Thursday, July 22, 2010

What to do about hail damage on hostas

If you have been following my Facebook page, Twitter, or blog this week you know that Wednesday we were hit with a very large hail storm.  I wasn't home at the time, and when I returned an hour after the storm had passed I still had 2" hail stones all over my yard.  Many of my hostas were shredded, like the one below.  This one is in a very protected area, but because of straight-line winds the hail, leaves, and branches damaged it.
So what do you do with hostas that are hail damaged?  The first thing is to keep them watered well.  Because of their lack of leaves, they are more apt to dry out.  Hostas are usually building up their energy this year for their leaves next season.  So it's important to keep them healthy even if they don't look their best.  Next, what to do with the leaves?  If it's earlier in the season, you can pretty much remove all of the damaged leaves and a new flush of leaves will reappear.  Later in the season it's better to keep the damaged leaves on the plant.  You could remove a couple really badly damaged leaves, but make sure to keep enough leaves on to feed the roots.  Next year your hostas will come back, hopefully bigger and better.

Planter before hail

Planter after hail                                          


Anonymous said...

I just moved to WI from the Central Coast of Oregon. Netarts Bay to be exact. Growing up, on the coast, my father an avid gardener, swore by clam shells as a fertilizer. Growing up, I remember clamming, eating the clams, and then he collected the shells and used them as a fertilizer. We had the most beautiful gardens as I can recall. I have not had such luck here. Would you suggest I ask my father (who still lives on the coast) to send me some clam shells to aid in the fertilization of my plants? Any help/advice would be appreciated! Thanks!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I made an interesting discovery after a hailstorm this spring; the slug-resistant Hostas had less hail damage than the non-slug-resistant ones.

Candice Suter.....Sweetstuff said...

That hail really did some damage! Crazy! 2" hail is really big. Did it dent your cars? I feel bad for your plants. Your beautiful planter of gorgeous plants and flowers is looking sad. Hope it perks up!

Hosta Nerd said...

Clams shells can be used as a fertilizer because they add calcium to the soil. Which is good for acidic soil. It depends on where you live in Wisconsin. My soil is not acidic at all. In Oregon it is acidic, hence they have blue hydrangeas we have pink. I recommend using worm castings or adding compost to your gardens.

We were not home during the hail storm, so no damage to our car!!