Gardening where the sidewalk ends

Holy Guacamole, it’s a Hosta! June 2, 2009

This hosta, planted by the previous owner of our place, always reminds me of guacamole.

Hosta 'Regal Splendor'

I was going to say “I have no idea of the variety, sorry” but then I thought to look under all those leaves for a tag, and wonder of wonders, there it was. I’m sure it was exposed every winter when the plant went dormant but I’d never thought to check before. It’s ‘Royal Splendor’ and I’d say it’s living up to its name these days.

Alas, it’s planted in a very small space, wedged in between our porch steps, gutter downspout and a cement walkway. It always seemed to fit there before but now it’s getting a little crowded. Anybody have success with moving 5+-year-old hostas before? If so, any advice on the best time of year to transplant it? Or can they be divided easily in the fall? I’d like to have it in other spaces in the garden but leave a chunk there if I can manage that without killing it.

Hosta 'Regal Splendor' at corner of house


12 Responses to “Holy Guacamole, it’s a Hosta!”

  1. I like your name much better than the “real” name! I know people who have divided hosta successfully but I never have, although I guess that it might work a lot like my unintentional peony division where you just drive your shovel in and break things up? Dividing is a weakness, I wish someone would teach me how…

  2. Kris at t.m. Says:

    In my experience it’s very difficult to kill a hosta. If you divided it now it would sulk (like mine are – someday I’ll post again and show all…) and might not flower much. Best time is probably early spring – and fall should be fine too – but then those are the best times to mess with anything.

  3. Darla Says:

    And a beautiful Hosta it is. I have divided my in the Fall when they are dying back and I have divided my in the Spring when they are just emerging. I stick a shovel in part of it and chop it off! It’s worked for me, hope it works for you.

  4. Jen Says:

    I think you can divide them in fall or spring before they leaf out. This one’s so pretty – I don’t blame you for wanting a clone.

  5. Megan Says:

    Agree with the others, fall or spring. I haven’t divided hostas before but I’ve seen other people do it successfully. Come to think of it, my mom has a fantastic hosta I’d like to get my hands on. Maybe I can convince her she needs to divide it next year.

  6. Catherine Says:

    It really is a nice one, the coloring is very pretty. Hostas are easy to divide and handle it well. I usually do it in spring, but I’ve been known to divide plants pretty much any time of the year.

  7. Tatyana Says:

    I do what Darla does – just stick a sharp spade and cut a chunk, never dig the whole thing up as they teach in books. Last time, I did it when leaves were green yet. I agree with Kris, it’s difficult to kill a hosta. Good luck Karen!

  8. Bonnie Story Says:

    What a lovely vision of cool green on this hot day… I think Fall (late Fall) is best for Hosta division. Definitely leave the main root ball right where it is, without lifting, to whack chunks off the sides. Can be a few years before they really bounce back, I’m told, but well worth it since the divisions will go totally nuts once they get started. Have a great day! Bonnie

  9. Kim Says:

    I always dig the whole clump up and divide it – for me, spring is better, but I’ve heard spring or fall is OK. If you have only a few crowns, you may be able to tease them apart (tediously) with your hands. If it’s a solid clump, then just put a shovel in the middle and jump on. You won’t kill it – our neighbors kept several totally out of the ground for several months last summer (in the shade) and they are now thriving.

  10. Debbie Says:

    Divide your Hosta in the spring. It is easier to see where you want to divide when the leaves have not grown yet. I dig the plant up and use a sharp clean knife to make cuts into the root ball. I leave several shoots for each new plant. Keep them well watered. You could divide now but cut the leaves down in size to prevent water loss and keep well watered. A 5 year old Hosta should give you several new plants. You can learn more on the web site for the American Hosta Society.

  11. What a lush hosta…and no slug chew marks!

  12. Racquel Says:

    I find the easiest & best time to divide a Hosta (which is super easy) is in the spring when they are just starting to emerge. You can dig up the entire rootball & divide it into how many pieces you want. 🙂

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