Preventing Holes In Leaves Of Hosta Plants

Hosta plants are terrific shade-tolerant plants with wonderful plumage. They are incredibly hardy and do not require much care to thrive. However, plant lovers may begin to notice holes in the leaves of their hosta plants.

If your hosta shows signs of damage, like holes in the leaves, you must help remedy the problem before it worsens. Taking swift action will ensure that your vegetation will remain healthy and viable for years.

holes in hostas

Why Are There Holes In Your Hosta Plant Leaves?

Finding holes in your hosta plant leaves can be discouraging. However, once you know the culprit of the damage, you can employ some effective preventative methods.

Some potential factors that will create holes in the leaves of your hosta plants include:

  • Slugs or snails
  • Insect infestation
  • Hail damage
  • Disease

Slugs or Snails

Slugs and snails love the luscious leaves of a hosta plant. Although you may water your garden plants often to ensure they receive enough moisture, these pests flock to them for this exact reason.

You will not see slugs or snails during the day since they are nocturnal creatures. Consequently, they create holes in your hosta between veins or along the edges of its leaves. You may also notice a slime trail from these creatures.

hostas snail

Insect Infestation

Insects love to feast on various vegetation, including hosta leaves. Luckily, you may catch insects during the day chewing on your plant. Some varieties of insects that may bother your hosta include:

  • Grasshoppers
  • Blister beetles
  • Cutworms
  • Black vine weevil
  • Nematodes

If you have a problem with insects, you should immediately take action to prevent the situation from worsening. The longer you wait to intervene, the less chance your hosta plant has at making a full recovery.

Hail Damage

Extreme weather conditions can do a number on your hosta plants by putting holes in the leaves. For example, if your location is prone to hail, you may notice holes and tears in your hosta leaves after a storm.


Your outdoor vegetation can suffer from various diseases. One such disease that affects hosta plant leaves is anthracnose. This disease is a fungus that attacks the leaves, creating soft spots that quickly rot away and leave holes.

If you do not detect it early, you may confuse these holes with a slug problem or an insect infestation.

hostas path

How To Prevent Holes In The Leaves Of Hosta Plants

The best thing you can do for your hosta is to keep it healthy before it has damage and treat it as soon as you see any signs of holes in the leaves. By following some guidelines, you can help bring vitality back and keep it healthy for many more seasons.

Proper Watering Techniques

Water your hosta plant in the morning so that the leaves are completely dry before the evening hours. Avoid watering your hosta from above when possible. When water pools on the leaves, it could attract fungal diseases or evening pests.

Repel Insects and Pests

There are several ways you can repel insects from feasting on your hosta leaves. You can purchase safe insecticides at your local garden center or make your own with many household items.

Some solutions you can easily make to spray on your hosta leaves are:

  • 2 cups of water, 10 drops of liquid dish soap, 10 drops of tea tree oil or neem oil
  • 10:1 ratio of water to ammonia

You can easily spray the leaves of your hosta plant with one of these homemade solutions as needed when you have insects causing damage.

If it is slugs or snails you need to repel, there are several tricks you can use to keep them away from your plant. These easy tips include:

  • Beer trap to catch snails and drown them
  • Crushed eggshells or broken nutshells at the base of your hosta
  • ¬†Grapefruit trap using the empty rind to trap slugs inside and dispose of them in the morning
  • Sprinkle coffee grounds on the soil around your plant
  • Apply petroleum jelly on the base of your hosta plant to keep snails from climbing

The Takeaway

Finding holes in the leaves of your hosta plant can be discouraging, but it is easy to remedy. Once you know the reason for the damage, you can treat your vegetation effectively and have it back to looking great and being healthy for many more seasons.