How Much Water Do Hostas Need?

by Judi on September 5, 2017

Just how much water do Hostas need to thrive? Find quick tips and methods for the care and watering of your Hosta and avoid killing them.

Recently I attended a workshop that an area Garden Club sponsored (Tilling Thyme, Sparta, WI) with a wonderful garden tour and in addition had a local Hosta Nursery, Uniquely Hostas, in Elroy, WI, presenting a program on growing Hostas.

Even though I have been growing Hostas for 30+ years, it was so interesting and I gained even more knowledge!  (You are never too old to learn)!

Marlene Rosenberg and husband Jonathan Goodrich along with their son Seth, own and operate Uniquely Hostas in Elroy, WI.  They started the business 4 years ago.

How Much Water Do Hostas Need?

All of their thousands of Hostas are grown in the sun!  Yes, in the sun.  The key is the reasoning as we have been told for years, and years and that is to water, water, water the plants!  They say from 1.5 to 2″ per week is what is needed to keep them growing well.  Not, the 1 inch per week that we always heard.  Plus, if you are fighting tree roots then the tree gets all of the moisture first.  (It is bigger!)

Can You Grow Hostas In The Sun?

Most large commercial growers have all their Hostas growing in the sun.  The reasoning is that the root system develops better because of the roots always going out and looking for water.  Also, a plus, the sun will help the golden Hostas like Sum & Substance and August Moon, Midas Touch, Key West, Sun Power, and Vanilla Cream and many other golden Hostas, retain their color throughout the season.

We lost another 100+-year-old white pine in a winter storm in March this year, that was in the south east area of a large Hosta Bed, and that has opened up the shade cover and I can see that the Hostas were looking real good there this summer in spite of losing the tree.  The Hostas that usually had burnt leaves by Mid July, were still lovely this year up to and through early August.  I am surprised and happy. This happened because of all the extra rain we have had here in Wisconsin this summer and there was no extra watering to be done during the summer months.

Moving Hosta Can Help Their Appearance

A few years ago I had a Sum & Substance planted in a northern exposure on the side of our gazebo and it did nothing!  It didn’t color up at all.  I finally moved it to that same southeast location on the side of the house and now it is 5 feet wide and gorgeous yellow/gold.  So, I realized how Hostas need the sun, but didn’t realize that the sun makes them put down more roots and thus, grow faster and larger.  Of course, this all depends on how much water they get in a season, and many years you need to supplement that.

Sum and Substance Hosta

Sum and Substance Hosta

Liberty Hosta

Liberty Hosta steals the show.

We here, in West Central Wisconsin, have had an overabundance of rain this spring and summer and so all was well until about a week ago when I could start to see burning on the leaves as the rain clouds went around us this August.  I am not, however watering the mature ones this time of the year, as it is mid-August, and they will be fine the rest of the growing season and still look good.

Guardian Angel Hosta

Guardian Angel looking good in the fall months with plenty of water.

I do, however, have some little Munchkin Fire that I purchased this spring, that I water as they were so little, I put them in 4″ pots and sunk them in the ground and now they are 3 times as large as when they came in the mail.  They are doing really well in the pots and will stay in them over this winter.  I will transplant them next spring into the soil along with some compost.

There is always something to be learned from attending programs on gardening and plantings of any kind.  There are always tidbits to pick up along the way, too, from neighbors and friends that love to dabble in the growing of plants.  Attend garden seminars and classes and as many as possible to pick up all the information your mind can soak up!

Happy Gardening,







{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike Anderson September 13, 2017 at 6:11 am

Hello Judi, This post is very useful for gardeners. It is definitely a chance that how much water do hostas need. You have explored all the points for making beautiful garden and their needs. Thanks for this informative post.


Judi September 17, 2017 at 5:35 pm

Thank you, Mike. You are Welcome.
Happy Gardening, Judi


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