Traditionally we celebrate St. Valentine's Day by giving cards and presents to our loved ones. But we should also remember to love our hostas on St Valentine's Day. This is the day to start using slug deterrents or other means of disposing of these pestilential molluscs. Acting now will ensure that one's hostas will produce foliage as sumptuous as that of the accompanying image of the pristine leaves of Hosta 'Great Expectations'.

The reason for this is that the slug that does most damage early in the season is the keeled slug, Milax spp., which lives underground and out of sight but becomes active at about this time of year. In late winter/early spring the keeled slug migrates towards the surface of the soil where they can do untold damage to emerging shoots and leaves. The damage done at this time of year may make the hostas unsightly for the rest of the year. Out of sight should not be out of mind for hosta gardeners!


Slugs and snails are rarely a significant problem. In prolonged periods of drought, slugs and snails may be tempted by the leaves of seedlings and new divisions.


The British Hosta and Hemerocallis Society suggests you follow the latest advice from the RHS on controlling slugs and controlling snails.
Hosta 'Great Expectations' © June Colley
Hosta 'Captain Kirk ©Mickfields