Because of its large leaves, the hosta evaporates a lot of water. This is why it needs constant water replenishment.
Water the hosta when the soil is 1 to 2 inches dry. When watering, use 1-3 gallons of water or more, depending on the size of the plant.
This is a short recommendation about watering a hosta and we’ll talk about it in more detail below. Also, if you want to know more about this plant, read Hosta Care – Ultimate Growing Guide.
How often and how much should I water?
At different times of the year and weather the drying rate of the ground is different. It also depends on the composition of the soil. Clay soil dries more slowly than sandy soil.
It is, therefore, a mistake to recommend watering once a week. The best way to determine whether a hosta needs water is to check how wet the soil is with your fingers.
If the soil is more than 1 to 2 inches dry, you need to water the hosta.
Water at least 1 gallon of water for dwarf and medium-sized hostas. Larger hostas need 2-3 or more gallons of water.
The best way to water is with a drip hose. This will keep the soil evenly moist around the hosta without wasting water.
The best time to water your hosta is earlier in the morning. This way, the water will be absorbed before the afternoon. If you water in the afternoon, much of the water will evaporate before it reaches the roots.
In the fall, watering should be reduced because the hosta hardly evaporates at this time. But still, keep the soil a little moist so that it can store water for the winter.
Avoid watering in the winter. This is when it feeds on its internal stores and too wet soil around the roots will not do any good.
If you water a hosta according to a schedule without paying attention to the amount of rainfall, you run the risk of overwatering the soil. Although the hosta is considered a water-loving plant, wet soil can cause root rot.
As a result, the leaves will begin to turn yellow. After a while, the stems will rot from underneath and the hosta will droop.
Root rot is difficult to treat. You will have to dig up the hosta and remove the rotten tissue. A long regeneration process will follow.
To avoid all this, only water the hosta when it’s not raining. The soil should dry out an inch or two between waterings.
Also, provide the hosta with well-drained soil. You can accomplish this by adding a soil conditioner to the native soil. For more information please check Can Hostas Be Overwatered?
Not enough water
Another problem is underwatering of the hosta. This often happens in the heat of summer and with newly planted hostas. Potted hostas also often suffer from dehydration.
If the plant does not get enough moisture, the first thing that will happen is that the leaves and stems will begin to droop. If the hosta is growing in a location with several hours of direct sun and you don’t water it in time, the leaf margin can turn brown.
To avoid all this, constantly monitor the soil moisture. Particular attention should be paid to the hosta in the summer. If the soil gets a little dry (1 to 2 inches), water it right away.
If your hosta is severely affected by a lack of water, in most cases it will not die. Some of the leaves may die, but the rhizome can hold a lot of water. In a short time, new leaves will emerge and the plant will recover.
Mulch hostas to reduce watering frequency
In order to prevent the soil from drying out around the hosta, you should always mulch it. In addition, mulch will prevent the root system from heating up in the summer and prevent weeds from germinating.
Compost is a good mulching material. It is better to choose a quality product from reputable suppliers.
Pine bark and pine straw also work well as mulch. Both of these materials are natural and do no harm to the plants. Make sure they are disease and pest free.
The layer of mulch should be about 2-3 inches. A thinner layer will not be effective enough. At the same time, a thicker layer will prevent oxygen from reaching the soil.
Avoid covering hosta stems with mulch as it can lead to stem rot. There should be a 1-inch gap between the mulch and the stems.
Depending on the material chosen, the mulch should be renewed every 1-2 years.
Watering hostas in pots
Potted hostas need to be watered much more frequently. In summer, the soil in the pot can dry out in 1-2 days and the plant may feel discomfort.
Check the potting soil for moisture several times a week when it is not raining. Once it is more than 1 inch dry, water with at least 1 gallon of water.
It is best that the potting soil never dries out completely because it is difficult to moisten it back up.
Also, make sure that the pots have drainage holes.
To avoid overheating, place the pot in full shade and mulch the surface.