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Dividing Mini Hostas . . . Increasing Survival Rate

Huntersville, NC

I participate in our Hosta Swap and LOVE IT!!

I get nervous dividing the minis. Will they survive? Is it too small?? Etc. So I've devised a plan:
When dividing Hostas, especially the minis, I make couple of smaller clump (usually 1 - 3eyes) and plant near the main plant so it looks like all one plant.

Next spring the small clump will be very self-sufficient with additional eyes: ready for swap or successful re-locating.

I am still a new hosta lover and ready to hear good ideas.

Any suggestions for improvement?

Oquawka, IL(Zone 5a)

I put the small plants in pots the first year to help establish stronger roots.

Rose

Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

Like Rose, I usually grow them in pots at least the first year.

Some are very fast growers - Cracker Crumbs, Lemon Lime family, Kifukurin Ko Mame and others. You can do just about anything you want when dividing them.

Others are quite delicate and likely do best kept in a pot or in a protected location.

Glee - I did exactly what you describe with lots of hostas - not just minis when I divided for my sale this spring. If the hosta divided easily, I divided it in its entirety and then replanted in 3 groups. As they have unfurled, they look almost as though they are larger than they were before being divided.

Here's 'Ani Machi' (aka Geisha). If you look closely you'll see the 3 divisions.

Thumbnail by ViolaAnn
Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

'First Mate' is more open, but then it was always an open mound.

Thumbnail by ViolaAnn
Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

'Lakeside Zinger'

Thumbnail by ViolaAnn
Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

'My Claire'

Thumbnail by ViolaAnn
Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

'So Sweet'

Thumbnail by ViolaAnn
Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

'Raspberries and Cream' All of these were divided up this spring and I sold off several divisions of each one, but they still look quite full because of how I replanted them and they will be a lot easier to divide next time.

Thumbnail by ViolaAnn
Portsmouth, VA(Zone 8a)

To me , that sounds like a great idea. They won't dry out so fast that way. I have mine in little tiny pots and they dry out real fast. I was thinking about putting them together somewhere.

Huntersville, NC

Yes! I'm on he right track!

I did that additional dividing with the Blue Angel.
That root was rough! In fact, it is large enough to divide again, while it is still out and accessible.
(I've learned this Blue Angel, once planted, tends to be a recalcitrant! LOL)

Not sure about the tiny pots. I lost my Pandora Box in tiny pot that was in another larger planter with other minis.
I thought she was well protected.:(
I'm picking up another one in Chicago at Contrary Mary's farm so I better get a PLAN!! :)

But I can try those paper pots, planted in larger saucer planters for the minis.

Hmm. I really NEED a viable PLAN for my delicate Pandora's Box . . .

Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

I have most of my minis in clay pots about 12" wide and fairly shallow. Can fit about 3 in each pot. They drain well, but if it's too dry I can put a saucer underneath.

Portsmouth, VA(Zone 8a)

That is what I was thinking about doing! Not only will the clay pot offer some protection but it's good contrast, nice little punch of color under a tree or where ever. Also you can use Styrofoam in the bottom instead of rocks for good drainage. The pots won't be so heavy and you can move them around if you feel like rearranging things. :)

Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

This is a pot I found on an end-of-season clearance. You can sort of see the decorative side and it will hold 4 little hostas easily. I've got 3 divisions of Cracker Crumbs and 1 of Teaspoon. The latter will get way too big, but it's OK for now. The whole pot is no more than 6" deep.

Thumbnail by ViolaAnn
Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

And I have several this size - about 11" diameter, I guess. I'll measure them someday. They are also shallow and will hold about 3 minis. I just plant the whole pot in my garden for the winter - usually dug into a large pile of unscreened compost.

In previous years I've had to cover them in decorative stones to prevent the squirrels from digging them up, but for some reason, they seem to be leaving them along this year.

This message was edited Jun 24, 2011 6:28 PM

Thumbnail by ViolaAnn
Portsmouth, VA(Zone 8a)

That's a nice pot. They look really happy in there! I saw a lady on one of the threads, she had a terracotta pot with small plants in there sitting under a tree with a white angel. It was beautiful! Do you remember seeing that? Might have been you for all I know.

Portsmouth, VA(Zone 8a)

That's really nice, perfect size too. What is the mini in the front??

Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

Wasn't me. But it sounds like a great idea. The mini in front is 'Kinbotan'.

Huntersville, NC

I think I'm on to another plan for minis.

I plant several divisions in the same pot with a different mini hosta in each corner. Thus an 18"x 18" square pot may have three identical minis in each corner. The beauty is when Swap time comes around, I'll have four different minis from one dig!
Thus that pot may only have to be divided every other year!

Of course that depends on the hosta and how fast it grows.

I've several more minis coming in this summer and three large saucers to fill.
Me'thinks I'll try potting in small paper pots then into the larger planter - that will get a generous layer of mulch around the sides and top during winter winter months. (That saucer is outside but set 6in beneath the edge of a huge 4' planter - was once used for a tree but now 'retired')

I had good success doing that with Heuchera babies last summer. ALLpots outside did very well!

Portsmouth, VA(Zone 8a)

Don't forget about peat pots, they work pretty good. They do not biodegrade as fast as they say. Anyway, I went out after dinner and put all my minis into a big pot I found from last year. It was easy I only had five. I have four Geishas also but they are already in the ground.

Thumbnail by virginiarose
Portsmouth, VA(Zone 8a)

Here are the Geshias, can you see them between the Monkey Grass? They should be bigger next year and this bed is very near the hose so I can still baby them. :)

Thumbnail by virginiarose
Huntersville, NC

Yes those bio degradable pots work well.

Hope I can find some this late in the growing season.
It amazes me: for an area that has working farms, some things are impossible to find after certain months.
Go figure . . .

I saw directions somewhere on how to make small pots of of newspapers.
Anyone know how to do this??

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