That’s the question a new homeowner asked me last week. “I just bought a house and the yard is full of hostas. What do I do with them?”
Good question. And I think I had an answer that made her happy.
In the fall, most hosta leaves turn lovely shades of yellow and gold. And then they turn translucent. And mushy.
What to do with them? One of two things: the first is leave them alone as they’ll decompose over the winter. Hostas truly are a wonderful plant if you don’t want to do a lot of work in your garden!
Or, the second option is to remove the dead leaves and put them in the compost. If you have a lot of slugs or snails in your garden removing the leaves can help keep them in check, as you’ve removed their hiding place and their immediate food source.
I like to wait until the leaves have turned golden and started to soften. This is the point when they have finished their life’s work (i.e. photosynthesis) and the plant doesn’t need them any more. You don’t usually need to cut the leaves off at this stage as they will come off with a firm tug.
If they don’t pull out easily then you can cut them off at ground level with a pair of secateurs or scissors.
Because they’re perennials, the hostas will come back up again in the same place next spring. Hostas truly are an easy care plant!