The Q&A Archives: Dividing Hosta

Question: I have some beautiful hosta plants, but they have taken over my flower beds and need to be transplanted. I would like to do this, but would like to share some of the bulbs with my sister in Lancaster, California. Could you please tell me when is the best time to divide and transplant and if they will grow in the dry climate that my sister lives in.

Answer: Hostas grow from roots that can be divided in the fall when the foliage dries up, or in the spring just as the leaves begin to bud. The roots become firmly entangled and will take some patience to divide. I hose the soil off and work from the outside of the clump towards the center, gently easing each plant apart, and then replanting them. You can divide the clump with a spade if you don't mind sacrificing a few plants in the process. Hostas will grow best in cool, moist shade gardens. With a little extra care (lots of organic matter worked into the soil, and lots of mulch over the top of the soil), hostas will grow in a dry climate. Just be sure to keep them well-watered.

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