Winterizing Hostas - Knowledgebase Question

Arlington Heights, Il
Avatar for jealzi14
Question by jealzi14
October 14, 2009
Dear Expert,
I live in the Chicago metro area and as many know, our Winters are brutal. I'm busy winterizing the house right now and was wondering how I should go about caring for my hostas. Would you please explain to me what I need to do to winterize and prepare my hostas for strong growth next Spring? I'm especially worried because they were planted this past Spring and are looking weak..

Answer from NGA
October 14, 2009
I understand your concern but hostas won't need any special winter care at all. After frost nips the foliage you can cut it off at ground level then spread a thick layer of organic mulch (shredded leaves, pine needles, pine boughs, etc.) over the top of the soil to help protect the crowns of the plants over the winter months. This organic mulch will help moderate soil temperatures so you won't have them heaving right out of the soil during the thaw/freeze cycles that happen in the fall and spring months. When the soil warms you'll see new leaves emerging and that's when you can brush away the organic matter so the hostas can grow. Enjoy your landscape!

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