How to Split Hostas

Learn how to split Hostas easily with this step-by-step tutorial. Dividing hostas is a straightforward task! To keep your Hosta healthy, it’s essential to divide the plant every few years.

Hosta plants are a popular choice for front or back yards because they produce attractive foliage throughout the growing season.

With their early spring growth and mid to late summer blooms, Hostas have a variety of designs that can add flair to any garden or flowerbed. This step-by-step guide will show you how to split Hostas, the easiest way!

How to Split Hostas

Hostas are popular low maintenance perennials for shade and one of the easiest to care for. They are versatile plants that grow best in a shady spot with a few hours of the morning sun.

Many Hosta varieties have an incredible array of colors and textures, perfect for any shade garden.

Hostas are a gardener’s best friend. There are many varieties of Hostas that range from the smallest ones to the largest ones.

These plants thrive in a variety of places here at Rocky Hedge Farm and they can be found growing in galvanized containers, shade gardens, and around my garden shed.

Dividing Hostas is a simple and rewarding gardening task. One main reason to divide the large plants is to prevent overcrowding and maintain the plant’s health.

When to Split Hostas

The ideal time to split Hostas is in early spring or early fall. However, these perennial plants can be divided from spring to early autumn, provided that you keep them well-watered for a few weeks to help them get through the shock of being transplanted.

Split Hostas in the Spring

Splitting Hostas in the Spring

The best time of year to divide Hostas is during spring. Hostas are typically divided during the four-week window of time from when their eyes are popping up and before the leaves have begun to unfurl.

Dividing Hostas in the spring is also a good idea so that you can take advantage of the typically abundant rainfall. Also, this allows the plant plenty of time to get established during a season that is not extremely hot or cold.

Splitting Hostas in the Fall

Splitting Hostas in the fall is best done when they have three to four weeks to become established before the first frost freezes them. A cooler and humid climate is best for dividing hostas so that they can establish their roots quickly before winter sets in.

In the northern climates, September is the best time to divide hostas. However, as you go south, dividing Hostas might be best in late October to early November.

How Often Do you Split Hostas?

Hostas can be divided every three to four years. It’s essential to wait for a Hosta plant to mature before splitting since the process can significantly slow down growth.

Larger varieties do not reach maturity for five years and continue to improve as they grow and spread. Therefore, the larger mature Hostas may only need to be split every ten years.

Why Should You Split Hostas?

Hostas are a beautiful addition to anyone’s garden. Splitting them is not difficult and is a common task in caring for Hosta plants. There are many reasons for splitting them, so here are a few main ones.

Overcrowded

If the Hosta begins to get too crowded in the space you have planted, divide the plant to give the new starts enough space.

Not Thriving

If the center of the plant dies out, it may be overcrowded, or it could likely be a poor soil site, and the plant needs to be relocated.

Add to your Garden Design

If you want more plants of a particular Hosta variety to meet your garden design needs, dividing a Hosta will give you the benefits of having more plants.

Split Hostas in the Fall

Gardening Essentials You May Need

This post contains affiliate links; I make a tiny commission off any purchase that you may make. This small commission helps keep Rocky Hedge Farm going at no additional cost to you. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.

You can find my favorite essentials can be located in my Amazon storefront. While I often try to link to the exact products you see in my photos and videos, my pieces are usually vintage and thrifted. However, I try to find and link replicas as much as possible, made in the USA or by other small shops, as I believe in supporting hardworking American families.

  • Garden Spade: this garden spade can dig out the Hosta and divide the Hosta clumps.
  • Garden Gloves: leather gloves keep your hands cool and comfortable. Best gardening gloves for the gardener.
  • Garden Knife: a handy tool, the garden knife makes is an easy way to cut through tough Hosta roots.
  • Watering Can: useful for watering new Hostas; this can is beautiful to use!

How To Split Hostas

Hostas are the quintessential shade-loving perennials that gardeners love because of the variety of colors and shapes, and they are easy to grow.

