How to Split Hostas

Splitting hostas will make for a healthier plant and will propagate new plants. Here's when, and how, you split hostas.

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Hostas are a popular gardening plant for a wide range of reasons, and many are easy to grow. They even attract humming birds. Dividing or splitting them works great to keep the plant from spreading. But if you’re unfamiliar with hostas, you’ll want to know what season is best for dividing, how frequently you should be splitting the plant and more.

Should Hostas be Divided?

Yes. It is smart to split hostas to propagate new plants. Also, dividing hostas removes dead portions of the plant so it can grow bigger and healthier. However, that doesn’t mean you should be dividing your plant every year.

What You’ll Need to Divide Hostas

Hostas are easy to grow, tolerate a variety of soils and even take full to part shade. Their roots can vary in length, which will dictate how big of a tool you’ll need. Dig deep enough into the ground to remove the entire root clump. Depending on the size and root system of your plant, you’ll either need a spade or a long shovel. The dividing can be done by hand if the hostas are small. Be sure the wear garden gloves and use proper safety protection that is used while gardening.

When and How to Split Hostas

Hostas should be divided every three to five years, depending on the size and health of the plant. The best season to divide or transplant hostas is in the spring because temperatures are cooler in and the foliage hasn’t developed yet, so plants won’t be water stressed. Dividing hostas is also possible the in early fall, as long as there is time for plants to reestablish themselves before winter.

Dig around the perimeter of the plant, then divide by hand or with a spade. Next replant sections with enough space for the plants to grow and mature in size.

Alex Shoemaker
Alex Shoemaker is a Florida-based journalist and  handyman who has extensive experience in home remodeling and house flipping. He has worked for numerous print and digital publications and has won awards for writing, photography and pagination.