Animals and Their Love for Hostas!
Hostas are a genus of the plant, also known as plantain lilies. They grow well in shade and foliage to any landscape. These are perennial plants that have a lot of variety in colors and sizes. The flowers are generally white, lavender, or violet in color and remain on the plant throughout the winters. In short, they are a perfect plant for any garden!
If like me, you want to plant these beauties in your garden then a little bit of advice for you. One fine morning I got up, and to my horror, the beautiful plants were no more! Only remnants of leaves, flowers stems were strewn around. More than shock and anger, it was puzzling to find this mess. I was not sure how this happened!
Then I discovered that there are many animals and creatures which love to feed on these tasty plants! Read on to find what animals eat hostas?
When deer eat plants, their main focus is the leaves. They leave behind the stalks as a reminder of their actions! They are more attracted to the aromatic varieties of Hostas. One easy way to save your plants is to avoid these varieties. Generally, they come in herds and can leave a trail of destruction behind.
You can erect a fence but must remember that deer are jumpers! The height should not be less than 8 feet. It can be a metal or plastic fence. There are some wireless fences which are also good. Using non-toxic, organic animal repellants can also do the job well. You should be aware that sometimes the deer can get hurt because of high fences.
Rabbits and your favorite hostas don’t go together!! Before you give in to your kids’ demand for pet rabbits, do remember this. They love to nibble on the newly sprouted leaves. If the plants are short enough, then they will devour the flowers as well. You can control pet rabbits, but it is almost impossible to stop wild rabbits and hares from roaming and multiplying freely.
Fences can be useful, but rabbits can burrow and make a tunnel if they want, like robbers!! They are smart enough to figure out a way around or over the fences! You should clear the weeds which can allow them hiding places as well as food. If you have visual access, then you can take better protection. On a funny note, if nothing else works, catch them and start making rabbit stew!!
3. Rats, squirrels, and Other Rodents
Though in size they are smaller than many other animals, in nuisance value, they are far ahead!! During dry weather, squirrels turn to leaves and roots. Most of these animals and rodents not only eat the leaves and stalks of the hosta plants but also dig under and chew up the roots! These are very small and very fast and very difficult to detect.
No plant can survive an attack on its roots! To protect your plants, you can try to fence or cage them. It is both time-consuming and expensive. You will have to protect the roots as well by burying steel mesh around them. You can try sprinkling spicy sauce or pepper to discourage these little bandits! Hopefully, they will not treat this as a seasoning on their food!
4. Slugs and Snails
You can call these the ‘silent destroyers’! Slugs and snails are tiny, slow, and slimy, but they make up for this in numbers. They always come in big numbers. Once they finish with your hostas, all that you can see are tiny holes in the leaves and their shiny trails! Moreover, they don’t make any noise, so to detect them is also not easy. It will surprise you to see the level of destruction these small creatures can cause!
Home remedies like sprinkling dried and crushed eggshells or Epsom salt around the plant can work well. Some people keep beer traps. Keeping beer in small tins around your garden will attract snails and slugs with the smell. They will sip some and may get drunk and fall into the tins. If you think this is not very humane, then you will have to remove them manually. This is hard work and time consuming as well. If you see any garter snakes or toads around, let them be! They will help you in your fight against slugs and snails in the most natural way.
Several insects also find your hosta plants very attractive! Unfortunately, it is difficult to catch them and almost impossible to recognize which type of insects is destroying your plants. Beetles, grasshoppers, cutworms, and many more insects can finish off the hostas in a very short time. Some of them are bad for all types of plants, while some may specifically attack hostas.
For protection against cutworms, you can cover the new leaves by creating a mini fence. You can use cardboard as it is inexpensive. Make a ring of cardboard to deter these worms. Once the fresh leaves grow to several inches, you can remove these rings. Beetles and grasshoppers are bigger and may require you to remove them manually. Finding them at the right time, and quickly removing them is not very easy. Keep a torch handy, and don’t be averse to picking them with bare hands! There are some pesticides that can work well, but they may be harmful to other insects as well.
Keep Your Hostas Safe!
Prevention is half the job done! You spend a lot of money and time on your garden, and to see it destroyed can really be traumatic. Take the right steps at the right time to protect the plants. Here is a recap.
The more you keep things natural and organic, the better it is for the plants, animals, land, and the environment.
Now you know the answer to the question, ‘what animals eat hostas’? Just planting the hostas is not enough; it needs protection from the sneaky animals and insects to thrive. Hopefully, you will not have these problems, but if you do, you are now ready to take on these pests! We feel that this information will help you. Do share your thoughts and get in touch with us for any doubts. You have already done the most important thing! You are now aware of the dangers and the main causes of these dangers to the hosta plants.
Always remember that the plants are important, but animals and insects are necessary for a natural balance of the environment. Be responsible while protecting your plants. Avoid taking drastic steps that may harm animals and other creatures while you try to protect the plants.