The Q&A Archives: Dividing Hostas

Question: What is the proper method & frequency of dividing hostas?

Answer: Hosta can be transplanted almost any time, but early spring and early fall are best. Prepare the new planting area ahead of time and make sure the hosta is well watered the day before you dig it up. Smaller plants can be lifted with the entire rootball and replanted, or can be divided before planting if additional plants are desired, using a knife to cut apart the sections. (Cut straight down next to a crown of foliage and take the corresponding roots with it.)

Large mature hostas can be dug up and then divided or dug up in sections, either way will work. Digging one up in sections results in fewer new plants than dividing it carefully while it is out of the ground, however. Simply use a sharp flat spade to dig straight down to divide it. Take as many of the roots as possible and replant immediately. Water well and keep the plant moist until it is reestablished.

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