Dividing Hostas

Dividing Hostas


Today I’m going to teach you the 3 D’s of
hosta dividing. Dig it
De-dirt it Divide it Good morning, I’m Chris Alexander. I’ve worked
for HostasDirect for almost a decade. Our wonderful specimen today, we have wolverine
about 7 years old, and big enough to probably get cut into a few chunks, and our tools we
have per-steralized, our shovel and a knife. For smaller hostas like this, that’s generally
all I like to use. We also have our collected rain water in this
pool here, for use when we do the second step, de-dirting.
I’m going to get started with the first step, digging it, and what I like to do is go around
with the shovel, around the outside of the plant so you don’t cut to close and get rid
of the roots. You want to keep as many of the roots connected
to the plant as possible, especially on the first step just pulling it out of the ground.
Lift the leaves up, find a good starting spot for the shovel, stick it in, wedge a little
bit, and then move around. Ultimately, you get to a point where it leverages
the plant up and you want to pull it out as one big clump. So you don’t tear any of the
roots, or accidentally rip the plant in half. You go around, kind of loosen it up, and then,
ultimately you can pry it up and pull it out of the ground.
First step, digging… complete. Now, on to step two, de-dirting. Generally
when you have dry, crumbly dirt like this you can just pull a good amount of it off.
Or some times I like to take the back or kind of a blunt object and just hit it and you
can a lot of it to come out. This generally only works when you have really
dry soil like we do today. If not, and you have wet mud or thick clay soil you’ll need
to get some water, which we have here. Kind of work it around, you can just see that dirt
falling off, into the water. The water takes it away, if you have a spray
hose and it sprays the dirt out, but I like to use buckets of water or pools. I’ve collected
rain water to be environmentally sustainable. You want to get enough dirt out so you can
see the base roots, a lot of times up close you can see the new buds that are coming out.
It’s late in the season so we probably won’t see any of those. With this one, I’d say I
probably have gotten enough dirt out to make a simple division and move onto step three.
We’ve dug the hosta, we’ve de-dirted it, and now it’s time to get to the third step dividing.
When you get up close you can see that each individual shoot kind of has it’s own attached
roots. Some hostas, more so than others, which you want to do is get in there with your thumbs,
slowly pull it apart, and you can wiggle it around and you make a little progress, get
some more dirt out, and just kind of untangle the roots.
A lot of times there are only a few connecting roots between each shoot, and so if you can
just get those first one separated then you just wiggle them apart, and that is how you
do the third step, dividing. Now, if you have a troublesome hosta or a
hosta you want to split in a specific location just due to it’s size or resulting you want,
some times I use a knife, a pre-steralized sharpened knife. And you can go in, find where
you want to do the split, you want to make sure that you have enough roots and shoots
on both sides, but you can just nick the beginning of it, like that. Then, just as before, get
your thumbs in there, work it apart, shake it, some times a little water helps loosen
it up. Then, just like before, work them separately,
and then you have your own division that’s whatever size you want it to be.
That is the three D’s to dividing hostas. Now for the fun part, once you’ve preformed
the three D’s, you’ve dug, de-dirted and divided, then you get to replant.
Pick wherever you want. This is the hole that I have chosen to put this rather large wolverine
division back into. Simply loosen the dirt. Make sure you have
enough space for the roots to expand outwards. You don’t just want to cram the roots down
in like that because it will stunt the growth and it won’t grow as fast as you would expect,
or probably hope. So what you want to do is make sure you have
plenty of extra room. Move the dirt around, spread the roots out, usually you want to
build up, you don’t want your hosta to just be in it’s own little pit.
So you get the dirt, I like to use my hands, get in there, pad it up so it’s replanted.
Then, as always add a sufficient amount of water, make sure it’s settled in there, some
times if it’s a bigger one especially you can use your foot to lightly pack the dirt
around it, and your hosta will be happy as a clam in a garden.

79 thoughts on “Dividing Hostas

  1. Wonderful plant, I have accumulated a garden of hosta from one single plant by using this technique, I give them to friends family and neighbours.

