Photo by Melody
Congratulations to all our photo contest participants! Check out the winning photos here. We will have the 2015 calendars available to order from Zazzle soon.

Hostas: On Dividing Hostas!

Communities > Forums > Hostas
bookmark
Forum: HostasReplies: 14, Views: 139
Add to Bookmarks
-
AuthorContent

ViolaAnn

ViolaAnn
Ottawa, ON
(Zone 5a)

June 3, 2011
6:10 AM

Post #8605829

I recently divided 57 of my varieties and sold off many divisions. Three purposes - to maintain space in my city garden for the many varieties I wish to have, to help support my habit and lastly, to raise funds for my church's major renovation. I kept the first $250 and turned over $1135.50 to my church.

In the process of dividing those many hostas, I was really struck by the differences in root/crown structure. Some have solid fibrous crowns which must be cut to divide. Some have an individual root structure for each eye and can be teased apart very easily. Others need to have the soil washed off and then they can be teased apart. Others had clear rhizomatous structure and needed to be cut apart, but otherwise divided very easily.

I'm afraid that in the process of doing all this, I did not take notes and my memory fails me as to which is which (with some exceptions). I wondered what others' experiences have been in dividing hostas and whether anyone has documented the ease or lack thereof with which certain varieties can be divided.

Ann

PS Picture is of 'Bell Ringer'. I did NOT divide it, but suspect it of having a rhizomatous habit.

Thumbnail by ViolaAnn
Click the image for an enlarged view.

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

June 3, 2011
6:17 AM

Post #8605839

Holy Cow Ann -- what an under taking... and huge donation to your church!!

I've only divided a few, so i dont have much to add... the few i've done separated nicely into single eyes.

ViolaAnn

ViolaAnn
Ottawa, ON
(Zone 5a)

June 3, 2011
9:17 AM

Post #8606110

I'll start jotting down what I recall:

September Sun - divided 2 years ago and was difficult. I got only a couple of divisions.

Gold Drop - also divided 2 years ago. Difficult. Needed to be cut apart and I got only 1 or 2 divisions. At the end of the season, I chopped up the entire plant and overwintered the divisions separately. Kept 1 and gave the others to a Hort. society plant sale. I'm inclined to think that plants like that are, perhaps, best divided in the autumn.

Deja Blu - divided this year and it was necessary to saw the crown into pieces.

Fire Island - not divided this year, but in past seasons I've had it fall apart in the process of moving it. Easy to divide.

Ani Machi - fairly easy to divide. I got more divisions than anticipated and was able to separate the entire plant easily into divisions which I then replanted in 3 groups. To look at the plant, it looks nearly like 1 large plant and it will be easier to divide next time.

Thumbnail by ViolaAnn
Click the image for an enlarged view.

ViolaAnn

ViolaAnn
Ottawa, ON
(Zone 5a)

June 3, 2011
9:20 AM

Post #8606117

'Little Red Rooster' - I think it has rhizomatous tendencies. I divided it last autumn and it came apart easily.

Lemon Frost, Twist of Lime and likely the whole family - very easy to divide. They just pull apart.

Kifukurin Ko Mame, Allan P. McConnell and Ginko Craig - quite easy to tease apart. One reason they make a great border plant.

More thoughts later.

Eleven

Eleven
Royal Oak, MI
(Zone 6a)

June 3, 2011
9:45 AM

Post #8606141

I did Twist of Lime and Lemon Lime and like you noted the eyes could all be easily pulled apart.

I remember dividing Sum and Substance a couple years ago... ended up digging, hacking, and finally sawing my division off. Was (and still is) a huge mature plant, and that crown was solid.

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

June 4, 2011
4:37 AM

Post #8607760

I also have Lemon Lime. Funny thing -- when i bought it at a yard sale - it was a nice sized plant - but i divided it to have 2.
I needed a spot in the garden for another plant, so i put them back together -- which was a snap to dig up and make it look like one.
nhuntley
Holladay, UT
(Zone 5a)

June 22, 2011
4:39 PM

Post #8647743

Sorry to jump in here with a question, but it seemed like the best place to ask. I have lots of Hosta that are in need of dividing, but I've never done this before. Is it best to do this in the Spring or in the Fall? I would love to share some with friends and we all want them to have the best chance of survival!

Thanks, Natalie

ViolaAnn

ViolaAnn
Ottawa, ON
(Zone 5a)

June 22, 2011
4:55 PM

Post #8647764

Here are MY thoughts, FWIW. YMMV.

