The Q&A Archives: Browning Hosta Leaves

Question: I have six hostas that I transplanted this past spring into an appropriately shady garden bed. They have done extremely well so far, but some of the leaves on two of three of the plants have turned brown and died back about half-way or they have turned brown along the edges. What could be the cause of this, and why is it happening to some but not all of my hostas?

Answer: There are two common reasons for this to happen. The first is water stress, and you may find that there are minor differences in your watering pattern or soil or mulch layer amount of shade they receive to account for this. Also, some plants are possibly just less well rooted than the others which could explain it. The second is early frost damage which happened just as the leaves were unfolding or emerging. Often this damage does not show up until much later in the season when the plants are fully leafed and the vascular system is attempting to work at full capacity.

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