Will Hostas Grow in Sandy Soil?

Hostas can thrive in soil that is sandy if it has amended with lots in organic material prior to plantation in order to aid in retaining water and increase the soil’s fertility. The application of mulch and fertilizer regularly will provide nutrients to improve the fertility of soils that are sandy, allowing the hostas can grow to their maximum potential.

The soil that drains from sandy soil is swift and is usually fertile, so there are some essential actions to follow when you plant and care for healthy hostas.

Follow this link for the top practices for:

  • How do you prepare soil to be sandy for planting hostas.
  • How much water should you give the hostas that are growing in sandy soil.
  • Tips for feeding hostas with fertilizer in nutrient-poor soils
  • Tips for mulching and maintaining optimal level of moisture in soil to ensure the successful growth of hostas.

Prepare Sandy Soil for Planting Hostas

To be able to grow Hostas require to be planted in soil that is:

  • Keeps the moisture in the roots to ensure that their leaves are healthy and upright.
  • The soil structure must be sufficient in its pores to allow the excess amount of water drain, and sufficient to allow roots to grow.
  • The soil is rich and provides nutrients, as hostas are heavy feeders
  • A little acidic to neutral soil (Ideally it should have pH 7 or more)

So sandy soils will have to be amended by adding plenty in organic material. Compost leaf mould, leaf mould and decayed manure are all great alternatives.

Ideally, I would suggest making a mix of leaf mould and decayed manure since leaves mould is a great source of nutrients and has a remarkable ability to hold on to water while improving the soil’s structure to ensure that water doesn’t get trapped and be drained away by the hostas’ roots should not be left in water that is stagnant.

This can help in redressing soil moisture levels because sandy soils drain too fast for the hosta roots to absorb water, especially in periods of drought.

hosta variety

Sand is not a major source of nutrients to soils and therefore, sandy soils tend to be fertile. Manure can help boost the long-term fertility that the soil has and will also help to boost the beneficial ecosystem of soils.

Compost manure, leaf mould, and compost will all be decomposed to a pH of 7 – which is ideal for the growth of hostas.

  1. First step to dig the planter area to plant your hosta. The size of the hole will be determined by the type of hosta you want to plant. The larger varieties like “Jade Cascade” require an area of around 3 feet (1 1) in diameter and an 18-inch (45 centimeters) in depth. However, smaller hostas (such such as blue crown) require holes of 18 inches (45 centimeters) in diameter and twelve inches (30 cm) deep.
  2. The bigger the area you excavat and alter by organic matter, the more beneficial for the long-term potential for the Hosta.
  3. Take the sandy soil out to be replaced with organic material (ideally compost manure, leaf mould, and leaf mould). The mixture of organic matter can provide a wide range of nutrients as well as capacity to retain water.
  4. Hostas require to be planted at a level that their crowns are at the same level as the soil. (The crown refers to the place where the stems of the leaves connect with the root). Put the hosta in the hole , and then take or add materials until they are at an even level. Make sure to place the most appealing side of the plant so that you will see it the frequently.
  5. Backfill the hole with the organic matter mix till the dirt is at a level to the top of your crown.
  6. The organic matter should be firmly pressed with your hands to give the plant some initial stability, but don’t compact the soil like hostas do. porous soil to let their roots grow.
  7. After planting, water the plants generously with 2 litres. This can help reduce the shock of transplantation and ensure that the leaves don’t change shape or lose their structure.

The ability of soils to retain moisture is especially crucial to hostas since they are a foliage plant which do not have a woody structure. Hostas depend on a continuous flow of water at the roots that is continuously drawn up and released in the form of water vapour out of the leaves, creating a partial vacuum. This pressure inside that helps maintain the structure of the plant through the process known by the name of the Tugor Pressure.

This is the reason why amending fast draining sandy soils with materials that will maintain a constant soil moisture balance is crucial for the health of hostas.

Add Mulch to Hostas in Sandy Soil

An even application of mulch to the soil around the hosta is essential to counteract this dry, nutritionally poor natural disposition of soils made of sandy.

The most effective mulches for use are, any organic material with the capacity to hold and store water.

Compost, grass clippings, leaf mould and manure are any of these are all viable options. I would not recommend stone or wood chips because it doesn’t absorb water in the same way and is unable to contribute much in terms of soil nutrients.

Spread a thin layer of about 2 inches of mulch on the soil around the hosta, but leave an inch gap between the top of the plant and its crown.

There is no requirement for digging the mulch in to the ground since organic matter on the surface of the soil can stimulate the activity of worms and microbes to reduce the organic matter and incorporate in the soil.

