Hosta Flowers: Cut or Keep?

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While plants are normally cherished for bright, intricate, or delicate flowers, hostas flip the script and command attention with their broad leaves. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t flower at all! In early to midsummer, hostas start to push out spikes of white or lavender blooms. These flowers excite some, while others just find them a distraction from their foliage. That leaves you with a choice: do you cut or keep your hosta flowers?

Like any decision you make in your garden – it’s completely up to you. But if you’ve talked to avid shade gardeners, there are some strong opinions out there! We’ll highlight the reasons to save or toss away your hosta flowers.

Cut The Flowers

The main reason gardeners cut their hosta flowers is to conserve energy – or appropriately distribute energy. It’s similar to how tomatoes are commonly pinched back! Gardeners will remove the side shoots (or suckers) on tomatoes so the plant can use its energy to produce larger, more nutritious fruit. Tall scapes of flowers can be costly for hostas to produce and maintain. Cutting them off as they start to emerge will divert that energy back to the foliage, creating a fuller look. Other gardeners just don’t like the look! Don’t worry; cutting the flowers back won’t damage the plant. It actually helps it in the long run.

close up of a hosta with blue-green foliage and a green fern

OR

Close up of purple hosta flower

Keep The Flowers

While cutting the flowers may benefit the foliage, there are so many reasons to let them stay! The tall scapes look elegant in the landscape and add a pop of color as they bloom. Flowers are typically white, lavender or blue depending on the variety, which always contrasts nicely with their foliage. The tubular blooms are intoxicating to pollinators, especially bees, who are commonly found burrowed in the petals. They’re rich in nectar, and even a delicate fragrance, which invites pollinators to linger in the shade garden. We asked our Instagram followers whether they cut or keep their hosta flowers, and 72% of them let their hostas bloom!

Not sure which side you’ll choose? You can always do both. Give the hosta flowers a chance to bloom, and after letting the pollinators enjoy them for a day, cut them for flower arrangements! Their unique scapes of tubular blooms are perfect for adding height to flower arrangments, and they have a surprisingly long vase life.

Written by: Miranda Niemiec, click here to read bio.

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