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How to Transplant Hostas

By Amma Marfo ; Updated September 21, 2017
Hostas love shade and quickly fill in bare areas.

The hosta is a plant which thrives in shade and fills in most any landscaping space nicely. With leaves which can be large or small, and range from dark, deep green to a light green and variegated with white edging, these happy plants can quickly crowd themselves with new growth. If you’re noticing your hostas looking ragged in the sun or becoming overcrowded, it may be time to transplant them to another location. To transplant hostas you can leave the entire plant intact and move it, or you can divide the plant to take advantage of free new plants.

Prepare the location where you’ll be planting by digging a hole in the soil 6 inches deep for each hosta transplant. Add a few handfuls of compost to the hole to lighten the soil. The location you choose should receive less than six hours of direct sunlight per day.

Dig up your hosta in spring when bullet shoots are just coming out of the ground by 1 to 2 inches. Try not to sever any roots and lift the hosta from the ground intact.

Rinse the hosta gently in water so you can see the foliage and roots, and the basal plate between them.

Cut the hosta into smaller units by slicing downward straight through the basal layer with a sharp knife. Be careful not to cut the roots of the hosta off when you cut.

Place one hosta set of shoots into each hole immediately, covering it over with soil only as deep as it was previously planted.

Water each plant well to soak the soil and keep the hosta well-watered whenever the soil is dry with special attention paid to the new transplants for the first four to five weeks.

Mulch around the base of each hosta with a 2-inch layer of bark mulch, shredded leaves, or compost to help keep weeds away and water in.


Things You Will Need

  • Shovel
  • Compost or garden soil
  • Hand trowel
  • Water
  • Sharp knife
  • Mulch


  • Once your hostas are established you can use a water-soluble general purpose fertilizer on them, but give the hostas time to spread roots before such treatment will be beneficial.