When do hostas come up?

Hostas are beautiful plants that go through many changes every season. In the winter, for instance, hostas go through a state of dormancy. This begs the question, when do hostas come up each year?

Hostas typically come up each year in mid-spring. In areas with snowy winters, hosta stems usually emerge in April and leaf out in May. In warmer zones, new shoots may come up in March or even late February before leafing out in late March or April. The exact timing differs according to your location and the soil temperature in the springtime.

Read on to learn all you need to know about the timing and manner of reemerging hostas after dormancy.

When do hostas come up
Hosta plant coming up from the roots on april 29, 2020

Hosta life cycle

Every fall, your hosta falls down to the ground. Later, another bigger and fuller version appears in spring. Hostas don’t really die during the winter, though. They simply go through a state of dormancy once the temperature drops.

During this period, your hosta plant loses its foliage and appears to be cracked. Your hosta is technically saving its energy to survive during the cold days of winter, so there is no need to panic.

The hosta plant begins to reappear when the weather warms up again in the early spring. By late March, your hostas will resprout in the form of rigid, pointed tips, known as shoots or eyes. It takes a hosta plant about 4-6 weeks to grow full leaves.

Bush of hostas
When do hostas come up?

What to expect from your hostas in the spring

During early spring, you should expect to find shoots or eyes poking out of the soil. Sometimes, they’re hard to spot, so you can feel the soil with your fingers to find them.

Depending on the type of your hosta plant, the new eyes might be skinny or thick. They may also be green, purple, or white. Typically, your plant’s age, size, and location determine its size and color.

You should be very cautious when you touch the new sprouts because any injury can create deformed leaves.

Leaf growth in spring

This is called the bullet stage. It starts when the temperature is above 40℉. During this stage, growth occurs in the centralized crown.

Hostas show a healthier growth in warmer USDA zones in which the temperature exceeds 60℉ in spring. This centralized crown grows for longer periods in moist, well-drained soils.

This crown can easily rot, though. So, you need to make sure to remove any piled-up soil or mulch around it to allow the circulation of air. This helps prevent bacterial or fungal infections that can harm the hosta leaves.

Root growth in spring

The roots of your hosta plant don’t grow as fast as the leaves in the spring. It can take up to a whole month for the roots to start truly growing. Hosta roots may spread faster with the earlier rising temperature of the soil in warmer USDA zones 8 and 9.

The roots of the hosta plant usually carries plenty of nutrients to supply the leaves and the rest of the plant. Therefore, its growth requires fertile soil that’s rich in organic material.

The roots of your hosta will grow to form new structures in order to cater to the newly emerging leaves that can grow up to several feet. Therefore, this growth requires extra moisture.

Close up of hosta leaves in sunlight
When do hostas come up?

The influence of summer

The heat of summer triggers the reproductive habits of your hosta. With the healthy growth of leaves over the spring, hostas consume their energy to form flowers during the summer.

Hostas can form up to 75 flowers on a single stalk, in fact!

By the end of summer, the temperature cools a bit. This spring-like weather triggers the growth of leaves in hostas.

Recharging in winter

The colder the weather gets around your hosta, the stronger its growth will be over the spring. When the temperature drops under 40℉ in the winter, hostas usually fall into dormancy.

During this time, your hosta plant directs its energy towards survival. To assist with this, you’ll need to winterize the plant properly.

As soon as the winter is over, your hosta plant will come back stronger and a lot larger in the spring.

Mary Jane Duford
Mary Jane Duford

Mary Jane Duford is a gardening expert and founder of Home for the Harvest. She's also an engineer and certified permaculture garden designer. Mary Jane has been featured by publications such as Real Simple, Mother Earth News, Homes & Gardens, Heirloom Gardener, and Family Handyman.