Hostas are plantain lilies which are widely cultured as shade-tolerant herbage plants. Hostas need a continuous supply of water to thrive and grow to their actual potential. A major question that pops into the head of most gardeners is what kind of fertilizer should be used on the hostas. Hostas may or may not need fertilizer. But as per studies using the wrong fertilizer for the growth of hostas can result in more damage rather than not using a fertilizer. In this blog today, I am going to review a few of the best fertilizers for the growth of beautiful hostas plants. We will also learn about the need for best fertilizer for hostas and how to choose the correct one for your garden hostas.
What Is the Need for Fertilizers for The Growth of Hostas?
Your plants have many enemies like pests, weather, insects, diseases, etc. so keeping them healthy and fresh becomes a challenging task. Using a good fertilizer might be a solution to this. But do we know why fertilizers are important for the growth of hostas? A fertilizer provides all the healthy and important nutrients for the hostas to grow in poor or high-quality soil. Potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus are the three food elements that your hostas might need to be green and full of foliage.
You must grow your hostas in an organic-rich soil instead of the dry one. Not only the three mentioned elements but the sun’s rays and water are also required for the rapid growth of beautiful hostas. You can also take extra care of your hostas by doing minor organic soil amendments.
How to Choose the Right Fertilizer for Your Hostas?
I have often heard my friends complaining about the confusion in choosing the right fertilizer for their hostas. Hence, another important decision to be taken is the choice of fertilizer to maintain the hostas beautifully. Fertilizers are available in different blend of main plant nutrients to take care of the hostas and to complete their other basic needs.
An ideal lawn fertilizer should be balanced in such a way that it has an NPK of 10-10-10. You might notice a three-digit number on the packaging of lawn fertilizer. This is known as the NPK ratio, which explains the percentage of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in a product. It is always better to apply the fertilizer before the hostas grow their leaves, as an excess of fertilizer can burn out the plants. You can also opt for liquid fertilizers for your hostas, but it has to be reapplied every 24-48 hours. If you are opting for a liquid fertilizer, then it is always best to add a little Epsom salt to the same.
Phosphorus is an important element required by the plants to grow but an excess amount of phosphorus might get washed away into the nearest water bodies and harm them. Using phosphorus-free products is also an option to avoid water pollution. If you are choosing a liquid fertilizer then you should also take the climatic conditions in mind as well. When opting for a granular fertilizer, don't leave it on the leaves for a large amount of time as it might result in a hole in the leaves of the hostas. Testing the pH of the soil before planting your hostas can prove to be better.
The Negative Impact of Fertilizers on Environment
Hostas are easy to grow and gardeners consider them to be perennials. Fertilizers provide all the important nutrients to the plants, but they are also responsible for polluting the environment. Sometimes you might have to add a fertilizer that has an excess amount of nitrogen in it. This might prove to be harmful to your plants as nitrogen gets converted into ammonium or nitrate by the microbes in the soil so that it can be used by the plants. This nitrate gets easily released into the environment, hence, causing soil acidification.
The released nitrate can penetrate the groundwater, further posing a risk of contaminating the drinking water and also the death of aquatic life. Too much nitrogen also creates an imbalance of micronutrients in the soil. High intake of phosphorus in a fertilizer might result in the accumulation of algae in the nearest water bodies which results in the death of aquatic animals as they are robbed of all the oxygen content in the water bodies. The effect of fertilizers on the health of humans as well as plants is still a controversial topic. It is believed that the NPK ratio in fertilizers can result in more damage to the crops as compared to the times when they do not receive any fertilizer.
Top 5 Best Selling Fertilizer for Hostas
After my thorough research on the net, I found these 5 products to be quite useful to be used for the healthy growth of hostas.
1. Lilly Miller All Purpose Planting And Growing Food 10-10-10 16lb
2. Miracle-Gro Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food, 8 oz.
3. Southern Ag All Purpose Granular Fertilizer 10-10-10, 5 LB
4. Triple 10 All Purpose Liquid Fertilizer 10-10-10 with Amino Acids (5.5%) & Seaweed Extract (32oz)
5. Burpee Organic Blood Meal Fertilizer, 3 lb
Out of the five products that I have discussed in this post, I feel most strongly about Southern Ag All Purpose Granular Fertilizer 10-10-10, 5 LB. This fertilizer is in the granular form so you don’t have to worry about reapplication of the product again and again. The NPK ratio of the product is 10-10-10 which is quite efficient for the development of an established product. It is efficient in releasing nitrogen slowly into the hostas which helps the plants to grow healthily. The content of nitrogen is also high in this product which makes the plants look fresh and green. The high concentration of nitrogen can turn out to be a problem, which you can overcome by using the product in the right quantities and the correct manner. Just like all the other products in the market, good fertilizer also has its advantages and disadvantages, but using it is also a necessity for all types of plants. It is always better to research different fertilizers before choosing one for your plants as every plant has a different food requirement. Hostas are usually low-maintenance plants that can turn into beautiful plants when their leaves unfurl.