Best time to Divide Hostas

midnightsmum (Z4, ON)April 13, 2008

As the snow melts, I am finding lots of interesting things. One is a very thick hosta. The base is about a foot across. The shoots are about 2 inches at this time, and purplish. Since most other plants in this bed are toast, Id like to divide it.

Any ideas...thanks, Nancy.

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keesha2006(5)

This is what I have been told..and for the "most part" I have found it true..but not always.

If you divide in the spring you are more likely to get odd shaped mounds..not nice and round. No harm done but if your looking for neat and tidy.....don't divide in spring

If you divide in the fall, nice round mounds will return next spring..or so I am told and for the most part this has worked for me..tho now and then...not...

    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 11:04PM
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Vikki1747(z8 VA)

Nancy,
I've found that you can divide Hosta anytime (in my zone 8 garden), however, I wouldn't divide them when they are in bloom. Keesha is correct about the shape of the Hosta if you divide in the spring. From the size of your plant it sounds like you can get several new plants by dividing the one you have.

You might want to ask your question on the Hosta Forum to get the advice of the experts(?). Good Luck to you.
Vikki

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 7:55AM
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greylady_gardener

I have always divided in the spring as soon as the sprouts appear big enough to be seen properly.
Interesting info keesha! I am going to have to look closer at the hosta this year and see how they look. Maybe I will have to give it a try. I never really thought about whether they were nicely rounded mounds.....I am kind of a 'plant it and be grateful it grows' kind of gardener,:) so unless something is extremely unruly or floppy, I don't really think about it, although I am always impressed when I do see a beautifully shaped plant in the garden.
gg

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 8:01AM
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woodyswife(z5 OH)

I do my dividing when things green up first thing in spring, as long as it is dry enough. I've found that many plants multiply and the clumps get too large. A few times when I held off dividing I wished I would have later because they didn't flower nearly as much--so I really think it is beneficial to just get in there and divide.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 8:20AM
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tuscanseed(7)

I'm a big spring-time believer in dividing hostas right when the shoots are up a few inches.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 9:14AM
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HerbLady49(Z6 PA)

You can divide anytime, but spring is best because the plants are still semi-dormant, and the ground is cool and damp. These conditions will help them take hold faster. I have divided in the summer, but you need to cut back the foliage, so the plant can concentrate on putting its strength in the root system, and because its hot, you'll have to make sure the roots don't dry out.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 9:49AM
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dyhgarden(7b)

When I had hostas, I always divided in the spring when the little pointed sprouts were popping through. I dug the entire clump out of the ground and separated out the pieces using a very sharp knife. By digging it completely out of the ground, I could re-center the mother plant or re-arrange the garden to handle the kids.

Cameron

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 1:09PM
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faltered(Hamburg NY Z5/6)

I've done both but prefer dividing them in the fall. That way I don't have to nurture them throughout the summer to help with root shock.

But they will survive either way. They're hardy plants.

Tracy

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 6:44PM
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midnightsmum (Z4, ON)

Thanks All. I am overwhelmed with your responses. I think I will take a chance and divide them on the weekend. I am going to try to amend the bed then so it would be a good thing. Thanks for the warning, Keesha and Vikki - I will take pics and share them later in the season!! Grey lady, I agree, I work by the numbers principal - if I plants lots, some will survive!!

Thanks again, All - Nancy.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 8:39PM
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moonphase(z7 Ga)

I have been dividing in the spring and have never lost a one,never had to baby them and have never had odd shaped mounds.When hostas start coming up in the spring,dig them,get a sharp knife and divide,and replant.Make sure each cutsection has a root.Sometimes I dig several,cut up,and plant a little later-no harm done.I only divide every 2-3 years now since I have alot of hosta but at first,I divided every yr. to get alot but they never got real big.
moonphase

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 11:47PM
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