Hostas forum: How do you fertilize your hostas?

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Name: Karen
Watertown, WI (Zone 5a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hostas Dog Lover
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kaylyred
May 4, 2010 7:56 AM CST
I'm curious as to how and when everyone fertilizes their hostas.

I give mine a few handfuls of rich composted manure and work it into the soil a bit (letting my many worms do the rest) in the spring as they're unfurling, and that's about it. Could I be doing more to promote good root growth and nice foliage?
Check out Petiole Junction, my garden blog! (I'd love your comments.)
Name: Ann
Ottawa, ON Canada (Zone 5a)
Hostas Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Composter Region: Canadian Clematis
Canning and food preservation Container Gardener Annuals Herbs Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
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ViolaAnn
May 4, 2010 7:42 PM CST
Karen - if you have any varieties that are prone to drawstring effect, you might want to hold off on that fertilizer until AFTER your hostas are unfurled. Extra fertilizer and water tend to encourage the green centres of the leaves of such plants to grow faster than the margins can and the margins end up tight and tear.

I don't fertilize a lot. A handful of alfalfa in the hole when planting and maybe a bit of tomato fertilizer - weak solution of water soluble - to the new plants. A couple of times during the summer I might brew up some alfalfa tea. And occasionally I'll add Epsom salts to the water if they are looking yellowed with darker green veins.
Ann

Pictures of all my hostas, updated annually and tracked since 2008 begin at: https://violaann.smugmug.com/Garden/Hostas/Hostas-in-my-gard...
Name: Christine
Southeastern MN (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Heucheras I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 2 I sent a postcard to Randy! Keeps Horses
Region: Minnesota Birds Raises cows Cat Lover Hostas Farmer
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Christine27360
May 10, 2010 10:33 AM CST
I just water... yup, that's about it!!! I love my low maintenance hostas! Blinking
"Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously."
2 Corinthians 9:6
Name: Elizabeth
Iowa, zone 5a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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conifers
May 10, 2010 12:34 PM CST
I used Miracle Grow slow release fertilizer around the hostas, just sprinkled lightly around. I added some last year in around June and then this year in mid-April. I think I might have overdone things a bit, some of the hostas are gigantic, but everyone looks pretty happy. I will not fertilize again this year, only the new plants when they are planted - I have about 20 that I need to plant tonight. Rolling my eyes.
Elizabeth
Name: Karen
Watertown, WI (Zone 5a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hostas Dog Lover
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kaylyred
May 10, 2010 2:05 PM CST
20 plants! I'm envious.

I guess I've been doing right by my babies, more or less, then. I've been top dressing them with compost and doing little else. I just wondered if they needed a little extra boost in the spring.
Check out Petiole Junction, my garden blog! (I'd love your comments.)
Name: Christine
Southeastern MN (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Heucheras I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 2 I sent a postcard to Randy! Keeps Horses
Region: Minnesota Birds Raises cows Cat Lover Hostas Farmer
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Christine27360
May 10, 2010 2:54 PM CST
Okay Elizabeth -- what are you planting??? Do tell!!!!
"Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously."
2 Corinthians 9:6
Name: Elizabeth
Iowa, zone 5a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Image
conifers
May 10, 2010 3:31 PM CST
Christine, you really want me to list them off? LOL, okay, here the are:

Awakening Angel; Baby Doll; Beet Salad; Boracay; Candy Dish; Color Festival; Confused Angel; Devil's Advocate; Dewed Steel; Gentle Giant; Little Treasure; Margie's Angel; Mouse Tracks; October Sky; Secret Ambition; Seducer; Sharp Dressed Man; Woop Woop; Yellow Polka Dot Bikini

Looks like it is "only" 19 Big Grin
Elizabeth
Name: Christine
Southeastern MN (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Heucheras I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 2 I sent a postcard to Randy! Keeps Horses
Region: Minnesota Birds Raises cows Cat Lover Hostas Farmer
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Christine27360
May 11, 2010 4:23 PM CST
Okay -- now I want all of those too!!! How funny to name a Hosta "Woop Woop"!!! I love this addiction!!
"Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously."
2 Corinthians 9:6
Name: Elizabeth
Iowa, zone 5a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Image
conifers
May 11, 2010 4:39 PM CST
I know, I wanted 'Woop Woop' and 'Yellow Polka Dot Bikini' last year and they were sold out by the time I placed my order (Naylor Creek - love them!). This year, I actually ordered in October 2009 and got my order last Saturday. All of those hostas that I named were from either Naylor Creek or In the Country Gardens - I went to their open house on Saturday. It was cold but I had a BLAST, Josh and his family are awesome people.
Elizabeth
Name: Christine
Southeastern MN (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Heucheras I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 2 I sent a postcard to Randy! Keeps Horses
Region: Minnesota Birds Raises cows Cat Lover Hostas Farmer
Image
Christine27360
May 11, 2010 4:47 PM CST
I will have to add Naylor Creek to my list. What is "In the country gardens"? -- is that an on-line store? where is it?

I ordered 5 Hosta's from "GreatGardenPlants.com" and was pleasantly suprised by the hosta's I received.... they were completely potted (not a bare root in a bag)... completely staked.... all specially wrapped....in a special box! When I pulled them out, they all had at least 2 and one had 4 eyes that were fully developed with leaves etc etc. Very nice people to deal with too.

I may have to order a Woop Woop!!!
"Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously."
2 Corinthians 9:6
Name: CJ
Iowa (Zone 5a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member Region: Iowa Hostas Daylilies Sempervivums
Lilies Garden Art Sedums Ferns Hellebores Heucheras
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AlwaysWeeding
May 11, 2010 8:21 PM CST
Christine -
Info about In the Country Gardens and Gifts is in the Hosta Address Book - Gardens, Exhibits, Vendors database. Browse the database for it and others.

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