How to Properly Separate Hosta Plants


Hostas offer the gardener a wonderful treat in a wildly spreading perennial plant with broad green leaves. Hostas function as a fabulous backdrop for colorful perennials and annuals and often form the backbone to ornamental perennial gardens. Hostas multiply at an incredible clip when placed in well-drained soil and partial shade. This requires division of the plants every two to three years to control growth. Learning how to properly separate Hosta plants requires a little patience and digging to create additional planting to beautify your gardens.

Step 1

Locate the plant you want to split. Separating hosta plants doesn't require the entire removal of the plant, although this makes the task easier. If you prefer to create many separate plants from one hosta plant, dig the entire plant up for easier splitting.

Step 2

Lift the entire plant out of its hole and place it in the grass. Direct the garden hose at the rhizomes--roots that look like elongated bulbs--to remove as much dirt as possible. You need to be able to see the actual rhizomes.

Step 3

Look at the roots for areas containing small eyes. These eyes represent buds and mark a good spot for splitting the plant. Each separation should include at least one eye per grouping.

Step 4

Place the spade/shovel at a position next to the eye. Step down on the shovel to slice through the roots of the plant. Continue dividing until each plant has roughly six to eight leaves and groups of three to four rhizomes per plant. Separating a hosta into too-small sections will limit growth when transplanting.

Step 5

Replant the separation as soon as possible to allow the plant time to become established before the end of the growing season.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade/shovel
  • Hosta plant
  • Garden hose
  • Water


  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Service
  • University of Georgia
Keywords: hosta, separating hosta, dividing hostas

About this Author

S.F. Heron is an avid gardener with over three years of experience in online writing and a working background in aviation and earth and ocean sciences. She is published on various websites and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.