As I was prepping to transplant my hostas this year, a storm knocked a tree on top of them. This made me wonder: will hosta leaves grow back when the entire plant has been damaged, and how quickly?
Don’t worry about pruning hostas or if they succumb to damage, as these are hardy, fast-growing plants. So long as the root system is in-tact, you’ll find your hostas returning to a good size within a month or two in the growing season. If your hostas are damaged later in the season, you may have to wait for them to return next spring.
If you want to remove hostas from your garden, don’t just trim them back—they will regrow. Instead, dig up the roots and remove the entire plant.
Below, we’ll discuss how to help damaged hostas grow back more quickly.
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Will Hostas Grow Back After Being Eaten by Deer?
Many gardeners worry when their hostas are eaten by deer or other wildlife, but they shouldn’t be! Hosta leaves are quick to regrow in the right circumstances, and these hardy plants really do want to survive.
That said, you should protect your hostas after the first deer attack. Hostas are much less likely to recover if they’re being eaten repeatedly.
Deer-proof fencing is a great and humane solution for keeping deer out of your garden. If you cannot afford to fence off the entire area, try caging in your hostas with mesh or chicken wire to protect them from wildlife.
Some scent deterrents also work well.
You can also use plants deer dislike to steer them away from your hostas, but most gardeners find limited success with this method—especially after the deer has already found your yummy hostas!
Moth balls are sometimes recommended as a garden deterrent, but I strongly advise against them as they’re inhumane to all parties involved. They’re flammable and toxic, making them a great hazard not just to your garden and to wildlife, but to your family and pets as well.
Boosting Growth of Damaged Hostas
If your hostas are damaged in spring, they’re likely to grow back quickly with regular care. Damage in hot summer months is more harmful, especially if you aren’t getting much rainfall.
Here are some tips for boosting growth after your hostas have been damaged:
- Water your hostas more frequently during regrowth, but don’t leave them waterlogged—this will rot the root system.
- Trim away unsalvageable leaves to clean up the plant, but leave some foliage where possible. This will give the plant the ability to photosynthesize, which will increase its odds of regrowth.
- Fertilize your hostas now if you haven’t done so in a while. Added nutrients will promote new growth.
In the autumn months, your hostas are unlikely to regrow. You shouldn’t worry, however, as the foliage naturally dies back at the end of the growing season anyway. The root system is still alive under the soil’s surface, and your plant will likely return next spring.
Can I cut the leaves off my hostas?
Pruning hostas is best done in spring, as this is when the plant regrows the fastest. It’s best to prune only damaged or unsightly leaves from your plant, rather than cutting it entirely to ground level. Hostas cut down completely can regrow, but repeated trimmings like this will damage your plant.
How do you bring hostas back to life?
So long as the root system is intact, hostas can take plenty of damage to their foliage. Make sure your damaged hosta has plenty of water and nutrients as it regrows.
Damage doesn’t have to be the end for your hosta garden. Whether your hostas were attacked by deer, weather, or other wildlife, give some time and care will help them make a recovery.