Hosta Leaves Turning Brown – 7 Primary Causes & Fix

Hosta leaves can turn brown due to various factors, including excessive sunlight, drought stress, frost damage, and fungal diseases. To keep your hostas from turning brown, put them in the right amount of shade and keep watering them the right way.

The following are some major justifications for why hosta leaves may have brown edges or completely turn brown:

  • Sunburned leaves may result from excessive exposure to the sun since hostas are shade-loving plants. This often causes vegetation to seem burnt and blackened. Make sure your hostas are planted in an area with the right amount of shade to avoid this. If they are in a sunny setting, think about moving them to a more shaded area.
  • The most frequent reason for dark leaf margins on hostas is drought stress. These plants prefer soil that is regularly damp. Hostas may lose more water via transpiration than they can receive if the soil is too dry, which results in crispy, brown leaves. To keep soil wet, regular, thorough watering is necessary, particularly during dry spells.
  • Hosta leaves that were exposed to a late spring frost may acquire dark patches or edges as a consequence of the damage caused by the frost. It’s crucial in these situations to wait and watch the new growth. When it becomes evident that fresh, healthy foliage is sprouting, remove the damaged leaves.
  • Browning of hosta leaves is another symptom of fungus-related illnesses. These infections often show themselves as irregularly shaped or brown patches with black edges. By removing and quickly discarding sick leaves, gardeners may reduce fungus problems. If the issue continues, you may also apply the proper fungicides.
  • Hostas need constant hydration, but overwatering may cause root rot and browned foliage. You should prevent waterlogging by planting your hostas in soil that drains properly. Once a week deep watering is usually adequate, however the frequency may change based on the local environment.
  • Pests: Some pests, including as slugs and foliar nematodes, may also make hosta leaves become yellow and brown. Use slug and snail bait or take care of nematode concerns as necessary as pest control strategies.
  • Different hosta cultivars are more prone to browning than others depending on the environment. Additionally, environmental factors including nitrogen levels in the soil and soil quality may affect the plant’s general health and leaf color. Maintaining healthy soil nutrition may aid in keeping leaves a brilliant green color.

Should you cut off brown hosta leaves?

You should cut off brown hosta leaves if they are completely dead. But you should leave healthy green leaves on the plant to help the roots grow.

Typically, late autumn is the best time to trim hostas, and this includes removing any dark or wilted leaves. Brown leaves don’t always need removal right away, so keep that in mind. Instead, concentrate on determining if the leaf is entirely dead or just showing signs of browning.

It’s best to remove a hosta leaf that is completely brown and dead as soon as you discover it. This makes the plant look better overall and keeps any dead material from possibly harboring pathogens or pests.

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Consider keeping hosta leaves on the plant, however, if they are primarily green with some brown margins or tips. Particularly in the early autumn, these green parts of the leaves are actively photosynthesizing and supplying the plant’s roots with energy. Prematurely removing healthy green leaves might make it more difficult for the plant to store the energy it needs for the winter and future development.

As a general rule, you may leave healthy, green leaves alone until the end of the season or when at least 25% of the hosta is beginning to show indications of deterioration. By doing this, you can make sure that your hostas will survive the winter dormancy period and will have the vitality they need to flourish the next growth season.

Also Read: 10 Reasons Your Wandering Jew Leaves Turning Brown

Hosta Leaves Turning Brown
PumpkinSky, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Why are your hosta leaves curling and turning brown?

Your hosta leaves may be curling and turning brown due to clayey compacted soil, excessive direct sunlight, or drought stress.

First and foremost, the kind of soil that your hostas are placed in is important. If your soil is clayey and compacted, it may be excessively thick and obstruct the supply of nutrients to your hostas. The yellow staining on the leaves caused by this nutritional shortage might eventually cause curling and browning. Consider adding organic matter to the soil to loosen it up and increase nutrient availability as a solution to this problem.

