Hostas are a group of perennial plants native to Asia, with the lily being one of the most popular species. Unfriendly insects can commonly attack and feed off of the plants. While there are several retail products that claim to repel bugs, these are sometimes costly items that are ineffective. Instead, consider making your own bug repellent, which will keep bugs at bay without harming your garden.
Pepper emits a strong odor that is useful in repelling nearly all types of insects. In a spray bottle, mix a solution of 2 cups water and any combination of one-half cup red pepper, cayenne pepper and/or chili pepper. Add 10 drops of liquid dish detergent (any brand), which will create an adhesive quality that will help this solution stick to plant leaves for an extended period of time. Spray directly onto plant leaves, both tops and undersides. Repeat every two weeks or after a heavy rain that may have rinsed off the repellent. This will keep bugs at bay without harming your hostas.
Mint also emits a strong odor that most bugs do not enjoy. In a spray bottle, mix a solution of 2 cups water, 20 drops mint essential oil and 10 drops liquid dish detergent. Spray the solution directly onto plant leaves, and repeat every two weeks or as necessary to keep bugs at bay. Alternately, grow fresh mint in your garden near the hostas, or chop fresh mint leaves and sprinkle around the hostas.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is another natural item that emits a very strong odor that will repel bugs. In a spray bottle, mix a solution of 2 cups water, 10 drops tea tree oil and 10 drops liquid dish detergent. Spray onto plant leaves, and repeat as necessary to keep insects from attacking your hostas.
Citrus fruits emit another strong odor that bugs will be repelled by. In a spray bottle, mix a solution of 2 cups water, 20 drops citronella oil (available at any health store) and 10 drops liquid dish detergent. Alternately, use 20 drops of lemon juice or squeeze fresh juice from citrus fruits into the spray bottle. Spray directly onto plant leaves, and repeat as necessary.
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Learn how to soak hostas prior to planting in this free online instructional gardening video.