Making More Hostas

August 31, 2010 | By | Comments (4)


Is it necessary to divide hostas and if so, when and how? Once again, the all-seeing, all-knowing, and all-generous Grump has consented to answer these pressing questions.

Do you need to divide hostas? If it’s a single plant growing where you like it, no. It will just get bigger and bigger unless you kill it. However, if you have a number of hostas growing together in a bed, eventually they’ll start getting crowded. If you do nothing, the more vigorous ones will cover up the others and that’s not how we’re taught to play. So periodically you may need to dig up your hostas, divide them into smaller plants, and replant them in various locations.

The best part of this is that one plant can usually make 4 or 5 little hostas that will grow into big honkin’ hostas. So if you’re still steaming from having to pay some geek $20 for a special kind, divide it into four plants and your cost per plant is only five bucks.

When should you divide hostas? In fall, just before they go dormant, is a great time. You can also divide them in early spring, just as their leaves are sprouting from the ground.

How do you divide hostas? First, dig up the clump and shake off most of the soil. Upon closer inspection, you will see that each clump consists of a number of separate tufts of leaves. Separating these tufts is how you divide. Follow these steps.


Step 1. If you’re able to, gently use your fingers to pull each tuft away from the others. Or use a knife to cut the roots between the tufts, separating them into individual plants.


Step 2. Place the plants in a garden bed that you’ve already amended with oodles of organic matter, such as peat moss, ground bark, composted manure, and chopped leaves. Give each plant enough space so that it won’t crowd the others when it matures.


Step 3. Thoroughly water after planting. Keep hostas watered until they go dormant. Now you’re done. Wasn’t that easy?

Step 4. Amend your will and leave everything to the Grump.


  1. Steve Bender

    The most likely critter munching on your hostas was a mouselike rodent called a vole. Voles love hostas and can be very destructive. What I would do is wrap the root ball of each plant in a cage of wire before planting it in the ground. The stems will grow through the wire, but the vole won’t devour the roots.

    January 23, 2013 at 1:57 pm
  2. Sylvia

    Grump – the info on Hostas was very beneficial. Thank you. A couple of years ago – I took some hostas out of a flowerbed due to grubs or slugs (something was eating the plants), and put them in pots. I need to divide the hostas – what can I put in the flowerbed to kill the SOB grubs so I can put my hostas back in there??

    January 23, 2013 at 1:08 pm
  3. Grumpy

    Oh nuts, I was hoping for your collection of antique lava lamps. Let’s just forget it. Once again, the Grump falls victim to his own generosity.

    September 24, 2008 at 9:11 am
  4. Lianne

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    I am contacting the lawyer now about leaving you my silk flower collection or my beanie baby menagerie… Your choice!

    September 23, 2008 at 11:39 pm

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