Do all hostas require shade?

Although hostas are not shade plants, they all benefit from some shade.  We are so far north here in Central New York that generally hostas tolerate more sun than we think they will.  Given adequate moisture they will grow better in more sun.  The question then becomes what type of fading, bleaching or scorching are you willing to tolerate the second half of the year.

When is the best time to split or move a hosta?

Although you can split or move a hosta any time the dirt is not frozen, the hosta would prefer to be divided the second half of summer.  This will allow the hosta to reestablish itself prior to the end of the growing season.

Do you fertilize your hostas?

All my inventory are in pots, all the pots are fertilized because they are grown in a potting medium that is not dirt.  Hostas in the ground should be fertilized to assist the plant making food, especially if they are competing with tree roots.  The easiest and simplest choice is to take  basic garden fertilizer (10-10-10)  and apply it when the eyes are just coming out of the ground so you can see where the hosta is.  It would be beneficial if you are able to add a second round of fertilizer 6 weeks later.  A foliar spray during the season is also beneficial; several brand names are available, the most widely known is Peter’s Miracle Grow.

Do you mulch your hostas?

I do not mulch my hostas, it provides shelter for slugs and if the mulch is too deep it encourages voles and mice.  However, a fresh coating of mulch each year would reduce the weed population and retain moisture, decomposing and providing a more humusy soil

What do I do about deer?

There are several types of commercially available or home brewed concoctions for hostas to deter deer browsing.  There is also, recently available, a systemic deterrent to give hostas an unappealing taste to deer.  The problem with these defenses is that they require reapplication.  Preemptive measures are advised.

How do you stop the holes in the hosta leaves?

The holes are predominately caused by slugs and snails.  Some hostas are more susceptible to the slug damage due to their thin substance leaves or having H.plantaginea heritage.  Several commercial slug baits are available.  For best results, start the battle end of April or early May before the population of slugs grows.

Do I need to water my hostas?

Hostas appreciate water.  Gardeners have always been told that their gardens need 1 inch of rain a week, hostas would like more than that.