At this mid-summer time of year, in particular, there are quite a few flowering plants that could use deadheading. For those of you not familiar with the term, in short, deadheading is the removal of old, spent flower heads. Typically these spent flower heads carry the seeds of the plant, and this is why you remove them (in most instances). This seed producing phase sends a signal to the plant that the flowering phase can now come to an end.  In some plants you can actually encourage another round of flowering by removing the fading flowers; in affect telling the plant it needs to produce more flowers.

This is really not the case for hostas.  I deadhead them because I feel they look like @#$% after their flowers fade. Frankly, I use hostas in my designs as foliage plants and rarely (if ever) consider the flowering aspect. Okay, maybe there’s 1 or 2 days in their flowering cycle where they look decent…I’ll give you that.  But the next day I’m at them with my pruners (by-pass type work nice) snipping the spent flower stems at the base. Much better, right?

  • Bonnie Grad
    4:52 PM, 16 July 2010

    I’m not a lover of hosta’s. I know everyone loves them. So, I was real happy when you said to cut down those flowers. I didn’t plant them they were here when we bought the home.

    • Roger
      11:27 AM, 17 July 2010

      2 things that I’m always conscious of with hosta are: When they flower, either prune out the stem & flower asap or very soon after. And 2) use them in balance with other varying textures & plant types.

      I don’t know if your yard has many hosta, but I find people who don’t like or are indifferent to hosta often say: “Yeah, my yard was filled with them growing up” or “My grandmother has them all over the place”.

      There are many, many varieties of hosta. Used properly their large leaves add an interesting texture to the garden and can help to break-up monotonous patches of similar textures. And with their unusual coloring hosta can add some “zing” or draw attention to a particular spot.

      Maybe try digging some up (easy plant to transplant – spring or fall) and rearrange them. Give some away (or discard) if you feel there are too many. Look into books on shade gardens for examples of how hosta can be used.

      Like so many plants, it has alot to do with how we use and arrange them. Also, if they are not “happy” and healthy where they are, they’ll look terrible. Hosta will endure, it seems, through anything. However, when in an ideal environment (shade – partial shade, rich, moist soil) they’ll look great.

  • Peter
    9:31 AM, 18 August 2012

    What rubbish. Our hosta’s flowered for three – four weeks and were covered in bees and hummingbirds. So plant a big patch if you have space. It’s not just about the plant, and ‘design’ but the wildlife it attracts.

    • Roger
      11:12 AM, 18 August 2012

      Good point, Peter. My perspective was obviously based only on aesthetic opinion. You bring up a valid point. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *