Dividing hostas – How and when to divide hostas

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Dividing hostas – How and when to divide hostas

Dividing hostas – How and when to divide hostas

Last Updated on January 21, 2020 by John

Hostas are a shade loving plant that are one of the easiest perennial plants to grow. To that end, if you are cultivating hostas, it is important to know how and when to divide them to get the best out of them. 

How to propagate hostas

How to propagate hostas

Where to replant Hostas

By digging up and subsequently dividing your hostas, you can propagate a successful, healthy plant into multiple plants. You will know when it is time because the plant will become too crowded and you might notice the centre of your clump dies out. To keep your hosta at its healthiest, you should plan to divide the plant every 3-4 years. 

When you replant the divided hostas you want to pick a place where there is shade, low sunlight, and a lot of moisture. Your hostas will do best in moist soil without direct sunlight, as the sunlight will damage them. 

When to divide hostas

Divide hosta in spring or autumn

The best time to divide and conquer your hostas is at the end of summer, around August or the start of September. However, if you are not able to at this time, you can divide them at any time between Spring and Autumn. 

If you divide in the spring, you should aim to do so right before the plants have fully developed, right as the hosta eyes are growing up as pictured above. 

If you divide in the summer, you will need to water your plants more often so that they can get through transplantation but try to avoid transplanting in summer if you can help it. 

If you divide in the autumn, you want to aim for at least 3-4 weeks before your first frost which in most parts of the Uk would be around October. It is better to divide when the weather is humid and cooler but you want to give them enough time to establish themselves before your soil freezes. 

How to divide hostas

when and how to divide a hosta plant
when and how to divide a hosta plant

If the hostas are not oversized, you can dig up the clump. To do this, dig around the clump in a circle and lift the clump out of the ground using your shovel. You will see, once it is out of the ground, that the clump is comprised of smaller, individual plants. Once you wash off the soil around the plant you will have a better view of the crown. With that, you can break apart your clumps into the natural divisions you see, usually with 3 sets of shoots per crown. 

Dividing oversized Hostas

If they are oversized and you cannot get them out of the ground, you can use the shovel to slice clumps into divisions within the original hole and subsequently remove the divisions to be replanted elsewhere. 

Once this is done, your basic hosta care is easy. Wherever the divided plants ended up, be sure to water regularly and layout some slug traps to prevent their most annoying of pests.

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