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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Propagate Hostas without Breaking Your Back!



Hosta "Lakeside Shore Captain"
There are two types of gardeners in the world: clumpers and splitters.  I admit it-I am a clumper.  I cringe at the idea of cutting my babies up into pieces.  I would rather leave them alone so they can get  big.  Wait, not big-huge.  I want huge Hostas.  Digging them up and dividing them can set them back and, to be honest, I do not like doing that because it takes some varieties forever to reach a good size.  A solution I came up with is minimally invasive, and it does not set my Hosta back like digging up the entire clump does. This is perfect if you want to share a small piece or if you need a few eyes for a project.  You can take off more than I have shown, I just prefer to keep it to a minimum.  Just a note: I do this in Spring before the Hostas leaf out so I can see what I am doing, but you can do it at any time of year.

Here is what you need:

1.  A  nice clump of Hosta.

2.  Shovel that is cleaned and sanitized.  I recommend this due to Hosta Virus X a disease that affects and spreads among Hosta.  (I recommend you read about HVX at this link: http://www.inthecountrygardenandgifts.com/articles/hosta_virus_x.php)

3.  Something to plant your eyes in.

Here are the steps:

1.  Find a clump of Hosta you want to propagate,  I chose is one:
Hosta emerging in spring

2.  Find an eye or set of eyes toward the outer edge and use your finger to clear a spot between the eyes like this:


 3.  Take your shovel and place it in the spot you marked:
Place shovel between Hosta pips

 4.  Push down on the shovel and cut through the Hosta to release the eyes: 
Use shovel to cut between the Hosta pips

5.  Move the shovel around the eyes you are removing to cut through and loosen them.  Make sure to be far enough out to get some roots:
Step on the shovel to cut through

 6.  When you have cut around it gently lift it with the shovel:
Lift the Hosta piece out gently



7.  Or your Hand if it's easier:-)
Remove the piece of Hosta
 

8.  Replace dirt that came out and pack it gently: 

9.  Pot the eyes up for when you need them-keep them well watered until you find them a new home.
Hosta division
Potted up Hosta divisions
I hope you find this post helpful!  Feel free to leave me comment on anything you would like.
Until next time-Happy Planting!

Rhonda

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for the tip!! I just planted 10 new large hostas last summer. Do you think its ok to try this on them?

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  2. Yep, you are not going to disturb the entire plant so they should be fine and not get set back. Good Luck and Happy Planting!

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  3. Can i do this dividing at the end of summer...now that it is May or wait till Fall?

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  4. Can i do this dividing at the end of summer...now that it is May or wait till Fall?

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  5. You can divide Hostas at any time that the ground isn't frozen. They are very resilient plants:-)) Just keep them well watered until dormancy. Good luck!

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