Too much direct sunlight may also be to blame for the issues you’re having with your hosta leaves. Hostas often like filtered sunshine or shade. More than four hours of direct sunshine each day may result in the yellowing or browning of their leaves, which may then fall off. You may try moving your hostas to a more shaded area or provide some kind of shade during the warmest times of the day to help offset this.

Moving on to a different probable explanation, hosta leaves often turn brown due to drought stress. Hostas need regular hydration, and if plants don’t get enough water, their leaves may start to wilt and become a different color. Make sure your hostas get appropriate watering, particularly during dry times, and think about putting a layer of mulch around the base of each plant to help retain moisture to avoid this.

Last but not least, keep a look out for any disease symptoms, such anthracnose or fusarium root and crown rot. Hosta leaves may also become brown or yellow as a result of these. It’s best to get advice from a nearby nursery or gardening specialist for particular treatment suggestions if you detect a disease problem.

Also Read: Hydrangea Leaves Turning Brown: Effective Solutions

Hosta leaves turning brown with holes

Hosta leaves turning brown with holes
Inkey, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hosta leaves turning brown with holes can be caused by various factors. Most of the time, it’s because of weather stress or normal leaf loss in the fall. Pests like snails, slugs, and insects that eat leaves can also make holes in them. Make sure your hostas are in the shade and have enough water to keep the sides from turning brown.

The following are some of the main causes of this issue:

  1. Drought Stress: One of the main factors contributing to the browning of hosta leaves’ margins and whole leaves is drought stress. This happens when a plant transpires more water than it can take in via its roots. It’s crucial to provide your hostas enough moisture to prevent this problem, particularly during hot, dry spells. It may also good to plant them in locations with shade so they can stay out of the midday and late-afternoon sun.
  2. Natural leaf Dieback: In the autumn, many deciduous plants, including hostas, go through a process known as natural leaf dieback. Older leaves may turn brown and finally wither away as the seasons change. This is a typical occurrence throughout the plant’s development cycle and shouldn’t raise any red flags. Your hostas will look better as a whole if you remove these brown, withering leaves.
  3. Hostas are susceptible to a number of insect infestations, some of which may puncture the leaves. Caterpillars and grasshoppers, which chew on things, are well-known offenders. You may solve this problem by using suitable pest management techniques, such as pesticides designed to specifically target these pests. Typical pests like slugs and snails flourish in hosta-friendly wet, shaded environments. By using slug and snail management techniques, you may prevent your hosta leaves from being eaten up into a pulp.
  4. Less frequently occurring fungal infections may cause leaf browning and the emergence of sporadic patches. The leaves may seem ripped and torn due to these patches, which may have brown borders. It’s best to get advice from a gardening specialist or apply the proper fungicides to treat the problem if you detect a fungal infection.

Also Read: Golden Mop Cypress Turning Brown – 5 Big Reasons(Solved)

Hosta leaves turning brown on edges

Hosta leaves turning brown on the edges, known as scorch, is a common issue caused by factors like extreme heat, drought stress, and disease. To keep this from happening, it’s important to grow hostas in partial to full shade and keep the soil wet.

Exposure to strong sunshine and high temperatures is one typical cause of brown leaf margins, often known as scorch. Hostas are shade-loving plants, so too much light or heat may cause the leaves to lose moisture and become brown at the margins. Consider moving your hostas to a location with partial to full shade, shielding them from the intense afternoon light, to help alleviate this.

Drought stress is a key additional element causing brown hosta leaves. Hostas need constantly wet soil to survive, and if they don’t get enough water, their leaves may get strained and deteriorate. To avoid this problem, it is crucial to maintain an equal moisture level in the soil, particularly during dry spells. Choosing well-draining soil, mulching, and routine watering may all aid in preserving the required moisture levels.

In addition, it’s normal for hosta foliage to undergo dieback as autumn approaches, leading in the browning and final withering of leaves. This is a typical phase of the plant’s life cycle, and you may remove the dead leaves to keep your hostas looking their best overall.

