|Hosta "Queen Josephine" in spring|
|Hosta "Queen Josephine" in fall|
The first issues I try to prevent are slug and snail problems. Slug and snails can wreak havoc on my Hosta leaves in the spring and summer. I believe removing the leaves in the fall help to reduce their numbers come spring since they can lay their eggs in decaying matter. Removing the foliage makes them move somewhere else to lay their eggs.
Another reason to remove the foliage is foliar nematodes. Nematodes can overwinter in the dead foliage and find their way to your Hosta next spring. Nematodes cause damage to the leaves in the summer and they can spread if not controlled.
Disease control is another reason to remove the dead foliage. Some diseases can make their home in dead and decaying matter. Good housekeeping around your flower beds can help keep problems such as anthracnose and bacterial rot at bay along with a multitude of other disease that may or may not affect your Hosta but do affect your other plants in your garden.
How do I clean up my Hosta? I wait for them to be hit by a freeze and then I go out and pull the dead foliage away from the crown of the Hosta. It should pull right off. I am not a fan of using tools such as pruners for this since disease can be spread that way, and you don't really need them anyway. I also do not compost any of the leaves-my compost does not get hot enough to kill any pests or disease so I send them off with our city since they have a compost facility.
Here are some pics of how to remove the foliage easily:
1. Find a Hosta
As always-Happy Planting!