When should I divide my hosta?

hosta talk pictures 2012 012A seasonal post from Rick….
While hostas don’t require dividing like some perennials, quite regularly we are asked: “when is the best time to divide hostas”? The answer will depend on who you ask, what they have been told, or what is easiest for them and their gardening schedule. Some say early spring when the new growth points emerge and you can easily see where to cut between each to make another division. Others say in the fall. While hostas are extremely tough and will survive just about any kind of harsh treatment, I would disagree with these time frames. With over 35 years of experience in propagating hostas, my answer is July and August, and here is my reasoning and observations. Hostas do not put on much in the way of root growth until sometime in June. So a plant division made in early spring is expected to support all of its new growth with last year’s roots and only those that are still attached after it was removed from the main clump. A hosta divided in the late fall may not have enough time to establish enough new roots and store the amount of energy needed to get it through the winter and then support new growth in the spring. While both will probably survive, they won’t be as robust as those divided in July and August. During these months the plant will have time to put on new roots, add new leaves to store more energy, and set new eyes on the crown for a larger plant in the spring. Some people are afraid to cut a clump apart and break off some of the existing leaves. When we divide them, we purposely remove leaves from the divisions, especially those that may not have that many roots. We also remove all flowers. Some we replant with only one leaf. It is important that leaves and roots be balanced. Best to have fewer leaves so that the roots can support the divided crown. If done this way, and kept watered for the rest of the season, a much stronger plant will emerge in the spring. So if you have the time, and have hostas that you would like to divide, now through August is the time to do it.

To The Coast

Picture 1179 Earlier this week we made a trip to the coast. While hiking along a trail in Pemaquid, we came across this sign. Yep, littering is just not nice, and the trail we were on was pretty darn clean. Good job, sign! We stopped on the way home at the Island Store in South Bristol. If you’re traveling that way and want some good eats…this is the place to go!

Island Store South Bristol

Island Store
South Bristol

Lots of homemade salads, sandwiches, and baked goods. The shelves are stocked with other goodies…fresh bread and produce, condiments, treats, and a terrific wine selection. It’s a nice store to be in. Picture 1172The space is lovely, and the owner, Beth Fisher, is very welcoming and friendly. Beth sells beautiful linen aprons in the store. She was wearing one that day ( which looked terrific), and yes, I did have to bring one of these home with me. Surely you’ll want to visit the Island Store! Picture 1177
Then, a nice leisurely ride back to the home place. The gardens here are lush right now. We are really enjoying two of my favorite plants…Cimicifuga racemosa and Veronicastrum virginicum. Both plants are loaded with pollinators and their blooms reach above most everything else in the garden. We’ll try and get a few photos of both plants and share them on the blog. In August, we become very busy dividing and propagating. This is an excellent time for both, and it’s also a good time to edit the garden. Some plants needing to be moved and others added to the garden. The work continues, as well as the absolute enjoyment of it all! Below a photo of two great hostas in the garden, it’s been a terrific summer for hostas. Just the right amount of rain and cool temperatures.

Hostas Brother Stefan and  Winter Snow

Hostas Brother Stefan and Winter Snow