How to thin, divide, and propagate overgrown hosta plants.

Lets remove the mystery behind hostas. Here is the easiest, fastest way to thin and separate overgrown hostas while propagating new plants to grow or share.

1. Start by digging around the plant edges, a few inches from the plant. Push the shovel all the way into the ground in a complete circle around the hostas. This is your root ball. It could be very heavy if you’ve let them overgrown for too long, so ask another person to help lift it out of the ground and onto the grass or in a large bucket.

2. Start by watering the roots to wash off as much dirt as possible and expose the roots and rhizomes.

3. Shake the roots. Don’t worry, they are pretty tough. Shake the roots, water some more to remove dirt, and tug at the rhizome clumps. Don’t force, just tug. Keep watering while you work, it goes faster.

4. If you identify a rhizome but can’t shake it loose, go ahead and pull hard but WHILE holding onto the rhizome. If the roots won’t come with it, go ahead and cut them. They’ll take longer to grow but they won’t die.

That’s it. You’ve separated your hostas. Now you need to decide whether to share the thinnings or keep them for yourself. 🙂
Replant at the same depth you dig them up from. Water well.
Look for more blog posts on feeding hostas. Coming soon.


7 thoughts on “How to thin, divide, and propagate overgrown hosta plants.

  1. Is it even possible to kill a hosta? Don’t you hate how everyone always wants a division from your biggest and prettiest and most unusual varieties, but nobody will take those darn alba marginata that are EVERYWHERE in your garden? I do, and I decided a couple years ago that it is okay to say “no, I won’t dig it up right now, but if you call me in the early spring I will dig one for you.” Then when or if they call I just tell them “I can’t remember where it was so lets wait until it comes up some more” then we start the process over again, and I tell them to “call me in the spring.”

  2. Pingback: In the battle of woman vs. hostas… « NC Garden Gals

  3. When is the best time of the year to separate and re plant? I’m a first timer, but I have 5 beautiful and lush Hosta that could be separated. I have an empty spot on the side of the house that needs some dressing up.
    Thank you

    • The best time is around September, but I am usually full-time volunteering at the school that time of year, so I do mine in spring just after they emerge. I’ve done it at different times of the year previously and the only bad time seems to be the heat of summer.

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