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Why Are My Hostas Turning Yellow? 7 Possible Causes!

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One of the most striking features of hosta plants is their lush green leaves. Therefore, when you see your hosta’s leaves turn yellow, it’s a sign that something is wrong, although it doesn’t necessarily mean disaster.

It can be anything from too much sun and pests to incurable diseases. Read on to find the answer to, “Why are my hostas turning yellow?”

7 Reasons Why Your Hostas Are Turning Yellow

1. Unsuitable Sunlight

Why Are My Hostas Turning Yellow
My hosta is turning yellow – via Reddit

Unlike common plants, hostas grow best in the shade. That means you shouldn’t put it in direct sunlight.

As a general rule, plants will need more sun if their foliage is lighter in color. Therefore, if hosta plants are darker green, they will most likely benefit most from plenty of shade.

So if you’re trying to determine why your plants are turning yellow, start by determining how much sunlight they get.

If the cause lies in too much sunlight, reposition your hostas. Relocating plants that are getting too much sun will make them green again sooner than you expect.

Remember that sunlight is still needed for the photosynthesis of plants. Therefore, it is wise to strike a good balance between shade and sun, mainly leaning towards shade for your hostas.

2. Temperature

Any plant can turn yellow when exposed to extreme heat or cold, and hostas are no exception.

Weather and temperature are also the leading causes of your hostas turning yellow. While hostas can withstand most different types of weather, extreme cold or extreme heat can still negatively affect them.

In this case, consider keeping your hostas indoors, in a comfortable place, not too cold or too hot.

3. Improper Watering

Improper watering is always the factor that negatively affects most plants, including your hostas. In most cases, both too much and too little watering can be the cause of your hostas turning yellow. Yellow will usually appear on the leaves in spots, followed by spreading to the entire leaf.

Your plants will not properly absorb nutrients due to too little watering, as water is the necessary vehicle for transporting nutrients within plants.

The same goes for over-watering. Your plants also cannot absorb nutrients well. But they are drowning and thus suffocating in most cases.

Wondering how to tell if your hostas are under-watered or over-watered? You can tell this by touching the ground. Insert one finger a few inches deep into the soil, and you will feel the moisture in the soil.

If you find the soil is too dry, your plants need to be watered as soon as possible. If the soil is still wet, it’s best to let it dry out a bit before watering. Your lovely hostas prefer moist soil that is too wet.

You can use the test kit to determine the pH of your soil and then adjust the pH accordingly.

why all of our hostas would be turning yellow
why all of our hostas would be turning yellow – via Reddit

4. Unsuitable Soil Conditions

Your hostas may turn yellow due to bad soil conditions. The good news is that these plants can tolerate various soil types, as long as they have good drainage.

Well-drained soil will not retain excess moisture. As a result, your hostas will have adequate breathing space. Avoid using clay soils as it stays wet for too long. In addition, it is wise to add sand or small gravel to your soil if the soil is not draining well.

Provide slightly acidic soil for your precious hosta. Ideally, the pH in the soil ranges from 6.5 to 7.0. If you use soil with a higher pH, you will need to lower the pH using cottonseed meal and peat moss.

5. Lack of Nutrition

There are many causes for your plant to lack nutrients. All of the above factors, including improper sunlight, watering, and soil conditions, can all make it harder for your plant to absorb nutrients, resulting in leaves turning yellow.

Fertilizer as well as other organic matter is needed to provide your hostas with the nutrients they need for normal growth. This is especially necessary if your hosta is grown on lousy soil.

Before applying any fertilizer, it is essential to carefully follow the instructions from the manufacturer, which are printed on the packaging.

Adding less than the recommended amount is unlikely to work, wasting your time, resources, and effort. Besides, using too much fertilizer can burn your hostas, causing the leaves to turn yellow.

6.  Bacterial, Viral, and Fungal Infections

Bacterial infections are one of the factors that directly affect the health of your plants, causing their leaves to turn yellow.

The best example of this is bacterial soft rot. It can be recognized by the yellowing of the leaves or by the foul smell from the plant. Several different types of bacteria cause this, and it often occurs in plant wounds.

Why Are My Hostas Turning Yellow 3
Yellowing Hosta – via Reddit

Viral infections can also wreak havoc on your plants. One of the viruses that adversely affect your precious hostas is Hosta Virus X, which is difficult to detect. This virus can survive for several years.

Another reason your plant is turning yellow is a fungal infection. Petiole rot, also known as hosta crown rot, is one of the diseases caused by fungi.

7. Natural Life Cycle

Sometimes your plants turn yellow because they are forced to by the laws of nature.

Hostas will begin to yellow and drop their leaves before hibernating. That’s perfectly normal.

They will thank you if you prune the yellow leaves to help them prepare for their long winter sleep. After that, they will soon return with their shiny appearance.

>> Related Post: What Animals Eat Hostas? The Culprits Who Love These Plants!!


So, why are my hostas turning yellow? We’ve given you the top causes of your hostas’ health, causing them to turn yellow. Hopefully, through the information we provide, you can make the proper adjustments to your plants, returning them to their best condition. Thank you for reading!