How to Split Hostas


Hostas that grow successfully look lush and full, but can also start to become overcrowded if they aren't divided every few years. If your once large-leafed plant is looking small and struggling for water, it's time to divide it. Splitting hostas is a relatively easy task, but you'll want to be sure you have all the supplies necessary and have a new shady location already picked out and ready for the new plantings.

Step 1

Look for new shoots to emerge in the spring and once the shoots are 2 inches tall it is time to dig up the hosta. Start 6 inches away from the shoots and work the head of a strong shovel up under the whole plant and bring the entire hosta up in one piece.

Step 2

Clean the base of the hosta off with a gentle flow of water to expose the roots and basal plate, the area dividing the foliage and the roots. Cut straight down through the basal plate with a knife without cutting the roots to divide the hosta into pieces with each chunk having three to five shoots.

Step 3

Set one division back into the original hole and add compost or garden soil to fill the hole back in. Place each other division in holes at least 6 inches deep and add compost or garden soil to fill them as well. Each division should be set in only as deep as it was growing before.

Step 4

Soak the dirt around each hosta and keep the soil well moist for the first month to month and a half. Add 2 inches of mulch around each plant to keep the water in.

Step 5

Give your hostas time to grow, but once each appears established and filling in its space well you can apply a general purpose fertilizer in water soluble form to the base of the plant following the packaging instructions.

Tips and Warnings

  • Make sure you set each new division in a shaded area of your yard or garden in a location that receives no more than six hours of sunlight each day, otherwise it can sicken from sunscald and may not survive.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Sharp knife
  • Compost or garden soil
  • Mulch
  • Water-soluble fertilizer


  • "Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to Gardening"; Carroll C. Calkins; 1993
Keywords: split hostas, divide hostas, dividing hostas

About this Author

Margaret Telsch-Williams is a freelance, fiction, and poetry writer from the Blue Ridge mountains. When not writing articles for Demand Studios, she works for as a contributor and podcast co-host.