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How to Split Hosta Plants

By Jennifer Loucks ; Updated September 21, 2017

Hosta plants are a bush-type perennial plant that thrives in shaded locations. The best time to divide or split a hosta plant is about one month before the first frost in the fall season as the green foliage is beginning to die back. Hosta plants can be divided in spring as the new sprouts are just emerging from the ground; however, the divisions must be large in size so there is adequate root structure left to continue the spring growing process.

Dig up the entire hosta plant in late summer or early fall. Make sure to remove the entire root ball of the plant. Place the plant in a shaded location to prevent the sun from drying the roots while making the divisions.

Split the plant into multiple divisions by cutting through the root ball with a sharp knife. Make sure there are several green growing points in each division made.

Prepare the new planting area by working the soil with several inches of organic compost and small amount of balanced fertilizer.

Dig a hole that is the same depth and slightly wider than the root division that is being planted. Place the divided root into the hole and gently pack soil around it to hold it in place. Do not plant the divisions deeper than their previous growing location.

Water the newly planted divisions generously. Continue to water to keep the soil moist for two weeks after planting.

Remove older large hosta leaves from the divided plant to lower the amount of plant water needed to generate root growth.

Place a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch around the newly planted divisions.


Things You Will Need

  • Shovel
  • Sharp knife
  • Organic compost
  • Balanced fertilizer
  • Water
  • Mulch


  • Cut the hard tap root vertically like you are slicing a carrot when there are few rhizome roots to divide.

About the Author


Jennifer Loucks has been writing since 1998. She previously worked as a technical writer for a software development company, creating software documentation, help documents and training curriculum. She now writes hobby-based articles on cooking, gardening, sewing and running. Loucks also trains for full marathons, half-marathons and shorter distance running. She holds a Bachelor of Science in animal science and business from University of Wisconsin-River Falls.