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Winter Care For Hostas

Hostas need a period of dormancy, brought on by colder weather (and perhaps decreased light). Click here for a plant hardiness zone weather map. We prefer to remove the foliage in the fall, after it has died back. Leaving the foliage intact over the winter can provide a home for rodents and insect pests. In climates involving a frequent freeze/thaw cycle (like Illinois) hostas may heave. For the medium and larger varieties this usually is not a big problem. But dwarf and small hosta may die when their root systems become exposed. Thus, we recommend covering the smallest hosta with a couple of inches of compost (or peat moss) so that if they heave they'll find themselves in a friendlier environment. Then in mid or late March before the leaves start to emerge, we gently rake off the compost.

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