for planting

Season Recommendations
Spring best time
Summer not recommended but possible
Fall best time
Winter not recommended

Spring planting for different climatic zones will vary in time.

For the northern part of the United States (hardiness zones 3-5), the last frosts may occur in the first half of May. This means that you should not plant much earlier than this period.

Late April to early May is the best month for these areas. The main thing here is that the hostas do not start to grow vigorously.

If you planted in late April and then hit a short frost, it’s not scary. The hostas may survive a short drop in temperature.

However, if you plant in early March and then a week (or more), there will be a frost, then problems may arise.

For warmer states (hardiness zones 6-8), the last frosts may occur in the first half of April. Therefore, I do not recommend planting before the second half of March, and it is best to do it in April.

The advantage of planting in the spring is that they will have time to take root by summer. As a result, it will be easier for them to survive the summer heat. Besides, the spring air is more humid, and the plant will be easier to establish itself in a new place.

Fall is another good time

Autumn planting has several advantages over spring.

First of all, in autumn, the weather is milder, the sun is not so harsh, and the plant will feel better in the first weeks in a new place.

Also, there is usually enough rain at this time, so you do not have to worry too often about watering.

Secondly, in autumn, the earth still retains summer heat. As a result, you plant hostas in conditions where the plant’s underground part receives more heat than the top. This leads to the fact that the roots grow vigorously and quickly.

However, you should have time to plant hostas 30 days before the first frosts.

In the northern states located in the hardness zones 3-4, the first frosts may strike in mid-September. Based on this, you need to do the work in the second half of August or early September.

As in the spring, if the early frosts hit, it is not critical. The plant will continue to take root after the frost recedes. The main thing is that the hostas take root before the ground freezes completely by spring.

For warmer climates (hardiness zones 5-8), the first frosts may bother you in the second half of October. The best planting period in this area will be mid-September.

You can plant in late September, but do not delay too long.

Plant them in the right way

I want to say a few words about how to plant hostas properly.

First, choose a day when no sun will not be the sun. It is also important that the soil around is moist, and the plant does not lack moisture.

Try to plant in the morning or evening.

The planting hole should be twice the size of the root ball.

Next, prepare the soil mix. To do this, you will need properly made compost. It is best to buy it from a reliable manufacturer.

Mix one half of compost and one half of garden soil. This will be the optimal substrate for growing hostas.

Fill the hole with soil in half. Take the hosta out of the pot and put it in the hole. The top of the root ball should be on the same level as the surface of the garden. It would be best if you did not bury the stems in the ground, as this may cause the crown to rot.

Pour more soil into the hole so that there is no free space. Carefully compact the soil, trying not to damage the roots.

Water the hosta for the first time. As a result, the earth settles, and small holes are formed. Fill them with earth and water again.

If you are planting in the spring, I recommend pouring slow-release fertilizers into the hole so that the plant receives extra energy throughout the season.

Do not fertilize the hosta if you plant it in the fall, as this can lead to the appearance of young leaves that will be damaged by the first frost.

In the first few weeks, you have to water the hostas quite often. If there is no rain, water once or twice a week. It is necessary to keep the soil always slightly moist but not swampy.

In a month, it is possible to pass to the usual schedule of watering.

If the weather is too sunny, I recommend shading the hostas as much as possible. This can be done with a shading net or garden umbrella.

Remove the shade when you see that new leaves have begun to form and the plant is feeling well.

Summer is an inappropriate period

Summer is not the best time to plant hostas. The exception may be the beginning or end of this time of year.

However, if for some reason you do not have another time, you can try to plant in the summer. Most likely, the plant will take root, although it will be harder.

It is almost certain that the hosta will wither a little for a short time. So try to avoid too hot weather and shade it (how to do it I wrote above).

It will also be good if the first few weeks you moisten the leaves so that the plant loses less moisture.

Experienced gardeners cut a few large leaves, and this reduces the amount of moisture that the hosta evaporates. As a result, you can avoid wilting.

If the plant has formed peduncles and begins to bloom, cut them. Flowering takes a lot of energy, which is better to direct to the formation of roots.

In the worst case, the leaves and stems will wither completely, but the rhizome will remain alive. The plant will recover for a while, and eventually, everything will be fine.

Do not plant hostas in winter

Planting hostas in winter is the worst idea you can think of. However, even here, there is something to say.

In warm climates where the ground freezes for short periods, some gardeners plant hostas in winter. In some cases, it makes sense. I myself have planted these plants several times during the thaw in mid-winter (January).

In some cases, it all ended well. Of course, the plants may lag a little behind in growth, but overall the result was positive.

If the hosta is in a pot on the outside and you move it from the pot to the ground, then nothing will change for it.

Although I must admit that not always everything will be fine, in some cases, the plants froze and rotted because the frozen soil presses on the roots and can damage it. As a result, root rot begins.

From all the above, we can conclude that winter planting can sometimes be successful, but you should not do it at all.