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Why does my Hosta hosta not bloom? Here are 4 of the possible reasons!

Hostas, still known as funkias or heartleaf lilies , are wonderful, low-maintenance foliage ornamentals for shady and semi-shady locations. They form large mounds of showy foliage that quickly fill in gaps in the garden, and their flower spikes attract bees and other pollinators. Although these popular perennials are generally considered very easy to grow, there are some conditions that can cause hostas not to bloom. Here we explain why.

When do hostas bloom?

why does my funkie hosta not bloom?

The majority of hostas produce flowers. Depending on the variety, these appear in summer and fall. There are also some hosta varieties that do not produce flowers, but they are much rarer.

Experts recommend combining a few different varieties that bloom at different times next to each other in the bed. This way you can have a pretty, long-blooming bed.

These funkies combine beautifully:

  • The beautiful garden funkie ‘Elegans’ blooms from June to July.
  • ‘Patriot’ has its flowering time from July to August
  • ‘Fragrant Blue’ and ‘Honeybells’ bloom from late summer into fall. In fact, most Hosta plantaginea cultivars bloom in August.

Hosta flower colors

cut hosta after flowering

Hosta flower colors range from white to pink, lavender, purple and lilac. The flowers can be purple on the outside and white on the inside, white with lavender stripes, or white and purple speckled. There are hundreds of unique variations. Beneficial insects are magically attracted to these colorful flowers. They also enjoy drinking nectar from the bell-shaped flowers of hostas.

How long do hostas’ blooms last?

hosta with white flowers

Each individual hosta flower does not last very long. In fact, they generally only last about a day. Hostas, however, can have 50 or more flowers on each flower stalk. These flowers do not all open at the same time, but over several days to a week or so.

Each individual hosta plant can produce several flower stalks in each flowering season. Under ideal conditions, they may even form about 10 flower stalks. In total, this flowering cycle lasts about 4 weeks. Even though the flowers themselves are short-lived, they can delight us for a long time.

What to do after flowering?

hosta white flower

As soon as each flower has wilted on the stem, you should cut it off. Push the leaves aside, cutting the stem as close to the mother plant as possible. This way there will be no pincushion effect from all the cut stems.

This prevents the stem from producing seeds and also encourages the production of new flowers.

You may be thinking, “What if I want my funkie to produce seeds?” And it’s fine if you do, but remember that the plants you will grow from seed will be very different from the parent plant. The best way to propagate and rejuvenate hosta is by division.

Do hostas bloom every year?

funkie hosta flowering in summer

Yes, they SHOULD bloom every year.

In case you are not familiar with this concept: Not every plant blooms every year. Some plants, such as biennials, develop only a rosette of leaves the first year and don’t bloom until the following year. But hostas are not biennials.

They should bloom at the same time each year. If your plant bloomed the first year and doesn’t bloom the next, there’s probably another problem.

What you can do if your hosta doesn’t bloom.

hosta in pot does not bloom

So you know you planted a flowering hosta variety and its typical blooming season has come and gone. There are several reasons why your hosta may not be blooming.

1. it was just planted

hosta in pot develops new leaves in spring

Did you plant the hosta this year? If so, it is possible that the plant is still getting used to its new location and has not bothered to produce flowers this year.

This happens from time to time. Being transplanted to a new location is stressful. You may have planted the plant just when it would normally set flowers and it was disturbed.

2. the soil is not nutrient rich enough.

Hosta hosta does not bloom why

All hosta species thrive in rich, loamy soil. Improve poor garden soil with organic compost and a 7- to 10-inch layer of mulch around hosta plants to increase nutrients and retain moisture in the soil. Hostas thrive in soil that is evenly moist, but not waterlogged or wet. The ideal soil pH is 6.5 to 7.5.

Fertilize hostas in spring and summer, but stop fertilizing in August to allow the plants to harden off before cold weather arrives. Use a balanced fertilizer (NPK 10-10-10) that is suitable for foliage ornamentals. Apply a slow-release granular fertilizer in early spring, followed by a water-soluble balanced fertilizer in mid-summer. Follow label application instructions based on the size, quantity and age of your hosta plants.

3. the hosta does not get enough water.

Hosta in the shade with purple flowers

Too much water can actually cause the rhizomes (shallow, horizontal roots) to rot. Hostas need about 2 inches of water per week. For the first growing season of the young plant in your garden, it’s better to water vigorously and root deep 2 to 3 times a week. If your hosta is already established or has been in your landscape for a year or two, water vigorously once a week in dry weather.

4. Your hosta isn’t getting enough sun.

hosta does not bloom in full shade

You may be saying, “Wait a minute…I thought hostas were shade plants !” Hostas like shade, but not too deep shade. This is a common misconception. They still need some sunlight to form flowers. In fact, every plant needs that. That’s why many of the plants you see in full shade, like ferns, don’t bloom.

One or two hours of direct sunlight or several hours of filtered sun will make all the difference. The ideal location would be with morning sun and afternoon shade. If your plants are in deep shade, they may not develop flowers and instead focus on spreading their foliage. If you are growing hostas under dense trees, see if there are some tree branches you can remove to allow some light to shine through.

Which hosta has fragrant flowers?

Which hosta has fragrant flowers?

Some hosta flowers are very fragrant! The best known type of fragrant hosta is Hosta plantaginea. It is aptly named the Fragrant Heartleaf Lily. ‘Aphrodite’, ‘Guacamole’ and ‘So Sweet’ are three very fragrant H. plantaginea hybrids.

Otherwise, it’s not that difficult to find hostas with fragrant flowers. Many of them have ‘Fragrant’ in their name!

Here are some fragrant hosta varieties:

  • Fragrant Gold – As the name implies, this variety has golden-yellow leaves and produces fragrant, whitish-lavender flowers.
  • Fragrant Blue – This beauty has blue-green, heart-shaped leaves and fragrant light purple flowers.
  • Fragrant Bouquet – This is an apple green variety with striking yellow leaf edges. The flowers are white and purple and have a fantastic fragrance.
  • Summer Fragrance is another variegated and also very fast growing variety. The leaves are dark green with creamy white leaf edges. The dark lavender flowers give off a wonderful fragrance in late summer.

hosta with fragrant purple-white flowers