Divide giant Hosta now or fall? zone 5

sewnice50July 29, 2007

I need to move some giant hosta and want to know can I do it now or wait until fall? They have to be moved.

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

do it now.. there is an older post about how to do it.. ken

    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 8:59AM
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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

I'm sorry....awful job....and it will take 2 seasons to really grow the roots to be what it was!!
Linda C

    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 10:33AM
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whip1 Zone 5 NE Ohio

If given the choice, I'd do it in the fall. You don't have to worry about the leaves, if they are pumping water, or trying to keep as many intact as possible. You only have to move the root ball instead of the rootball and a mass of leaves. If possible, move after the first frost, and make sure they get water.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 1:39PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

now that i reread this.. do you mean giant hosta ...

or giants clumps of regular hosta ...

GIANTS revert to immature form when they are dug up .... anything other than a giant .. will NOT revert to juvenile form .. depending on how much dividing you are doing .. if you just split a big clump.. even quarter it ... with a great amount to root with each clump ... it will probably return about the same next year ....

if you divide it into a thousand pieces.. individual eyes... then they will be smaller since the root mass will be puny per eye ....

now a better question ... hosta nearly NEVER need to be dug and divided ... if your hosta needs to be dug repeatedly perhaps you ought to get rid of it.. and buy a properly sized hosta for the location you are working with ...


    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 2:21PM
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ademink(z5a-5b Indianapolis)

Why is that?

Why would a giant revert to immature but a large stay large and a small stay small, etc?

The biology of that isn't computing w/ me.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 5:12PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

its the impact on the root mass .... take a giant.. and reduce its root capacity .. by 1/4 ... even taking 1/4 of the eyes .. it will shrink .. or maybe i should say ... expect it to shrink ... and if it doesn't.. rejoice ...

if somehow... you can take a 4 foot rootball on a giant ... and not truncate ANY of the roots.. and not lose anything.. and do it all surgically ... etc.. maybe it wont go backwards..

but most of us just aren't that careful .. now are we ...

i am surely not going to tell newbies.. or anyone.. to expect full recovery the year after ...

and as for minis.. even small to med .. heck.. half of them are barely in the ground anyway.. and you can pop out even a giant section of a mini .. and still get every root, intact .... and it will move real easy .. and just plug away thereafter ... maybe its just all a function of the stress inflicted ...


    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 5:38PM
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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

It doesn't "revert" the leaves just don't grow as big without the root mass. When the root mass grows the size of the leaves will increase.
Spring of 05 I had to move either a S and S or an Elegans. I just didn't believe they would be so big when I planted them in 01 or so. I chose the S and S....and my good neighbor muscled it out of the ground just as the eyes were poking through. Got no where near all the root ball. Left it sitting in a plastic bag in the shade for about 2 weeks, while I got the space prepared. It began to unfurl. Finally got it into the ground where it will live forever more. Nestled it in with some nice compost and watered the He!! out of it. It unfurled and was an impressive plant. Obviously a S and S big leaves etc....and I watered. Then in O6 it put out bigger leaves ( it was getting more sun in it's new spot)....and this year wow! Lushious big bright green hosta!....And I bought an Endless summer. I thought the blue would look lovely near the chartreuse....and put it in the ground about the 2nd week in June, about a foot away from the farther most leaf of the S and S....and it looked lovely!...until the hosta ate it! It's half covered by that S and S....think Endless will have to move in the spring! But I am sure I will injure the roots of the S and S....so maybe I'll just let it have the hydrangea for lunch...even though I am sure it would prefer a ground hog!
Linda C

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 6:27PM
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ademink(z5a-5b Indianapolis)

lmao...nice visual and VERY true on S&S....what a great hosta!

ken, I'm tracking w/ you now. I didn't realize you meant hte impact on the roots and yes....those babies would need a backhoe to get all of the roots when larger. i get it now. ;)

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 10:21PM
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yardenman(z7 MD)

If you divide the hostas with enough rootball they will hardly know they've been moved even in Summer. I've done it often enough. You might lose 1 in 10 divisions if you water them carefully.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 1:34AM
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The other consideration when dividing a giant or old hosta is the need for fine root hairs to allow it to take up water and nutrients. If I find only old woody roots, I cull them but if no other lively roots then need to "baby with TLC" these divisions in a moist good soil for a year to get these root hairs re-established.

Bruce Banyai

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 5:43PM
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