Additionally, diseases like anthracnose and fusarium root and crown rot may also make hosta leaves become dark. Anthracnose symptoms include irregularly shaped, dark-bordered patches that range in color from tan to brown, while fusarium rot may cause leaf yellowing and browning. To stop the spread of the illness, treat it right away with the proper fungicides or treatments and remove any infected leaves.

Also Read: Why is My Wandering Jew Have Brown Leaves & How To Fix It

Hosta leaves turning brown in summer

Hosta leaves turning brown in summer is likely due to sunburn or drought stress. The sun and heat can hurt these plants, which grow best in the shade. To keep this from happening, grow them in partial to full shade.

It’s critical to comprehend the hostas’ preferred growth circumstances in order to manage this problem and sustain healthy hostas. Hostas grow well in areas that are partially to completely shaded. Their leaf margins may discolor if there is insufficient shade. As a result, one efficient preventative step is to make sure hostas are planted in areas where they get the right amount of shade, protecting them from direct sunlight during the warmest times of the day. In the summer, this may considerably lower the danger of leaf scorch.

Additionally, drought stress is another typical cause of brown hosta leaves, particularly in the summer. Hostas may endure water loss due to insufficient water availability, which will result in its leaves becoming brown. It’s crucial to keep soil moisture levels constant to reduce this. Regular watering is necessary, particularly during dry periods or the hot summer months since hostas require soil that is consistently wet. Hosta plant bases might benefit from mulching to help keep soil wet.

In addition to sunburn and drought stress, additional causes including frost damage, excessive fertilizing, and diseases like fusarium root and crown rot or anthracnose may also cause browning of hosta leaves in the summer. As a result, if you see browning leaves on your hostas, it’s wise to carefully inspect the plants for indications of these problems and take the necessary steps for diagnosis and treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions For Hosta Leaves Turning Brown

Why Are Hosta Leaves Turning Brown?

Hosta leaves can turn brown due to overwatering, insufficient watering, disease, pests, or excessive sunlight. It’s important to check the soil moisture, provide adequate shade, and apply fungicides or insecticides if necessary. Regular inspection and proper care can help keep hosta leaves healthy and prevent browning.

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How Often Should I Water My Hosta Plants?

Hosta plants generally require about 1 inch of water per week. However, the frequency of watering depends on various factors like soil type, temperature, and rainfall. It’s important to check the soil moisture before watering, making sure it’s evenly moist but not waterlogged.

Adjust watering schedule accordingly to maintain the optimal moisture level.

What Are Common Diseases That Cause Hosta Leaves To Turn Brown?

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Hosta plants are susceptible to various diseases that can cause leaf browning, such as foliar nematodes, hosta virus x, anthracnose, and crown rot. Proper sanitation, removing affected leaves, and applying appropriate fungicides can help prevent and control these diseases. Regular inspection and early treatment are crucial to maintain healthy hosta plants.


Overall, if you notice your hosta leaves turning brown, it is important to take action promptly to address the underlying issue. Through this blog post, we have explored several possible reasons for browning hosta leaves, including inadequate watering, excessive sun exposure, pest infestations, nutrient deficiencies, and diseases.

By identifying the specific cause, you can implement the appropriate solutions to restore the health and vibrancy of your hostas. Remember to provide consistent moisture, provide shade or filtered sunlight, use organic pest control methods, fertilize regularly, and monitor for signs of diseases.

Additionally, regular inspection and care can help prevent future problems. By following these guidelines, you can ensure your hostas remain healthy and beautiful, enhancing the overall visual appeal of your garden. So, if you notice your hosta leaves turning brown, don’t panic – with the right care, your hostas will thrive and provide years of beauty.


Amelia Clark

I'm Amelia Clark, a seasoned florist and gardening specialist with more than 15 years of practical expertise. Following the completion of my formal education, I dedicated myself to a flourishing career in floristry, acquiring extensive understanding of diverse flower species and their ideal cultivation requirements. Additionally, I possess exceptional skills as a writer and public speaker, having successfully published numerous works and delivered engaging presentations at various local garden clubs and conferences. Social Profile: LinkedIn  YouTube  Pinterest Facebook