Additionally, digging could cause damage to the tuberculous root of hosta.

As time passes, the soil’s structure as well as the levels of moisture and fertileness of soils will all improve.

The mulch can be applied at any time of the year, but the best time to apply it is in early spring. This will ensure that the soil is at an ideal moisture level for warmer weather to come.

Watering Hostas to Counter Dry Sandy Soil

Hostas that are grown in soils with sandy conditions will have to be watered more frequently than normal because of the rapid drainage, and the inability of the sand to hold water around the roots like other soils do.

Making amending the soil by adding organic matter prior to planting and applying a consistent application of mulch can aid in retaining water and improve the hosta’s ability to withstand quick drainage and dry weather therefore it is essential to follow these steps in conjunction with regular irrigation.

  • Large hostas like “Jade Cascade” could require up to four gallons water each day during the hottest days of summer to ensure that the soil doesn’t dry out. Larger varieties should be watered with ample water every two or three days during more cloudy weather, with occasional showers in the in the fall.
  • Smaller and medium size hostas require watering at least once every three days as the leaves begin to appear in Spring. Watering with 1 to 2 gallons every 2 to 3 days during the hot temperatures of summer.

Make sure to water the hostas as generously because this can encourage roots to expand deeper into the soil, and thus improve the plant’s resistance against droughts in fast drainage sandy soil.

The best tip is to water hostas early in the morning, as they will be charged by providing them with drinking water to last the coming day. It is not recommended as it creates the perfect environment for snails and slugs to emerge , which are a delight for the sweet leaf of the hosta.

Fertilizer for Healthy Hostas in Sandy Soil

Sand doesn’t contribute important nutrients to soil, therefore it is essential to apply a fertilizer since hosts prefer rich in nutrients soil.

Hostas can only be capable of growing to their maximum potential in terms of size and color by feeding. The bigger the hosta and the greater demand for nutrients, so regular fertilization is essential.

Fortunately, feeding hostas isn’t too difficult. They require an overall balanced nitrogen (N) potassium (P) and phosphorous (K) fertilizer at the beginning of spring every two weeks until mid-summer. Don’t apply fertilizers until the middle of August, as this can encourage new growth while the plant is preparing to go into winter hibernation.

Hostas don’t require special type of fertilizer, and any reliable multi-purpose fertilizer label (such as Miracle Grow) is ideal. These fertilizers also have essential trace elements essential for healthy hostas, and they can make up for the small amount of nutrients lost from poor soil.

Regular mulching can help increase the long-term fertility of the soil, but it might not be able to provide the proper amount of nutrients that hostas require. In sandy soils, the combination of fertilizer and mulch during the growing season will guarantee that healthy hostas have rich color and lush foliage.

Check Soil Moisture in Sandy Soils

If you’ve got the right irrigation plan established for the growth of hostas it’s also recommended to monitor the soil’s moisture levels in the summer and spring months in dry periods, particularly since the soils that are sandy drain quickly.

The most efficient and easiest method to determine the moisture of soil is to test up to a finger’s depth within the soil surrounding the hosta. If you find moderate moisture , then the current amount of watering or the amount of rainfall you are getting is enough to support the hosta during the warmer weather.

If your soil is dry, then you’ll need to provide your host adequate drink of at least 2 gallons in order to make sure that the soil of your hosta is in the proper humidity.

Another indication is that the leaves of hosta could be falling down due to a the absence of water. In this the case, you must water them thoroughly and then add an additional layer of mulch to hold in water and reduce the speed that the soil is drying out.

Key Takeaways

  • Hostas are able to be grown in garden that have sandy soil, provided that it is prepared prior to planting.
  • Incorporating the soil with plenty of organic matter can help the soil retain moisture and improve fertile soil. This is crucial since sandy soils tend to be dry and deficient in nutrients.
  • Mulch hostas in spring to enrich the soil and hold in water , preparing the plant for summer heat that could dry out the soil.
  • Fertilizer is vital to provide the proper amount of nutrients to allow hostas to develop to their maximum potential in terms of size, colour and lush foliage.
  • Larger hostas should be watered every day , with approximately 3 gallons during the peak of summer to ensure ideal soil moisture conditions. Smaller and medium varieties require 2 to 3 gallons daily in hot weather, or every 3 days during rainy or overcast weather.
  • Water hosts in the morning to fill them up with water, rather than later in the evening, which can attract snails and slugs.
  • If you’re not sure whether or not to water your hostas, measure at a finger’s depth to determine the amount of the presence of moisture. If the soil is only slightly damp or dry, sprinkle mulch on the soil to increase retention of water.


Went from a bad gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)