Illinois Hosta Lovers: Best Tips for Splitting These Popular Plants
Easy-to-grow hostas are in almost every Illinois yard. Experts say they should be divided and replanted every few years; here are the best ways to do it and when.
Why Should You Divide Hostas
I bought my first home very late in the fall, so I had no idea exactly what to expect from all the plants and flowers around the yard. I saw many hostas that were in the 'gone for the winter' stage. By the way, you can cut all those back at this time of year. It is not the best time to dig them up, divide them, and replant them, however.
My neighbor suggested dividing them up and getting them replanted before winter so they'd jump back to life in all the new locations. That wasn't good advice. Early fall is not a bad time to do this but once the leaves have died and yellowed, it's a bad idea. Hostas are a tough and hardy plant, but not at this stage.
When spring arrived, I saw why some dividing and replanting was necessary, my yard was too congested with hostas. The new area of hostas that I planted never sprang back to life.
The Best Time to Divide and Replant Hostas
Good thing I sought out some more advice because early spring when you start seeing signs of growth is the best time to divide and replant hostas, And the experts in this story on Yahoo say you should perform these easy tasks every 3-5 years.
How To Divide Hostas
The two tools needed for this project are a spade and possibly a strong knife.
To divide a hosta, start by digging up the entire clump and gently separating the individual plants by carefully teasing apart the roots. Make sure each division has a healthy root system and at least 3-5 shoots. Cut back any damaged or diseased foliage and trim the roots if necessary. Then, replant all of your divisions in a prepared bed with well-draining soil and partial shade, water thoroughly, and mulch around the plants.
The experts recommend adding a little fertilizer to help the roots take hold.
Hostas are pretty tough plants and can withstand a fair amount of rough handling, but it's best to avoid dividing them during hot, dry weather or during extreme cold snaps. See a recent story published at Yahoo! for more details from the experts.