Saturday, May 07, 2005


Today I had a question from a friend about HOSTA and how to divide them, so I decided to address that here.
Hosta is a WONDERFUL plant for so many different reasons. They will grow in the shade, or in the sun. They love humus-y soil, but will grow well in dryer areas under trees and other dry places as long as they get some water. They come with fragrant, as well as odorless flowers. They come in shades of purple or pure white. The leaves are totally green or varigated...and the varigations come in all forms. They will fill in quickly where they are planted, so thick that they will eventually crowd out the weeds. Not only that, they are easy to divide and increase where ever you might want to generate them. What more could a gardener possibly want?
There IS a trick to dividing them however!!! Their roots tend to get SO thick and dense that they can be extremely difficult to separate.
What I do, and what I would suggest that you try (preferably in the spring), is to dig up the clump of hosta you want to divide and immerse it in a tub of water. Often times that will remove the soil, making it easier to pull the plants apart. However, if that doesn't work? I take either a sharp shovel or even an ax or hatchet and chop the roots into separate clumps of hosta!!! It sounds pretty drastic, but it works just fine and the plant is none the worse for wear. As long as there is a root or two attached to some leaves, the clump should grow happily where ever you decide to put it.
Since the plant will be there for a pretty long time, I also suggest that you add lots of compost or other humus to the soil to sustain it through the years. Then in the fall, or spring when you are cleaning out your garden beds of leaves, DON'T remove that from the hosta beds. Leave it there to become mulch, where it will break down and eventually feed the plant.
The only drawback I can see with hosta is that they are beloved by deer!!! However, they'll grow back, so don't dispair if they are clipped off. (Easy for me to say, right? Those deer can be a real problem for lots of gardeners.)
Anyway, enjoy your hosta! If you have a question e-mail me here!


At May 26, 2005, Blogger OldRoses said...

Hmmmm...I didn't know that hostas liked sun. I always thought of them as a shade plant.

At May 26, 2005, Blogger North Country Maturing Gardener said...

Hosta ARE thought of as a shade plant, but they definitely do like sun as well! I had some at our home in CT that lived in full sun for almost 30 years and were GORGEOUS! So put them where you'd like...


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