How to Prune Hostas

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Things You'll Need

  • Fork

  • Spade

  • Pruning shears

  • Mulch

Hostas have beautiful heart-shaped leaves in many different colors.

Hostas are one of the most popular herbaceous perennial plants grown around the world. They are easy to look after and will tolerate shade. Pruning your hosta will keep it looking good year-round and help to reduce the chances of it being attacked by an infection. Hostas need to be planted in soil which is not going to be allowed to dry out in hot weather as they will quickly wilt when thirsty. Regular watering and a layer of mulch will help to keep them in top condition.

Step 1

Prune the hosta in fall when the leaves have died back. This way the plant will have taken as much energy and nutrients as possible from the leaves for next spring. Use pruning shears to carefully cut the dead leaves back to the base of the stem. Avoid pulling leaves out using your hands as this can tear into the living tissue at the base of the plant, leaving a wound which is open to fungal infection.

Step 2

Divide hostas in spring when you can clearly see where the new shoots are. Use a fork to dig the hosta out of the ground, removing as much soil from the roots as possible. Use pruning shears to remove any dead or unhealthy-looking roots. If left on the plant, this will worsen the plant's health and appearance. Use a spade to slice through the hosta root and replant the clumps at least 1 foot apart to give them space to grow.

Step 3

After pruning and division, apply a layer of mulch around the plant. Mulch can be either well-rotted manure or compost and should be no more then 2 inches thick to discourage slugs from using it as a home. Mulch will feed the plant and help to keep it healthy. Mulch also keeps the soil moist in hot weather.