The Q&A Archives: Nasty Looking Hostas

Question: When we bought this house this fall the yard was a mess. This spring i was pleased to find dozens of hostas coming up under and around the deck. Well, they looked beautiful and then they turned yellowish in July and for the past few weeks they look singed and fried and horrible. I love hostas but obviously they either can't handle the 100+ temperatures we have been having or they are getting too much sun (which I suspect is true). I don't want them to die but obviously might have to move them. Is now a terrible time to do it? Does this sound like they are burned?

Answer: It does sound as though the hostas are suffering from exposure. I wonder how long they've been planted in their present location? I'd move them to a shady location, in soil freshly amended with organic matter to help retain moisture. It's always stressful on plants to be moved during the height of the summer, but in this case you may be actually prolonging the life of the plants. Get the new bed all ready for them, then choose a cool morning or early evening to move them. Water the soil well a few hours prior to the move to make digging easier. Then dig and replant as quickly as you can so as not to expose the roots to dry air. Since they're going into a cooler, shadier area, they should perk right up. If not, the roots are hardy and will send up new foliage next spring.

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