Thursday, January 18, 2007

Dividing Hostas

Dividing is a great way to revitalize an overgrown Hosta or to propagate a prized plant. Dividing should be done after the plant has died back and before the ground starts freezing. Start by digging up the plant. Use a square headed spade to dig around the crown of the plant. Lift the Hosta out of the ground and shake any excess soil out of the root ball. Now you want to determine where to make your division. Grab the root ball with both hands and twist back and forth. If the plant shows a natural tendency to want to break apart in a certain spot, that's where you want to make your cut. With very large plants, this may not be possible. Once you have decided where to divide the Hosta, use a sharp knife to cut straight through the root ball. If the plant is very large, two garden forks can be used to separate the divisions. Each division should have 3-5 "eyes" (an example of an "eye" is circled in the picture above) are on it to ensure the resulting plant is healthy and vigorous next season. In addition, the divisions should have no more than two cut sides on them. Try to avoid pie shaped divisions. Plant the divisions as soon as possible. The eyes of the Hosta should be 0.5 to 1 inch below the soil. Mulch around the crown of the plant to a depth of 2-3 inches. Avoid covering the eyes with mulch or they may rot. Tools required to do this simple task: Butcher knife Shovel Pruning shears Find the right tools for dividing your hostas!

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