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I have lots of hostas, some in pots and others in the ground. They have all started to die back now so do I cut them back or leave them to their own devices?
I would leave them. The leaves rot away very quickly and will feed the plant.
One of my favourite sights in autumn is the yellowing of the huge hostas in the gardens at Blickling Hall in Norfolk.
Leave your hosta leaves to change colour gloriously, and only when they turn brown and slushy with the frosts need you clear them away to remove hiding places for slugs.
Personally I prefer to remove the leaves after they have died back, Once the leaves are dead then they are very easy to pull away from the plant. I prefer to remove the dead leaves from hostas to prevent them from becoming a magnet for slugs.
Like me I'm new to gardening and was just thinking what to do with my hosta's this winter and this thread has the answer so I thought I would bring it back into the forum
Hostas are hardy enough.....unless you want to split them just leave them where they are in pots or in the garden. However, if the clumps are reasonable size just push a spade to cut in half ....or quarters, whatever....and replant or pot up. Hostas grow so quickly .....a clump can be made more,impressive by replacing with it 3 divisions. If you want something to grow in its place over winter dig hosta as a clump and leave it in a protected spot and plant a wallflower, etc. When wallflower is over replant your hosta. Keeps your garden full and interesting all year round
I have under planted my hosta border with spring bulbs ie snowdrops and specie crocus. In autumn I leave the hosta leaves to die back then cover the beds in cocoa shell bark. The beds look good, and it discourages slugs. Then the joy of the spring bulbs before the host as shoot....gorgeous.
I have hostas which I am planning to move (along with lots of other shrubs!) I want to store them over winter, can I do that without them being in soil?
No, pot them up and keep them in a light but sheltered corner of the garden.
I used to cut back my hostas as soon as they started to die back. Now, like Gary, I leave them until they are really slimy at which point they will easily pull away from the heart and are conveniently ready for putting straight into the compost without any chopping or shredding.
Mine are all in pots, I live in Lancashire and they have been hardy even through the harsh Winters of 2010/11. I just leave them all Winter where they stand in Summer on the patio and I haven't lost one yet.
I have had my hostas in pots for quite a few years and although they do very well I would like to divide them to increase my stock, however I just can't get them out of the pots and think I might have to smash the pots in order to remove the plants,which I'd rather not do unless I have to. I'd be grateful if anyone has any ideas please?
I think I may have the same problem - I have some in pots and they have grown enormously this year. If I can't get them out using the usual methods, I will try putting the pots on their sides and using the hose to wash out as much soil as possible to loosen them . May have to resort to using a knife and some brute force but the plants need dividing so nothing else for it. They'll recover amazingly well as long as there is a section of healthy root and some nascent shoots.
Patrevili Ginglygangly I empathise, I had real bother getting mine out a month or so ago. I did manage it with great difficulty. One got divided into 4 but it was with brute force and not an easy job. I had to use a shovel, knife and forks in the end. I won't leave it as long next time. They really need dividing every 3 years or so I think.
I have the same problem, may have to resort to smashing my pots, but I don't really want to. Will try brute force first. I can't remember ever dividing mine, but this year is the first year they haven't done so well, so me thinks they need a bit of loving!
I leave mine in the garden and don't bother cutting stuff off. Ones in pots go in GH but only to the protect pots, these are the ones I divide, because I do it each year they don't outgrow the pots.
Years ago when I first grew them they started to look sick at this time of year, so I fed them, re-potted to no avail..Mum had to tell me that they died off in the Autumn
to get jammed-in plants out of pots I cut around the rim with long serrated knife and as deep as possible. Then levering with a trowel and lifting at same time. Offen have pot upside down. Never had to break a pot yet. With things like hostas a knife down the middle too helps. I split mine every two years if only to enrich the compost in the pot. A divided hosta planted In fresh compost ...for me...produces a bigger and better plant than one not divided.
With the Hostas stuck in pots, I recommend putting the spade through the middle twice, about 1 -2 inches apart, effectively removing a wedge of hosta, this bit can be potted (or thrown as it's the 'Oldest' part anyway), you'll find that the rest of the hosta comes away with ease afterwards.
I'd also recommend pots that do NOT get narrower around the rim, these are very common, but possibly the worst design for permanent planting. If your pot does get narrower around the rim, use it for annual bedding displays and buy your hosta one that doesn't. .
With regards to leaving the Hosta clumps out of soil, not a problem, provided you put them in a shed or garage, covered with a sheet or piece of carpet to protect from frost and keep them from drying out completely. This is what the nurseries do when dealing with a majority of Herbaceous perennials, including Hostas, it's just not feasable to even consider going on the growing fields during the winter, so they lift them all now and store them until they can split them and pot.
I usually split hostas in spring just as the very first new shoots show their points because, if done in areas with cold winters, they can sulk and even die.
I have several in pots too and they'll all need dividing next spring and many will go in the ground to reduce my watering jbo in high summer. Getting a Sum and Substance out its pot will be fun as it's a huge pot that narrows at the neck. Oops. Howevr it needs doing as the two out in eth eborders are now producing much larger leaves than it despite being the same age.
With the very large leaved hostas, dividing them can lead to smaller leaves for the new season but then they go back to normal. Most hostas respond well to being divided and show renewed vigour.