Are you wondering how and when to divide Hostas in your garden? Gardeners love Hostas for their foliage besides being effortless to plant and care for. They produce white and lavender flowers in late summer and the beginning of the fall seasons. Moreover, Hostas are perennials growing in hardiness zones 4-9.
Dividing Hostas is beneficial in maintaining their shape and size. Overgrown Hostas tend to droop and look huge. Propagating Hostas may also boost the growth of other established plants.
Read on for more information on Hostas’ growth and propagation.
Why Should You Divide Hostas?
Most people divide their Hostas too often, not knowing that this will do more harm than good to the plant. The plant weakens by many distractions and transplanting. Dividing Hostas should be with reason when the plant is mature, about five years since germination. Only divide your Hostas because:
To add your garden design: Adding the design requires several plants out of the main Hostas. Lift the Hostas from the soil and divide it 3 or 4 times. Re-plant the new plants in the same location as the main one. This way, the Hostas look more significant, and by summer, the garden will be fuller and better.
Share or as a gift idea: If you want to share or gift out your Hostas plant, no need to give the entire plant. Just cut out one of the outer crowns without disturbing the central clump.
Outgrown space: hostas tend to increase and significant. Most times, they outgrow their space and look messy. This way, you need to propagate into smaller plants to shape and size them.
When Should You Divide Hostas?
The perfect time to divide Hostas is in spring, just before the spikes grow too high and rain arrives. However, you can split the Hostas anytime in spring through to early summer. The hostas division should be twice a year. In either of these times, there’s a four weeks window open for the propagation process.
If you delay and propagating late in spring, the new plants will run into the severe summer temperatures hence low chances of survival. Conversely, if you also wait and breed late in the fall, the plants will encounter the winter frost, toxic to plants. Read on.
Since timing is crucial in planning the Hostas division, dig out the plant during the spring when the first shoots appear and right before the leaves begin to open up. In the fall season, di out the Hostas a month before the first frost. Make sure you dig out a lot of the rootball to avoid losing any roots.
Smaller Hostas are easy to propagate hence avoiding damaging the foliage. Divide the Hostas after 5-10 years to keep them healthy and shapely.
Tip: if you are dividing your Hostas during summer, water them well, so they adapt to the new state quickly.
How to Divide Hostas
Wet the soil a day or two in case of no rain before you start dividing the Hostas. Also, know that the roots only grow from the tip. Please avoid using any sharp object to separate the roots as they will begin to branch where they are cut and will not grow longer. Make use of a digging fork to work loose and lift the Hostas from the soil to prevent slicing the roots. Read on.
- Insert your digging fork or spade into the soil just outside the leaves outline and gently work loose the plant from the ground.
- Lift the plant from the earth and place it on the tarp on a work station.
- On the workstation, you will see that the clump comprises several individual plants. Wash off any excess soil from the plant to be able to see the crowns.
- Cautiously dissemble the clusters into divisions of a minimum of three sets of shoots coming out of a growing point. Some Hostas will break apart easily, while others will need a sharp knife to cut.
- Set the splits in the same previous depth and rich organic soil. Make sure you water exhaustively after planting to ensure that the roots have steadily available moisture.
Can Any Hostas Tolerate The Full Sun?
Hostas are unique plants for a minimal maintenance garden, with several varieties to select from. Although they are shade-resistant plants, many won’t flourish in deep shade. A lot of hostas are more dynamic and will reveal their best shades when allowed some sun exposure. Such medium exposure is like the morning sun using the afternoon shade. Intense morning sun is less penetrating than the maximum early afternoon sun. Most times, the late afternoon sun will also be ideal.
Nevertheless, hostas should not receive maximum-sun south exposure where it will be hot and dry. However, try different sun exposures to determine how it will thrive and be sure to provide a lot of water for long-term use.
In case of too much, browning at the leaves’ edges will begin, or the Hostas will produce dull shades. Hope for a Hosta that can withstand your location and be healthy. Hostas with white colors and thin leaves will most likely burn in the maximum sun. Conversely, those with warm colors can endure full sun while the blue ones prefer a shade.
How to Care For Hostas
Although they require low-maintenance, the care routine should not lack. Here is how to care for your Hostas;
Watering: Even though they are drought tolerant and can survive with little water and average rain, Hostas need moisture to thrive. To grow well, keep them adequately watered at least one and a half times a week and more times for those under full sun.
Planting: Hostas like treated, loose, and well-drained garden soil. While planting, dig a big enough hole enough to hold future growths after propagation. Avoid planting too deep. Only cover the roots with soil, and from the stem upwards should be above the ground.
Placement: Hostas do not like full sun exposure and prefer shady areas. They love the mild morning sun exposure and loathe the harsh afternoon sun. The morning sun will stimulate leaf coloring while the afternoon sun will burn the leaves. In case your Hostas grow in full sun location, adequately and frequently water them as they tend to be a heavy drinker in maximum sun exposure. Also, mulch them to maintain soil temperature.
- Consider feeding the Hostas when they are actively growing in the spring to the early summer period.
- Avoid fertilizing in the fall.
- Use a water-soluble fertilizer and read the label for instructions of use.
- Cut the entire flowers after blooming.
- Trim off the damaged foliage and faded stems.
- Get rid of the Hosta foliage in the fall.
This foliage is dormant and may thrive once spring kicks in, but it is preferable to remove it.
The Hosta perennial plant provides magnificent foliage from spring to till frost. These plants can live alone as they require less maintenance and are very easy to grow. The division of the Hosta plant is not necessary as it reduces its vitality. However, if you need to, make sure you do it properly to achieve favorable results.
Do you want to learn how to split a peace lily? We also made a post on how to split peace lilies.