How often to water hostas

Most gardeners water their hostas about once a week. Hostas grow best with 1-2 inches of water weekly, with that water coming either from precipitation or from irrigation. When you do water your plants, be sure to water the base of the plant thoroughly (not the leaves). During hot, dry weather, you may have to water your hostas a couple of times per week or even every other day during a heat wave for them to truly thrive.

Frequent watering is especially important for newly planted hostas in hot climates. Established hosta plants are surprisingly drought-tolerant and can often survive several weeks without water. Let’s take a detailed look at how often to water hostas and the factors that affect watering.

How often to water hostas

Hostas are native to shaded forest environments and prefer to grow in moist conditions. This means they need a constant supply of water, whether from the environment or from their gardener. The amount of water these plants need will depend on a few factors.

1. Size of the hosta

The average garden hosta will grow to about a foot high and two feet wide. But there are mini varieties, and there are giant varieties. Big hostas contain more water than mini ones, so you’ll need to give them a larger volume of water to fill their cells and fulfill other important jobs.

2. Sunlight exposure

Even though hostas need sunlight to grow, they don’t like being in the full sun. Since this plant likes moist environments, being in the sun for too long can dry the soil and roots out. Therefore, if you plant your hosta in an area that gets plenty of sun rays, you’ll need to make up for the water lost to evaporation.

3. Weather conditions

Another factor that plays a major role in hosta growth is the weather. Hostas are comfortable in warm, slightly humid weather. During this time, they only need about an inch of water a week.

Watering is usually increased when the weather is hot and dry. In the winter, when temperatures are lower, you can decrease watering frequency.

How to water hostas

Like most plants, hostas absorb water through their network of roots. This means it’s best if you water the base of the plant and allow the water to seep into the soil.

Watering the leaves of the plant can stop them from drying out, but the plant won’t be able to absorb the water. Wet leaves can also encourage disease. This is most common in moist climates, shaded areas, and when the leaves are watered in the evening and stay wet through the night.

There are a few different ways you can go about watering your hostas. These include:

  • Using a hose
  • Using a sprinkler
  • Using an irrigation system

How much free time you have on your hands will decide which method you use. A hose is the most common method, but it can be tedious to water your hostas by hand.

If you don’t want to water the plant by hand, you can use a sprinkler or irrigation system. An irrigation system is the gentlest for your plants, but it’s the most expensive method.

Automatic garden irrigation spray system watering flowerbed

How to know if your hosta plants need water

If you’re not sure your hosta plant is getting enough water, look out for a couple of signs.

  • Wilting or drooping leaves
  • The outer edges of the leaves start to turn yellow or brown

If you’re not sure your plant is exhibiting these signs, you can always do the finger test. Gently push your finger an inch into the soil at the base of the plant. If the soil feels dry, then your hosta probably needs more water.

Edges of green and white leaves of hosta plants turning brown

When to water hostas

The ideal time to water your hosta is in the early morning hours. Watering the plant before the sun rises to its peak will make sure it has plenty of time to absorb the water. Morning water also helps prevent over-watering.

Mary Jane Duford
Mary Jane Duford

Mary Jane Duford is a quintessential Canadian gardener. An engineer by trade, she tends to an ever-expanding collection of plants. In her world, laughter blooms as freely as her flowers, and every plant is raised with a dash of Canadian grit.

Mary Jane is a certified Master Gardener and also holds a Permaculture Design Certificate. She's also a proud mom of three, teaching her little sprouts the crucial difference between a garden friend and foe.

When she's not playing in the dirt, Mary Jane revels in her love for Taylor Swift, Gilmore Girls, ice hockey, and the surprisingly soothing sounds of bluegrass covers of classic hip-hop songs. She invites you to join her garden party, a place where you can share in the joy of growing and where every day is a new opportunity to find the perfect spot for yet another plant.

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