  2. I really enjoyed your video but most of mine come outa pots and one plant i did i ended up with 16 hostas that was a year old

  3. This video was very easy to follow and very helpful!  Thank you for the 3 'D's to remember the steps!

  4. I would like what to do with the large stems after they bloom  mine are so tall and looks bad after they bloomed. if any ideas please let me know.

  5. Way easier with a long handled shovel. Dig it up 10 seconds…cut it into slices (like a pizza) and plant. About a minute. Forget about all the washing, looking for divisions, etc.

  6. When should one start dividing hostas? I have a 1 year old Giant Sum & Substance hosta that is huge, and I'd like to split it to grow another, but I'm worried that she's too young.

  7. Why does the soil need to be soaked off of the roots? I have always taken off a piece and transplanted it.

  8. I just dig the entire Hosta plant up with a "foot shovel" and divide with an old serrated kitchen knife into four wedges (like pizza cuts), with no rinsing. Then, I cut about an inch or so of the tip off each slice and toss in compost. I've read that the centre is old and woody and should be removed. That being said, thanks for your version of dividing!

  9. I have 4 HUGE Hostas to be split and did not know how to do it. Your video has very clear and had easy instructions on how to and when to do it. Very nicely done and I was easily able to split my plants. Thank you for sharing !!!!

  10. Awesome video, my mom used to do this for me for my houses I've flipped and sold however, my mom is now in her 5th stage of Dementia she never taught me but this video is self explanatory so I can continue on the tradition with your help. Again thank you so very much!!!!

  11. I've been dividing hosta for over 30 years. I don't remove the dirt. I simply take an old clean serrated butcher knife and cut between shoots. Done and done.

  12. my hostas are just starting to grow for the season…buds and small leaves about two or three inches right now. This is when I usually divide the plants, but as they continue to grow, their growth seems a bit stunted (only on the ones I divided) while the untouched hostas get much larger. The hostas I divide now won't get big sized again until next year. is that normal?

  13. Hostas are exceptionally hardy and don't generally need to be babied like this. I guess if hostas were my business, I'd be extra cautious like that. But it's not as hard as he's making it. I sure don't sterilize any garden tools. 1) Use a spade to dig it up. 2) Chop the roots into sections with your spade. 3) Plant them. That's it. Especially for hostas.

  14. Wtf typical yank what the hell is all the pussyfooting around just grab a damn shovel dig it up chop it up job done. 3 d's my ass

  15. Such much work! They're hostas! Dig up the clump with a shovel; lay the clump on its side; take said shovel and put it against the root ball; step on the shovel to divide; replant.
    Done.

  16. Why do this when the hosta is in full leaf? Do it early in the season when the leaves are still in tightly coiled "spikes" just poking through the ground. Dig it up with a big shovel, place the clump down and then split it however many times with the shovel or slice with an old kitchen knife or any other sharp implement. Then simply replant the divisions and give them a good drink. There's no need to be tender or de-dirt – Hostas are tough buggers.

  17. I always divide mine when all the leaves are gone in the spring and the shoots are just starting to show. I just use the shovel to cut full depth pieces off and leave the dirt on. And they spread like weeds.

  18. Thank you. Why do you wait until all the leaves are fully grown? Wouldn’t it be easier to separate a week or so after the new spring growth is pushing up?

  19. I’m going to take some hostas from my mother-in-law’s new house. The one she moved in to, with her new husband, needs major dividing of all her hostas! And she has A LOT of hostas everywhere! And this video helped me out tremendously when I take some! You weren’t boring to watch, kept it simple with the 3 steps, had great tips and I feel confident about caring for hostas now since I’ve never grown any yet! Thank you:)💕

  20. I agree with quite a few of the posters, just use a shovel while the pointy bullet shaped leaves are just poking up through the soil an inch or two and take a normal size shovel put your foot on it slice the Hosta in half or a few sections in the size you want, dig a hole or holes and plant without rinsing. Wow! What a shock to the plant to do it the way you're doing it. No pool diving and definitely no big muddy water mess necessary! If a plant needs to be moved for whatever reason when it's all leafed out, again, cut it with a shovel or an old big knife, an old serrated bread knife works great, no rinsing. Hostas are very forgiving and the easiest to move around, dirt intact!