I like to divide most in the early spring before they have unfurled. They are easier to handle and there is less change of damaging the leaves.

Having said that, I think that those with solid crowns which need to be cut apart might do better with division in the autumn and then planted somewhere for the winter. It gives them a chance to settle in after being cut apart and doesn't shock the plant in the spring to lift and pot it. Others may have different ideas.

Ann

This message was edited Jun 22, 2011 10:24 PM
nhuntley
Holladay, UT
(Zone 5a)

June 22, 2011
5:20 PM

Post #8647799

Thanks Ann. It would help if I knew what kind of Hostas I have, so I think it would be safer to wait until Spring.

Natalie

Eleven

Eleven
Royal Oak, MI
(Zone 6a)

June 22, 2011
5:25 PM

Post #8647811

The plants will survive division basically any time of year, as long as they have enough water (not sure of your zone, but I'm thinking it's warmer during the summer and fall there than here in Michigan). It's just *so* much easier to divide in the spring, especially for a hosta of any size. I really regretted hacking at Sum and Substance in mid June.
nhuntley
Holladay, UT
(Zone 5a)

June 22, 2011
11:07 PM

Post #8648281

Eleven, we are in the same zone, but I have almost no humidity, which may make a difference. Our ground is totally waterlogged right now so it wouldn't be a good time to dig, and like you said, I think I'd regret hacking at them at this time of the year! Seems like they just got fully open and are looking very good, so I'd hate to ruin that. On top of it all, I don't have a clue what I'm doing, so I think next Spring will be much better. Summer finally decided to show up today with some 90 degree weather, so now it's too hot! We've had the craziest year! I haven't even had to water the lawn yet!

Natalie
50glee
Huntersville, NC

June 23, 2011
3:38 PM

Post #8649745

Glad to read some hostas are easier to divide than others. Thus explaining to me the situation below was NOT my imagination!

I just divided my Blue Angel. I now know the name only refers to the leaves. The roots hale from a more southern region. LOL Ok the plant had wintered over in the nursery pot. But was re-located & replanted in a large planter at our entrance.

At first attempt to divide I noticed the soil seemed fluffy. That's good? Right?
I dug to the root area and tried to gently lift . . . nothing budged. After several attempts I got my back brace and my turning fork and got to heaving!

IT DIDN'T WANT TO LEAVE! After I pried the plant out I then shook away soil to better see where to effectively cut for dividing. I tried the usual tools: a shovel and a knife I keep just for plant dividing. NOTHING!
I had to take drastic measures: the Meat Cleaver!

I am sure my lack of upper body strength and a bad back made this situation worse, but I do believe I will try VoilaAnns system next season! ^_^
nhuntley
Holladay, UT
(Zone 5a)

June 23, 2011
3:47 PM

Post #8649766

50glee, that was so funny! I'll be laughing about this the rest of the day, and I'm sure it will come to mind again when I decided to divide my hostas!

Thanks for the giggles!

Natalie

ViolaAnn

ViolaAnn
Ottawa, ON
(Zone 5a)

June 23, 2011
5:04 PM

Post #8649915

I have a system??? Some of the really tough ones it's just easier to jump on a spade and remove a section.
50glee
Huntersville, NC

June 23, 2011
5:17 PM

Post #8649925

[quote="ViolaAnn"]Here are MY thoughts, FWIW. YMMV.

I like to divide most in the early spring before they have unfurled. They are easier to handle and there is less change of damaging the leaves.

Having said that, I think that those with solid crowns which need to be cut apart might do better with division in the autumn and then planted somewhere for the winter. It gives them a chance to settle in after being cut apart and doesn't shock the plant in the spring to lift and pot it. Others may have different ideas.

Ann

This message was edited Jun 22, 2011 10:24 PM[/quote]

Yes, your system sounds much better than heave & hope!! ^_^

You cannot post until you register, login and subscribe.


Other Hostas Threads you might be interested in:

SubjectThread StarterRepliesLast Post
Your Favorite Hosta... blonde_elf 117 Nov 16, 2009 7:06 PM
Mania Links pupper 5 May 21, 2007 10:11 PM
Help me choose leslie 10 Jul 16, 2008 10:40 AM
Lovely Loretta jody 55 Jun 23, 2007 11:02 AM
cup hostas handhelpers 11 Aug 25, 2007 7:03 PM


We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2014 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.
 

Hope for America