Hostas are lily-like plants with beautiful foliage. These shade-loving plants come in different varieties, and are often grown as ground covers. There are around 2500 hosta cultivars that vary in foliage color and variegation. Even though hostas are somewhat hardy in nature, they have certain requirements for a healthy growth. In favorable conditions, hosta plants may outgrow the planted space and in such cases, you have to transplant them. It may also happen that they don't grow well in a specific location and so, transplanting becomes unavoidable. If you want to divide them for more hosta plants, then also transplanting becomes necessary.
Best Time for Transplanting Hostas
Hostas are perennials that die back after every growing season, and new shoots appear during spring. Most of the hosta varieties retain their colorful foliage throughout the summer. Their flowers are usually not scented, and are white or lavender in color. As mentioned above, transplanting may be required, as and when the plant outgrows the space or is not growing in a healthy way. If you want more hosta plants, you may divide a large one and transplant them. As far as the time of transplanting is concerned, some people prefer spring (when they start top sprout), whereas some others opt for late summer or early fall. If you opt for transplanting hostas in fall, go for early fall or late fall. It is also said that hostas being tough and hardy plants, they can be transplanted during the growing season too, provided you do it properly.
So transplanting hostas is said to be better done during spring, when they start to sprout. One of the reasons for this is that once transplanted, hosta plants require a good amount of water, that will be provided by the rains. Otherwise wait till late summer, after the end of flowering season. Even the dry summer heat must end, before you transplant hostas. However, make sure to do this at least four weeks before the first frost. In general, it can be said that hostas can be transplanted anytime, when the soil is not frozen or too dry and hard.
- Choose an ideal location that has to be prepared beforehand. You must also decide whether to plant them as such, or to divide them before planting.
- In order to prepare the location, you have to dig bigger holes (but with the same depth as the plant used to grow before), as per the root size of the plant. Add some compost to the soil. You may also add a small amount of slow release fertilizer.
- The soil pH levels must be between 6.5 to 7.5. The location must provide them with at least four to six hours of shade with partial sunlight.
- Once you are done with the soil preparation, dig out your hosta plant. In case the plant is large, dig around the plant, so as to loosen the soil. Use a shovel to pop up the root clump.
- After taking out the root clump, separate individual plants with hands. In case of larger root clumps, you may use a serrated knife for splitting the roots. You may also remove the older leaves and dead roots.
- Tap the roots, so as to remove the excess soil and dirt attached to them. Don't wash away the soil attached to the roots, but you can soak the roots by sprinkling a good amount of water.
- The next step is to plant them in the chosen location. Make sure to plant them in the same orientation (direction of growth), as they were growing before. Water the plants regularly, till they get established. Don't allow the soil to get dry, during this period.
In short, transplanting hostas is not that difficult, provided you know the right methods. You may also gain a thorough knowledge about this procedure, from the nearest nursery or horticulturist. If done properly, transplanted hosta plants will grow healthy and hearty.