Hosta failure

I’ve grown hostas for decades, mostly with success. But a row of them in the border in front of a line of junipers has continually failed. The plants dwindle until they are gone. It’s clear that this is not the right spot for them, when the same plants are flourishing elsewhere.

But why? There must be a definitive book on hostas, and I would like to obtain it.

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I havent needed a book. Mine seem happy.


They are pretty easy going here, maybe their roots are interfered by the tree.

Does anything in here look like a match for what you’re seeing?


I’ve had voles eat roots of hostas and they eventually die.

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I was going to suggest maybe a black walnut tree nearby, but hostas apparently do not care about that.

Does this look like a possibility.


I do find that hostas in the drier parts of the yard and/or too close to trees tend not to thrive. They’ll hang in there, but often look worse than if I had nothing there! I can take the same plant and move it to another spot, and they’ll be much happier after a season or two.

My clumps are 40 years in same place. I installed gutters right above where they are 5 years ago… so for 35 years they had full runoff from a roof… they are in the shade other than early morning.

Never any care or watering or anything… just a few handfuls of leaves on them in the fall and no other care.

Flat sandstone around however i want the clump to be… the bigger the circle the bigger the clump… they do not stray past the rocks.

Mine are also grow in a moist (humus rich) spot with morning sun. Even in complete shade in summer they seem okay. So, I think they like it shady and moist, though I’ve not tried transplanting to sunnier places.

They like shade but some varieties can withstand sun, like Banana Kid.

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Great article! Very thorough. But nothing like what I’m seeing. My plants in that place just … dwindle and fade. Until they’re gone.

What is the sun exposure? The hostas love morning sun and do not enjoy afternoon hot sun. They definitely grow OK near junipers, had it growing there in the old house. Can you make a picture?

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Not good at pictures. I have one clump of a white-leaved plant that hates the sun it gets and its leaves get singed every summer - but every spring it’s back for more.

Good to know junipers wouldn’t be the problem.