With the proper care, they can stay healthy for many years. However, if you want more than one hosta in a particular garden area, you will split them.

In this step-by-step guide, I will share the steps on how to split Hostas, so you know what needs to be done.

Step 1: Dig Up the Hosta

The best way to remove a Hosta plant is to start by using a spade or a shovel. Using the shovel or spade, gently press it into the ground about six to eight inches from the stems, making sure to dig around the perimeter of the plant.

Step 2: Remove Hosta From the Ground

Gently lift the large clump out of the ground and shake off as much loose dirt as possible. Then, rinse away all remaining dirt, making it easier to pull apart the roots.

How to Split Hostas

Step 3: Split Hosta Clump

Lay the clump on the ground or other surface such as a tarp or large piece of cardboard. Looking at the clump, you may notice naturally divided areas. This is where I like to split the Hostas.

There are several successful tools that you can use to divide the Hosta clump. When dividing the Hosta, look at the plant and decide where to cut to have the number of starts you want for each plant.

Then, using a sharp knife, spade or scissors, divide the Hosta from top to bottom.

The best way to grow healthy new plants from Hostas is by splitting the plant in half or thirds. Remove any dead leaves before potting or replanting divided Hostas.

Dividing hosta plants in the fall

Step 4: Transplant Hostas

Once you have the new plant divisions, it is time to transplant each one. Whether you choose to plant them in the ground or a container, replant them in a low light shady spot.

Before you plant hostas in their new homes, dig a hole big enough for their root system to spread out.

Then, place the entire root ball into the hole you have prepared, taking care not to bury the Hosta deeper than what it had been initially planted. 

Finally, cover the roots with dirt and water well.

Hosta in Container

How to Reduce Shock When Transplanting Hostas

Hostas are some of the hardiest and most resilient perennials in stressful situations, such as transplanting. Here’s how to reduce shock when transplanting Hostas.

  • Water the Day Before Digging: to reduce shock when transplanting Hostas, water your plants the day before you want to split them. Hostas need lots of water, which will help the new shoots thrive in their new location.
  • Avoid Mini Hosta Splits: don’t try to separate the plant into many mini sections, as this will help prevent transplant shock. Healthy plants only need to be divided into halves or thirds to create new hostas.
  • Water Frequently: transplanted Hostas should be watered frequently to encourage the roots to grow. Hostas flourish on moisture and humidity.
  • Add Compost: supplement your soil with generous amounts of organic matter, which will help the plant retain as much water as possible and encourage new root development.
  • Avoid the Sun: newly transplanted Hostas should be planted where they will not receive full sun. The sun will dry out the Hostas, burn the leaves, and interrupt the plant’s growing process.
  • Mulch: to help retain moisture, place mulch around the base of the plant. 

I’ve been gardening for years, and this is the best method for dividing Hostas. It’s easy, reliable, and will save you money as you get free plants for your flower garden.

More Flower Gardening inspiration and Ideas

Hostas are some of the most popular perennial plants in the world. They are easy to grow and care for. Now that you know how to split Hostas, you will always have new plants to add to your gardens or share with friends!

Thank you for sharing!

1 thought on “How to Split Hostas”

  1. The easiest way I’ve found is to use a bulb digging tool; the kind with a long T-handle and a foot brace. Do this in the spring when the eyes are first sprouting. Use the tool to dig a hole where you want your transplant and put the soil aside. Put the tool over the parent plant so that there are 3-4 eyes inside the ring. Step on it being careful not to crush the surrounding eyes and remove the new plant and place it in the first hole. Perfect fit. Water it.
    Dig another hole where you want a second transplant and put that dirt in the hole you left from the first transplant. Continue the process until you’ve completed all of your transplants. (My record is 30!) then use the soil saved from the first hole and fill in the last.
    So much faster than other methods and I never lost a single one.

    Reply

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