  21. Tooo much work
    I just dig n split with shovel never had issues …didnt know ppl did this…neat vlog

  22. I’ve been separating hostas a long time . It seems a lot of extra steps to do it this way . Just use a spade shovel to separate.

  23. I have propagated easily 500 Hosta.
    Never once did it take me more than 40 seconds. I slice off pieces just as it pokes through the ground.
    Add a little Bone meal as you only get under the roots once.

  24. I have hostas that aren't even planted in the ground (just on top of it, keep meaning to plant them), surviving 0° F and thriving.
    For YEARS.

  25. I used to dig up the hole plant but it was to much work. Now I use a knife I slice trough a part of the plant  and dig around that portion and pull it up. Been dividing them like this for years with no problem

  26. it's spring and I'm in Michigan…can I divide them now. I've neber done this before and I would love to put some in other places around the yard. the ones I have are huge now

  27. So much critical negative comment. This man works in a nursery. When you're selling plants to the public, you do everything you can to insure their health and vitality. You separate you hosta clumps in a way that does the least damage to the roots. You use a small shovel because it's a more discrete tool in this situation. Sterilization is a precaution against spreading anything from disease to weeds to pesty things from where you previously dug with that tool. Great job. As a professional gardener, I also take these and other kinds of precautions so I don't bring weed seeds and plant diseases from one garden to another. In my own home garden, I do or don't do as I please. Happy Gardening to All! Have a Great Spring! Plants are Amazing, aren't they?

  28. So my hosta are from the city, I just take a shovel and split it while in the soil, they always grow.

  29. very interesting. yikes, i jam my shovel into the hasta, split and plant. i have beautiful hastas everywhere

  30. Sterilizing yard tools?? Forget it. Just stick a shovel in the hosta you want to divide, step down, replant. Same goes for day lillies. No “de-dirting” needed. Is this a new made up word??

  31. I left a bunch of hosts next to the fire pit i burn my debris from landscaping jobs. They sat there for 2wks had burn marks from embers. There divided and. Planted looking great. Dont listen to all people on here guys

  32. It would be nice to know what time of year is best to divide hostas, and also how much space to leave between the bunches while replanting. Also what kind of fertilizer is best to use and schedule for fertilizing.

  33. Thank you – we have a lot of huge hostas that need to be divided and I had no idea how to do it. I stumbled upon your video. WELL DONE!

  34. wow, i would have just stuck my shovel where i wanted it split and split it. i didn't know she needed a bath first. holy cow,whats next, i gotta buy her dinner?

  35. Lots of good info here. A bit more complicated than what I've done but… once piece of advice for future videos. STOP with the zoom in=zoom out, (it makes the viewer dizzy and more often than not just leave) and stop moving the camera, (it makes the viewer dizzy and more often than not just leave). Thanks for making it

  36. It's soil – not dirt!!!
    See comments by everyone else below – a bunch of people better at dividing hostas than this guy!

  37. I love all types of Hostas. My problem is keeping rabbits, and other small critters from coming into the yard and tearing them up. I've used store-bought chemicals to repell them, it works for a day or two and they're back tearing and eating them up again. Any suggestions???

  38. LOL no!! 1) Shovel it 2)put it on the side with good care not to bend/break/destroy any stems and take a clean steak knife and start cutting the roots as many division as you like (3 stems 1 root). (His method only takes time and destroys half of the stems with too much manipulations.) The roots aren't that important but the stems are for the rest of your summer. No one likes a bent stem to look at for 3 months. It's common sense. Fuck water ! Your division is 3 times bigger then the market is selling.

  39. Perhaps it would have been a good idea to check some of the spelling before running sub-titles…"Pre-steralized?" There's no 'a' in sterilised!

  40. How do you keep the slugs off when it’s in the ground? They get into pots, so surely they devour the plants in the garden!

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