dividing hostas - Knowledgebase Question

boston, Ma
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Question by secarboston
September 22, 2009
Hello Experts! I need to divide a dozen gigantic hostas and am looking for the best, least taxing way of doing it. Can I clip off all the leaves first or would that be too drastic. Should I soak the ground the night before? Your suggestions are much appreciated!

Answer from NGA
September 22, 2009
If you have ever divided hostas before, you know that the roots develop into a rockhard mass that needs a sharp shovel or even a hatchet or tree saw to divide the mass into smaller sections. I've tried all the usual ways and have found that you can make divisions from a large hosta by cutting away the edges of the original plant mass. Just set your shovel down into a section of the hosta and dig straight down to sever the section from the main plant. Then remove the section and replant. You can go all around the original plant, taking 3-4 inch wide sections or divisions, leaving the original plant in place. Leave the foliage on. It will help nourish the roots until the first frost turns it to mush. At that time you can rake or pull the foliage off the plants. Best wishes with your project.

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