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.