Do hostas come back bigger each year?

Hostas are beautiful plants that go through many changes every season. In the winter, for instance, hostas go through a state of dormancy. This begs the question, when do hostas come up each year?

Hostas typically come up each year in mid-spring. In areas with snowy winters, hosta stems usually emerge in April and leaf out in May. In warmer zones, new shoots may come up in March or even late February before leafing out in late March or April. The exact timing differs according to your location and the soil temperature in the springtime.

Read on to learn all you need to know about the timing and manner of reemerging hostas after dormancy.

Do hostas come back bigger each year?
Hosta plant coming up from the roots on april 29, 2020

In this article, we'll cover hide

Hosta life cycle

What to expect from your hostas in the spring

Leaf growth in spring

Root growth in spring

The influence of summer

Recharging in winter

Hosta life cycle

Every fall, your hosta falls down to the ground. Later, another bigger and fuller version appears in spring. Hostas don’t really die during the winter, though. They simply go through a state of dormancy once the temperature drops.

During this period, your hosta plant loses its foliage and appears to be cracked. Your hosta is technically saving its energy to survive during the cold days of winter, so there is no need to panic.

The hosta plant begins to reappear when the weather warms up again in the early spring. By late March, your hostas will resprout in the form of rigid, pointed tips, known as shoots or eyes. It takes a hosta plant about 4-6 weeks to grow full leaves.

Do hostas come back bigger each year?
When do hostas come up?

What to expect from your hostas in the spring

During early spring, you should expect to find shoots or eyes poking out of the soil. Sometimes, they’re hard to spot, so you can feel the soil with your fingers to find them.

Depending on the type of your hosta plant, the new eyes might be skinny or thick. They may also be green, purple, or white. Typically, your plant’s age, size, and location determine its size and color.

You should be very cautious when you touch the new sprouts because any injury can create deformed leaves.

Leaf growth in spring

This is called the bullet stage. It starts when the temperature is above 40℉. During this stage, growth occurs in the centralized crown.

Hostas show a healthier growth in warmer USDA zones in which the temperature exceeds 60℉ in spring. This centralized crown grows for longer periods in moist, well-drained soils.

This crown can easily rot, though. So, you need to make sure to remove any piled-up soil or mulch around it to allow the circulation of air. This helps prevent bacterial or fungal infections that can harm the hosta leaves.

Root growth in spring

The roots of your hosta plant don’t grow as fast as the leaves in the spring. It can take up to a whole month for the roots to start truly growing. Hosta roots may spread faster with the earlier rising temperature of the soil in warmer USDA zones 8 and 9.

The roots of the hosta plant usually carries plenty of nutrients to supply the leaves and the rest of the plant. Therefore, its growth requires fertile soil that’s rich in organic material.

The roots of your hosta will grow to form new structures in order to cater to the newly emerging leaves that can grow up to several feet. Therefore, this growth requires extra moisture.

Do hostas come back bigger each year?
When do hostas come up?

The influence of summer

The heat of summer triggers the reproductive habits of your hosta. With the healthy growth of leaves over the spring, hostas consume their energy to form flowers during the summer.

Hostas can form up to 75 flowers on a single stalk, in fact!

By the end of summer, the temperature cools a bit. This spring-like weather triggers the growth of leaves in hostas.

Recharging in winter

The colder the weather gets around your hosta, the stronger its growth will be over the spring. When the temperature drops under 40℉ in the winter, hostas usually fall into dormancy.

During this time, your hosta plant directs its energy towards survival. To assist with this, you’ll need to winterize the plant properly.

As soon as the winter is over, your hosta plant will come back stronger and a lot larger in the spring.

If you’re looking for a well-traveled plant with a long history, the hosta (Hosta) ranks at the top of the list. While its growth in North America is relatively new, hosta dates to the Han dynasty of China and the year 206 B.C., according to documents unveiled from that period of history. Forty species of the plant were grown in Asia, after which they spread to Korea and Russia.

European gardeners adapted the hosta to their climates in the 1830s, and the plant eventually crossed the ocean to North America. An adapatable plant, hostas grow successfully in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 3–9, as long as they have the shade required for growth. Determine your zone before choosing your hosta variety, which may be a complicated task since there are over 8,000 cultivars.

Growth Rates of the Hosta Plant

Once you’ve narrowed down which cultivar suits your hardiness zone, your next decision is whether you want a slow-, medium- or fast-growing plant. These rates of growth are determined by the care and attention the garden receives and shouldn’t be considered a law. Also, the actual rate of growth is determined after the plant has reached maturity, after five or six years. The growth rate is determined, not by the number of leaves that it adds each year, but the number of flowers produced within the clump.

Growing Conditions for Hostas

As a woodland plant, hostas like shade and moist humus-rich soil. Dry, thin soil means death to all hostas. Hostas with variegated leaves (Hosta 'Undulata Variegata') don’t thrive in the sun and burn easily. They need constant moist soil, and water should be added underneath the clump. And don’t depend on your blue hosta leaves to maintain their color when the sun hits them. The leaves bleach out and turn green.

Hostas go dormant when the temperatures fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This is when they start using their energy to prepare for the warm-weather growth. Trim back the foliage, stop feeding them fertilizer, and add mulch around their base to keep the soil warm. If you live in zones 6 and above, the soil maintains a temperature sufficient to keep the hosta healthy throughout the cooler season.

How to Plant Hostas

Consider the hosta a rescue plant. They fill shady spaces in the garden, around the house, under trees or anywhere that sun doesn’t reach. They are the perfect ground cover, and as long as the soil is rich, the hosta grows. Before you plant your hosta, understand the requirements your variety demands.

Give the hosta enough room to spread out as it grows, and be aware that the smaller hosta grows to three times its width at maturity in three to five years. Medium hostas grow to twice their height, and large hostas grow as tall as it is wide. Fragrant hosta flowers of many colors appear in the summer and attract hummingbirds and bees. They get leggy, and cutting them won’t damage or stunt the growth of the greenery below.

Keeping Hostas Healthy

Slugs and snails dine on hostas as soon as they find the new leaves emerging. If picking them off by hand sends shivers down your spine, lay a circle of ash around the plant to repel them. Coffee grounds are another repellent that some gardeners find helpful. Place them around the plant, and when the slugs crawl over the grounds, they'll absorb the caffeine, which ultimately kills them.

Slugs love beer and can smell it from a great distance. Plant a small dish at least 2 inches above ground level and fill it with beer to attract them. If it doesn’t drown the slugs, they will die after ingesting the ethanol in the beer. Don’t plant the beer at ground level as it will kill the beneficial bugs that are keeping your garden healthy.

How long does it take for a hosta to grow to full size?

Smaller and more vigorous hostas can reach mature sizes in 3 to 5 years. Giant and slower growing hostas can take 5 to 7 years to reach their potential. The quality of your soil and available moisture can also play a big part in this.

How do I make my hostas grow bigger?

To achieve maximum growth potential, Hostas need soil that's rich in organic matter, regular water (at least an inch of water every week), and the right amount of sunlight for the specific variety. If any of these pieces are missing – your Hostas will grow slowly and not get as large.

Why are my hostas so small this year?

A hosta not growing and producing new foliage indicates that it needs nutrients to thrive. While hostas don't require excessive amounts of fertilizer for healthy growth, they do need an adequate supply of nitrogen at the beginning of the growing season.

Do hostas expand?

Hostas can spread, either through underground runners or seeds. Rhizomatous Hostas that spread underneath the soil are the worst offenders. These varieties will spread almost indefinitely. Non-Rhizomatous varieties will grow in clumps that reach a mature width.