An acquaintance recently told me that they cut off all flower buds from their hostas so that the energy that would go into the scapes will instead go into the plant itself. Is this true? Should this only be done in the first few years of the hosta's life to get it to grow faster? Does it really make a big difference?
Some people also do it because they don't like the look of the scapes/flowers. It can certainly help plants that are struggling, but I don't if it will make a huge difference in the long run for the average hosta. Please make sure you disinfect your tools/hand between plants if you decide to remove the scapes.
Plants do put all their energy into reproduction: blooming, fertilization and seed production. I suppose you could deadhead the flower scapes early on to produce bigger plants, but i don't know how much you would get on a yearly basis. You might want to test it before you go whole hog. take two hosta of the same variety and roughly the same size grown in the same section of your garden. They would need to get the same water, light, etc. deadhead one and leave the other be to flower. I would measure both plants before the deadheading and then again in the spring and just before bloom the next year. It would be a slow process to increase your plants this way, it would seem to me.
Wouldn't fertilizer be faster?