Do Hostas Like Mushroom Compost?

Whether you are cultivating hostas for the flowers or their foliage, you must do it right for excellent results. Otherwise, it may eventually waste your precious time and effort.

For instance, do hostas like mushroom compost? The answer to this million-dollar question ensures you don’t make a mistake while cultivating it.

After all, it is not a secret that some plants won’t appreciate mushroom compost. Whether hostas are one of them is a mystery about to be solved.

What Is Mushroom Compost?

As much as the name gives you a rough idea of what mushroom compost is all about, it is unclear. Whereas one may assume it is made of mushrooms, that’s not the case.

It is what’s left behind once you cultivate and harvest your mushroom. That’s why it is also known as spent mushroom compost.

It is often used in vegetable and flower gardens to improve it, thus boosting the thriving and flourishing of the plants. It can serve as a soil conditioner or mulch.

It is also ideal when breaking down clay. Other farmers use it to increase the moisture level of the soil.

Is Mushroom Compost Good for Hostas?

On the other hand, hostas are plants that do well under shade. That’s not the typical condition of most plants; hence ideal under shady conditions.

The main reason most people plant it is foliage. Its leaves are beautiful and a great addition to any garden.

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Similarly, hostas also produce beautiful plants ideal for beautifying your garden. The combination of the leaves and flowers is fantastic, no doubt.

So, do hostas like mushroom compost?

To gauge the suitability of mushroom compost in cultivating hostas, we will discuss its ideal salt content and alkalinity.

Hostas Salt Content Requirement

When it comes to salt content, hostas can tolerate quite a lot. On the other hand, mushroom compost is known for its relatively high salt concentration.

If that’s the case, one can say without fear of contradiction that hostas are like mushroom compost. While most plants will struggle to survive in it, hostas will likely thrive.

That said and done, the hostas may also experience bad growth if the mushroom compost’s salt content goes overboard. To avoid such a scenario, ensure that the mushroom compost ratio is optimal and not detrimental to the hostas’ growth.

Failure to use the right ratio could see the hostas burn, just like when one exposes other plants to high salt content. Always ensure that they are moderate.

Preferably, ensure that the ratio of mushroom compost to the soil is 25:75. Such a ratio supports thriving due to the slow release while giving hostas great benefits.

Hostas Alkalinity Requirements

It is no secret that mushroom compost has moderate alkalinity. That’s why it is advisable to use it with acidic soil for the necessary moderation.

With a pH value between 6.6 and 6.7, mushroom compost can raise the pH level of any acidic soil excellently. So, any plant that likes more alkaline soil will appreciate the combination.

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In most cases, plants survive with alkalinity of a pH value ranging from 5.5 to 6.5. Interestingly, hostas can do well in more alkaline soils with a pH of up to 7.5.

So, don’t hesitate to use mushroom compost if cultivating hostas. It raises its alkalinity, thus encouraging the growth of your hostas.

Advantages of Mushroom Compost

If you use mushroom compost, expect the following benefits;

  • It attracts earthworms responsible for improving soil drainage and structure in favor of your plants
  • It is also a suitable mulch to keep your plants warm during winter and cool during summer
  • Thanks to its high levels of calcium, mushroom compost is ideal for fruits and vegetables, especially tomatoes
  • Due to its slow release of nutrients to your plants, it remains relevant and useful for a long time
  • Its lack of high levels of nitrogen discourages weeds from growing
  • Mushroom compost will improve the soil structure encouraging drainage and preventing waterlogging
  • Since mushroom compost comes from mushrooms and doesn’t require further processing, it is environmentally friendly
  • It also improves water retention of the soil you use it on

Disadvantages of Mushroom Compost

Whereas mushroom compost is great, it has its drawbacks, including the following;

  • Since they are relatively alkaline, mushroom compost will affect your soil’s pH level, especially for plants that appreciate acidic soils
  • Since it is sterilized before the reuse, it lacks beneficial microorganisms that die in the process
  • It also has high salt content that may work only for a few plants, such as hostas
  • Whereas moisture retention is great for plants, too much of it could lead to fungal or rot infections in some plants
  • Another negative effect of increased water retention is water logging, and only a few plants survive under such circumstances
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How to Use Mushroom Compost

These tips should guide you when using mushroom compost;

  • Do not use the mushroom compost alone
  • It would be best if you mixed it with soil, and the ratio of mushroom compost to soil should be 1:2
  • Alternatively, buy soil mixed with the compost instead of doing the mixing yourself
  • You can use it before planting and when top dressing too


Do hostas like mushroom compost? Whereas that could be a no if it were other plants, most of them, hostas, will thrive in it.

Its alkalinity and salt content requirements can be met by the compost excellently. So, don’t hesitate to use mushrooms when cultivating hostas.

However, one must know that hostas aren’t like most plants in many ways. Its salt and alkalinity tolerance is rare.

The compost doesn’t comprise mushrooms. On the contract, it is what mushrooms leave behind after growing completely.

Mushroom compost also has a lot of advantages. You can enjoy them if you use them correctly, using the right ratio.

On the other hand, it has some disadvantages, especially if not used as it should. Ensure that you avoid any practice that could lead to such horrible outcomes.

Consider the above tips on how to use the compost, and thank me later.



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