Hosta Leaves Turning Yellow – What to Do?


As a home grower, you may know that the Hosta plant is a perennial favorite among gardeners because of its lush foliage and easy maintenance. But when the green foliage starts turning yellow, be sure that your plant is telling you something.

You, the gardener, need to listen and interpret the signals. So, if you ask us why your Hosta leaves turning yellow, we will be glad to explain it. There are a few reasons behind it, we have compiled them here with effective solutions.

So, without beating around the bush, let’s get into the point.

Photo of Hosta Leaves
Photo by Andriy Dykun

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

What Causes Your Hosta Leaves Turning Yellow?

Yes, we know that it’s worth being anxious if your Hosta leaves turning into yellow. Before you take actionable steps, you need to know what exactly leads to this issue.

Here is a list of some common causes of turning a Hosta leaves yellow: 

  • Fungal diseases 
  • Viral diseases
  • Bacterial diseases
  • Improper water, light, and temperature 
  • Insects/pests
  • Natural Causes

How To Solve These Problems?

This time, we will discuss the problems in detail and how to possibly solve these. 

Problem 1: Fungal Diseases

Petiolate rot and Fusarium root and crown rot, these two fungi commonly cause yellowing hosta leaves. Generally, symptoms of the petiolate rot appear after warm and rainy weather. 

Moreover, the symptoms include yellowing of the outer leaf parts that result in wilting and detachment from the plant crown. It may take some time, but ultimately, the fungus will kill your hosta plant. 

Fusarium root and crown rot are seen to affect both the root and crown of the plant and it usually enters through wounds. Over time, it starts yellowing the leaves and leading to tan foliage. 

Solution: Cultural management strategies to prevent this problem are- regular irrigation early in the day, removing infected leaves, and keeping plants cool. Moreover, fungicides like chlorothalonil, mancozeb, iprodione are recommended for fungal diseases.

Problem 2: Viral Diseases

Viruses, the tiny particles are mostly transmitted to hosta plants through insects or during vegetative propagation. Symptoms of getting attacked by viruses are mosaic, chlorosis, yellow leaves, and so on. 

Solution: To prevent this, avoid introducing these pathogens into the nursery or landscape. Only virus-free plants have to be used. Unfortunately, there are no pesticides available to control viral diseases. However, apply pre-plant nematicides or fumigants to soils in plant beds to reduce certain viruses.

Problem 3: Bacterial Diseases

Bacterial soft rot commonly attacks hosta plants. The bacteria which cause soft rot releases enzymes into the infected tissue. It leads the plant to become watery and soft with an unpleasant aroma. 

Symptoms of this disease are characterized by wilted and yellow leaves. Moreover, a soft at the base of petioles result in plant collapse and consequently plant death.

Solution: Avoid excessive wounding while separating hosta plants. Unfortunately, chemical treatments do not eliminate bacteria from the foliage. But if you can maintain cold storage temperatures (at 39 degrees Fahrenheit), the low humidity will prevent bacterial soft rot. 

Problem 4: Improper Water, Light, and Temperature

Poor drainage and over-watering leach nutrition from the soil and then plants do not get what they need. As a result, leaves turn yellow and finally drop. If water cannot percolate through the soil, roots can literally rot. On the contrary, too little water will produce yellowing and leaf drop.

When it comes to damage to the younger growth, it usually indicates that too much sunlight is causing the leaves to yellow. Sunburn at last results in turning the fresh, green leaves yellow or brown. 

The fact is, excessive heat or cold whatever it is can move a healthy plant from green to yellow rapidly. 

Solution: Make sure to water your plants deeply rather than watering frequently. To solve the light-related problem, either provide shelter under a taller plant or move the plan to a spot where it can thrive. So, for the temperature problem, protection or relocation may be needed.

Problem 5: Insects/Pests

Foliar nematodes are microscopic worms that use water on leaves to move along the plant as well as enter leaf tissues through the stomata (the small pores on stems and leaves). 

Once they are done with feeding and reproducing inside the leaf tissue, it causes damage to the area between leaf veins. The damage will appear as light green or yellow stripes on leaves. 

Solution: To control nematodes 100%, buy only healthy plants. Also, reduce the moisture left on the leaves. To prevent further infestation, remove and destroy dead leaves. Using a fungicide will control 70% of the nematode (eradicating 100% is impractical) if you apply a 2% solution.

Problem 6: Natural Causes

Well, it may seem obvious to you that what is the plant’s natural cycle? Okay listen, hosta is a herbaceous perennial which annually withdraws into winter dormancy, leaves slowly fading and dying.

Moreover, when it is a seasonal change, plants constantly shed the old to make room for new growth. It’s a natural process that nutrients are withdrawn from the older leaves which will consequently fall. 

Hosta Leaves Turning Yellow – FAQs

Question: Should I cut damaged hosta leaves?

Answer: Yes, you should. Pruning off badly damaged leaves will be better for your plant’s health. In case, the damage is bad all over, cut the whole plant back to the ground.

Question: How often should hostas be fertilized?

Answer: Liquid fertilizers should be applied to hostas at least once every two weeks during the growing season. 


So, this is all we stored for you. We hope that by reading this article, you have a crystal clear idea about the ins and outs of why hosta leaves turning yellow

As hosta plant maintenance is quite easier, try not to put off any important task for another weekend. Just proper care from the very beginning will give you the best gift. However, you faced an issue and now you know what to do. So, go for it.

Good luck!

Cherry Tree Leaves Turning Yellow

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Celina Nance

It’s been a life-long wish of Celina Nance to have a lawn full of colorful flower beds. But living in Arizona city, that seems kind of impossible. But Celina Nance didn’t stop and created a full-form balcony garden instead. And he often shares stuff that he does/solves/innovates throughout the journey.

Recent Posts