When and How to Divide and Transplant Hostas

Learn when and how to divide and transplant Hostas with this simple guide.

Do you have a shady area in your yard that could use a little landscaping? Hostas are the perfect answer to easy landscaping. They are easily grown and they look beautiful! I have grown a variety of Hostas for several years and have found them to be one of the easiest plants to grow. Hostas are also one of the cheapest plants to grow and the easiest to divide.

When to Divide Hostas

I personally choose to divide my Hostas in the Spring. The shoots are just coming out of the ground and the leaves have not uncurled. It is best to divide Hostas while the weather is still somewhat cool. I live in Missouri and I have divided them in the fall but will often do it in late September or October.

Choosing to divide and transplant Hostas while the weather is cooler puts less stress on the plant. If your soil is not moist, water the plants the day before you decide to divide and transplant.

How to Dig up Hostas

When digging up Hostas you want to be sure that you dig up the entire root ball. I usually begin by taking a spade shovel and starting 12″ from the plant, I dig up the root ball. Once you have your Hosta out of the ground, gently shake the dirt from the roots. If it has a really thick root ball you can use your fingers to help work a lot of the dirt out.

How to Divide Hostas

Hostas are one of the most forgiving plants when it comes to cutting and dividing. I have read lots of articles on how to divide them but when it comes down to it, you really can’t mess it up too badly. If the root ball is not to tightly bound you can often take your hands and pull apart the Hosta, creating several new plants. I use small pruning shears to cut through the roots of mine but you can also use a small saw, some people even use a knife.

How to Transplant Hostas

Once you have your plant separated, it is time to plant them. This is an easy process. Dig a hole a little larger than the root ball and place the plant in the hole. You will want to keep the shoots of the plant at about the same level they were when you originally dug up the plant.

You can add fertilizer or compost if you want but I rarely ever do this. Gently place the dirt back around the plant and don’t forget to water. This ensures that air pockets are removed and that your plant has plenty of water to start growing in its new location.

We are in the process of moving and I have been digging up all of my Hosta plants so that I can take them with me. Hostas are easy to grow in the ground and they also make wonderful plants for containers. Just remember that Hostas love the shade. If they have too much sun, their leaves will look bad and they will not grow as well.

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Do you grow Hostas? Have you ever divided them? Do you have another method for succesfully dividing Hostas? I would love to hear about it, leave me a comment.

Favorite Hosta Varieties

Here are some of my most loved Hosta varieties:

Blue Mouse Ears

 Stained Glass

Magic Island

Hosta ‘Guacamole’

Patriot Hosta

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8 thoughts on “When and How to Divide and Transplant Hostas”

  1. If you know of an elderly lady or two who have hostas growing in their gardens, stop and ask if their hostas are the kind that set seed and if those seed in turn will germinate. Older folks may call them August lilies (bloom time was in August or thereabout) or plantain lilies.

    The modern hybrid hostas generally do not set seed, and you can only increase the number of plants through plant divisions.

    I have hostas that are the “offspring” of my great-grandmother’s hostas… and they set seed every year after flowering, and the seeds are fertile and will germinate.

    My great-grandmother died in 1953, and she had hostas planted all around the original farmhouse, close to the house in the shade. My grandmother was fortunate to transplant some of Grandma’s hostas to her property, and I transplanted scads of my grandmother’s hostas to my parents’ property, my original property, as well as to where I live now. I’ve been dividing hostas and planting seeds from these hostas for over 40 years.

    The leaves are a beautiful solid green, heart-shaped, and when the plants are several years old and mature, the leaves can be as big as dinner plates.

    Deer love hostas… it’s like salad to them and they’ll eat the hostas almost to ground level.
    So keep your eyes open.

  2. I LOVE hostas, the fill out a garden so beautifully. They feel peaceful to me. In the shade, growing where no one is really looking, yet holding stretching those leaves high and wide. I have never divided them but when I saw your post I thought, that’s it, it is time to divide my big hostas and spread the love around. Thanks for the encouragement!

  3. I really need to divide my hostas and have a shade spot under my pecan tree but need to do it in the summer since I work at a school. Would you be totally opposed to this?

  4. Great info, RHF! I have a hosta garden and would like to identify each plant’s name. Can you recommend a good guide for identifying hostas? I am lucky to.live near a hosta conservancy, but need a guide with good pics for home use. Thank you!

  5. I got my first hosta about 50 years ago when I was visiting my mother’s oldest sister—we admired her hosta and she said we should start a plant. “Three leaves is all you need”, she said. She promptly broke off three leaves down toward the ground and told us to put them in water to root and then plant. That was the start of my large hosta collection! While I normally divide the plants, I have been known to start some from this “rooting” method. I really don’t know if the 3 leaves are needed, but that’s what my aunt said!

    • I haven’t heard of this but I will have to try it! It would be a wonderful way to get a larger start of Hostas.


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