Beginners Guide to Dividing Hostas


Dividing hostas gives you eight to ten divisions from a single plant, making them a gardener’s dream plant to fill a large garden. Hostas are some of the easiest plant to divide, their clumps are easy to separate and they are hardy enough to bounce back quickly after being divided. If you have never divided hostas but need to divide the ones that have grown too large, or create divisions to replant around other areas of the garden, it’s fairly straightforward and easy.

Use these tips to divide hostas and create freebie plants that you can add to other areas of your garden. The way in which you create the divisions and the time at which you do so are the most important factors, so plan out this gardening task well before to ensure that these beautiful perennials will be able to thrive in their new garden space.

Which Hostas Should Be Divided

Determining which hostas need to and can be divided is the most important and first step to creating smaller divisions. After a couple seasons growing undisturbed, hostas tend to form large clumps and fill up huge amounts of space. Any hostas that have completely filled in the area where they are planted, or whose leaves have begun filling in the growing space of other plants need dividing. Some hostas will need dividing more often and earlier than others, but any variety benefits from their clumps being split up after a few years in the same place.

When to Divide Hostas

It is possible to divide hostas at almost any time, but certain times of the day or growing season can cause additional stress to the plants and result in a longer recovery time. The best time of the growing season is right when hostas begin to poke through the ground, in the spring. The plants are also easier to handle because you have less foliage to handle and divide around.

Alternately, right as the hostas are going to bed for the winter, in the fall, is a good time for dividing. If you have to divide during the remainder of their growing season, pick a cool day, or early morning, late day to reduce the amount of stress to the plants.

Uproot Hostas

To begin the division, you need to lift the entire clump from the garden. Use a sharp spade or garden shovel to break up the soil around the entire perimeter of the clump. Dig down into the soil, working the shovel under the roots and lift up. This will bring the entire crown of leaves and roots out of the soil. Remove as much of the soil as possible by gently shaking the crown.

Divide Hostas

Use a small garden shovel, or your hands to work individual plants and roots away from each other. Each of these individual parts of the crown is an individual plant that you can establish elsewhere in your garden. You can divide so that each plant is a singlet, or leave a few of the small plants together in smaller clumps. Ensure that you are leaving leaves attached to roots because both parts are needed for the divisions to reestablish themselves.

Planting Your New Hostas

All your new hostas need to be replanted in a garden bed that has been pre-prepared for them. Beds should be filled with loose, moist soil and have plenty of space for the new plants to grow and spread out. While the roots are taking grip and reestablishing themselves, make sure to water them often. After two weeks, the plants should be well at home in their new garden beds and on their way to filling up entire spaces of their own.


  1. Debbie W says

    Thank you for this post. I have a bunch of these that someone gave me, and didn't have a clue what to do with them. This gives me some direction.

  2. fynesdesigns says

    THis is exactly what I needed! I need some major landscaping TLC and hostas are first on the list! Thanks

  3. I love hostas – I think they are a great investment and do a great job as a ground cover. My neighbour keeps offering me some and now I know a little better what to do with them. 🙂
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  4. I have a bunch of hostas that I need to divide and I didn't know how! Thanks so much for all these tips, they will come in very handy!
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  5. This is great. I am looking to fill some planters on my balcony and I'm trying to decide what to use!
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  6. My goal is have a green thumb this Spring/Summer. We have no plants what so ever. These tips are excellent. Wish me luck, lol! I am terrible and keeping plants alive!
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  7. monicageglio says

    Excellent, I have been meaning to steal some of these from my mother in law. =) (She said I could.. .haha) Thanks for explaining the best way how to do so! =)

  8. Great tips!! I've always wanted to split some of my hostas but I thought they were suppose to do it in Spring only!

  9. kerlund74 says

    This is a great way to get many plants:) I have done some of this with other perennials and it is a way to save money when having a large size garden.

  10. Kim Hostas are my favourite plants…why? because I hate to garden and it is really hard to kill a hosta. So it suits my gardening 'style' just fine 🙂 Thanks for the great tips.

  11. The Flying Couponer says

    I really like Hostas! They are so beautiful and they can become really big!
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