Hosta plants have lush green foliage and can live for years provided they grow under the right conditions. When hosta leaves curl, that’s usually a good indication of an issue with your plant, so you may want to know what the cause is.
Your hosta leaves are curling if they’re dehydrated due to underwatering or too much sun. To fix this, water your hostas more frequently and shade them. Although dehydration is the most common cause of curled hosta leaves, bugs, and soil problems can also make leaves curl.
This article will discuss why your hosta leaves are curling in more detail. It’ll also discuss how to fix each problem, so read on to get helpful answers and tips!
Hosta leaves curl for various reasons, so you’ll need to consider which one is most likely before coming to a solution. For example, you should pay attention to where your hosta is planted. If it’s under direct sunlight, that’s likely a part of the problem.
But the problem may have another likely cause if the plant is in a shaded area. Below, I’ll discuss the most common causes of curling hosta leaves and how to fix them.
Water is essential to all plants, and hostas are no different. Although they don’t need much sunlight, hostas need lots of water to thrive. So if you haven’t been watering your hosta plant regularly, you probably need to start watering it more.
When a hosta is dehydrated, the leaves will curl and become discolored. After a while, the plant will look gloomy and droopy. Fortunately, you can still revive it as long as you don’t leave it dehydrated for too long.
To fix this issue, check to see if the soil is dry. If it is, you need to give the plant plenty of water. Aim to give your hosta around one inch (2.5 centimeters) of water every week.
Otherwise, the chances of dehydration will increase. If your hosta is in direct sunlight for most of the day, you’ll need to give it more than one inch (2.5 centimeters) of water a week.
According to the University of Minnesota, giving your hosta infrequent deep waterings (as opposed to frequent shallow waterings) is best. So instead of giving it a small amount of water every day or two, it’s better to provide it with one deep weekly watering.
It may surprise you to know that hostas don’t thrive under direct sunlight like many other plants. Therefore, you should consider where your hosta is if you’ve noticed its leaves curling.
Most hosta plants do well with around two hours of sunlight a day. Any more than that, and the risk of burning and overheating increases.
However, it’s also important to note that too much shade can be problematic as well. If your hosta gets no sunlight at all, it’ll grow slowly and won’t thrive as much.
A hosta that gets too much sunlight will appear dry and crispy. The leaves will also curl, making the plant look unappealing.
So, you should shade your hosta throughout the day. You can do this by planting other plants around your hosta or using a cover. If these aren’t viable options, you may need to plant new hostas in a more shaded part of your yard.
It’s also important to know what the best temperatures for hostas are. Generally, hostas can thrive under different conditions as long as it doesn’t get too hot. For example, it wouldn’t be a good idea to plant a hosta in Nevada because it would be too hot there for most of the year.
But if you live in a place like Colorado, your hosta will likely thrive. Additionally, hostas need temperatures below 42 degrees Fahrenheit (5.6 degrees Celsius) for at least six weeks in the year to ensure dormancy.
Hostas that don’t go into dormancy due to high temperatures will eventually die, so it’s essential to be aware of the dormant temperature requirements.
While it’s not as common as some other things I’ve mentioned, bugs and other pests can cause your hosta leaves to curl. Specifically, you should pay attention to symptoms like:
- Holes in the leaves
- Slow growth
- Discolored leaves
- Slime on the plant and around the garden (if the problems are slugs)
A pest-damaged hosta will look highly unappealing and worn down, mainly due to the curled, holey leaves. Unfortunately, it’s hard to control pests because they’re everywhere and are naturally attracted to plants and vegetables.
If most of your hosta’s leaves are curled and holey, you’ll likely need to remove the plant and plant a new one because it’ll be too damaged to be revived. But before planting a new one, be sure to treat the area with pesticides.
If only some leaves are curled and holey, remove them and keep the healthy leaves. Then, you can spray the plant with a light pesticide.
I recommend the Natria Neem Oil Spray, available on Amazon.com. This pesticide spray works well at preventing pests such as aphids, caterpillars, and bagworms.
Removing the old, damaged leaves should leave room for newer, healthier ones to come through.
You should also ensure the soil is as healthy and nutrient-rich as possible. That way, your hosta plant will have more strength, allowing it to handle pests and bugs better.
Physical barriers are another excellent way to prevent pests in the garden. A good example would be a fence. Using a physical barrier means that pests won’t be able to gain access to the plants at all (unless they’re already living in the soil).
If nothing I’ve mentioned so far is the reason your hosta leaves are curling, the problem might be with the soil.
You see, hosta plants need well-drained soil to thrive, though they can also survive in denser soil. However, soil that’s too dense and clay-like may also cause waterlogging issues. And if your plant gets waterlogged, the leaves will eventually curl.
Hostas do best in soil with a pH of 6.5 to 7.5—which is a nice balance of acidic and alkaline. So if your soil is too acidic or too alkaline, it could be causing problems for your hosta plant such as curling leaves.
Adding organic matter is one of the best ways to ensure your soil is healthy. Organic matter helps improve the soil’s physical structure, which aids in plant growth. And if your hosta plant can thrive in the ground, its leaves won’t curl.
Another reason your hosta leaves are curling might be a lack of nutrients. All hostas need the three main macronutrients (nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus) to survive and remain strong. So if there’s a lack of nutrients in the soil, it can cause plant health problems, including curling leaves.
To solve this issue, you can add nutrients to the soil using organic or inorganic fertilizers.
- An example of organic fertilizer would be a fish emulsion, which you can make at home. Fish emulsion is rich in vital nutrients, so it’s an excellent choice for your hostas.
- If you’d prefer an inorganic fertilizer, you could consider this Lilly Miller Plant Food, available on Amazon. This plant food contains the essential macronutrients in a ratio of 10:10:10, perfect for growing hostas.
Although giving your hosta plant too little water can cause leaf curling, giving it too much can cause the same issue. Overwatering is more likely to occur in soil that’s dense and clay-like because it doesn’t drain very well. It’s also likely to occur if you’re watering it too frequently or in too high amounts.
As mentioned earlier, hostas generally only need around one inch (2.5 centimeters) of water a week. Giving your plant too much will drench the roots, meaning they can’t provide the rest of the plant with water and nutrition.
As a result, the leaves will begin to wilt and curl. You can tell your plant is overwatered by feeling the soil. If it feels too wet, you should avoid watering until it’s almost dry.
Then, you can water it once a week. If the soil is dense and retains a lot of water, you may not need to water it every week.
If it’s not too water damaged, you should be able to revive the hosta by not giving it any water until the soil dries. The leaves should eventually un-curl and look healthier if you start giving the hosta the correct amount of water.
Many things can cause hosta leaves to curl. The most common cause of leaf curling is dehydration. Hostas that receive too much sunlight will be more susceptible to dehydration, so they should only get around two hours of sun a day. The average hosta needs around one inch (2.5 centimeters) of water a week.
Although dehydration is one of the leading causes of leaf curling, other things can also cause problems. These include:
- Bugs and pests
- Not enough nutrients in the soil
- Too much water
You may also like:
- What To Spray on Hostas for Bugs?
- Rust Spots on Hosta Leaves
- Should I Cut Damaged Hosta Leaves?
- How To Prune Hostas for Winter?
Hi! I’m Sophia, and I love plants – especially an expert in growing house plants. I stay in Chicago, United States of America, and through my blog and social media platforms, provide tips and tricks on how to grow healthy, vibrant plants indoors. Check out more here.