When is the best time to separate and transplant hostas??
Hi, Carmen: Hostas are a staple in any shade-loving garden. And with some of the newer cultivars they are happy to grow in full to part sun as well. Although they are not typically grown for their blooms, the foliage makes for a great display. Selections include shades of green, blue, yellow, and white as well as variegated options. Dividing these perennials becomes necessary when they become overcrowded or start to die out in the middle. Division rejuvenates our plants and is a great way to spread our favorites among the garden or share with friends. They can be divided in the early spring just as the “eyes” are emerging or later in the season as long as they have 4-6 weeks to establish their roots before the frost arrives. When you divide, use a sharp spade to lift the entire plant out of the soil. Keep as much of the roots attached as possible and then use your spade to separate into smaller individual plants. It is always a good idea to prepare the new holes before digging up any plant. The more time out of the soil the more likely the roots are to dry out, so get them back in the soil and watered as soon as possible. Be sure they are planted at the same soil level and they have enough space for the roots to spread. After transplanting, treat them like a new addition to the garden in terms of moisture and avoid fertilizing for the first year. Hostas thrive in nutrient-rich, moist, but well-drained soil. Apply a thin layer of mulch to help keep the weeds down and the moisture in. Mulch will also help deter slugs that love to feed on hostas. Happy gardening!
Kentucky Living-Ask the Gardener