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4 Ways To Propagate Hostas

Over time, all plants increase in size and spread in the surrounding environment. This feature can be used to produce new plants.

The best way to propagate a hosta is by splitting. When the crown of the hosta reaches at least 1 foot across, dig it up and divide it into two pieces. Then plant them separately in the soil and they will eventually become full-grown plants.

Read on to learn more about all the ways to propagate a hosta. Also, be sure to check out the article How to Grow the Most Stunning Hostas.

Propagating by dividing

Propagating hostas by dividing rhizomes is the most popular method due to its simplicity. I have used this method many times and have a high percentage of success, but many subtleties are worth talking about.

First of all, it is necessary to determine the most appropriate time for separation. In principle, you can split Hosta at any time, but at different times of the year will be different percentages of success.

The two most favorable periods are spring and autumn. In the spring, when young teeth (buds) emerge from the ground, it is the best time to separate them. To be more precise, this will be the second half of spring for zone 6. If you live in a warmer climate, then the optimum period will come earlier.

The next favorable time is the end of summer or the first half of autumn, depending on the climate zone. The earth at this time of year is warm enough for young plants to successfully root before winter.

hosta propagation

Hosta rhizome is divided.

Next, let’s talk about splitting the rhizomes. Depending on the size and variety of hostas, the way will be different, and the tools will also be various. Before cutting, dig out the plant and clean the roots from the soil.

If the rhizome is large, you can split it in half or four parts. In this case, you will get new plants that will quickly grow into a new place. If you want to have many plants, then you can divide the hosta into smaller parts. Each piece needs to have roots and two or three buds.

When you work with large bushes, you can use a shovel, an ax, or a saw. These tools are excellent for dissecting plants.

In the case of small rhizomes or compact varieties, you need to be delicate. Use a well-sharpened knife to cut. Try to cut along the fibers. If the plant is tiny, do not divide it by more than half.

The next step is to spray the wounds with a fungicide solution or powder it with ash. After that, the plants can be planted in a new place.

Propagating from seed

One of the most exciting ways to reproduce hostas is to sow seeds. Many collectors around the world sow a huge amount of seeds every year, hoping to get new varieties of these beautiful plants. 

At the end of summer, the seeds ripen and the seedboxes dry and open, at which time you can collect the seeds. Cut the flower stalks and put them on the table, being careful not to scatter the seeds. Separate all seeds from the dry inflorescences with your hands. Next, peel the seeds from the dry seedboxes.

It is necessary to sow seeds in the spring, so you should place them in a dry place away from pests. It is best to use a paper box that will absorb moisture so that no fungus forms on the seeds. It is not necessary to keep the seeds in a warm room; the garage is perfect for this.

How long are hosta seeds viable?

Hosta seeds can maintain germination for quite a while. It does not deteriorate under the influence of frost.

You can sow it next spring. If you can’t make it in the spring, you can sow next year. Many hybridizers claim that seeds are viable for 18 months.

The best time to sow seeds is in the spring.

The greenhouse is the best place for sowing, but you can also use plastic trays with clear lids. There must be drainage holes in the trays. If there are no holes, then make them. Excess water should flow out of the tray and not linger in it.

The size of the containers depends on the number of seeds. It is best to use a capacity of at least 4 inches wide, 8 inches long, and 4 inches deep. Of course, this is not a strict requirement, but in larger containers, you will need to water the seedlings less often, which will make it easier to care for them.

The next thing you need to take care of is the soil. It is best to use soil that is specially designed for sowing. You should only buy quality substrate from reliable manufacturers.

The package must also indicate that the soil is sterilized. If you do not follow these guidelines, then the fungus can destroy your seedlings.

Make small holes no more than 0.5 inches deep. Put one seed in there and sprinkle with a small amount of soil. Then pour a small amount of water.

As I wrote above, you can cover the trays with transparent plastic lids or place them in transparent plastic bags to maintain high humidity. However, the greenhouse will be a more convenient place.

how to propagate hostas

10-day hostas seedlings

After sowing, move the trays to the greenhouse. Cover the greenhouse with a shading net, use the darkest grid as much as possible. Young hostas do not need much sun, and the grid will keep the greenhouse from overheating.

Humidity in the greenhouse should be at least 85-90%. This can be achieved by using a humidifier or spraying the walls with water. Also, the surface of the soil in the trays should be constantly moist; do not allow it to dry.

You should ventilate the greenhouse at least once every two days. If you have time, air it daily.

Good seed germination requires an air temperature of + 68 ° F. If this value is lower, then the seedlings will sprout longer. In the spring in the greenhouse, this temperature can be reached around the end of March, but it depends on your climate zone.

With favorable humidity and temperature, new plants will appear in 8-12 days. If this does not happen, do not worry, sometimes it can take longer. To me, this is the most exciting moment.

Propagation by leaves

Yes, rooting a hosta stem with leaves is possible, but the success rate will be low compared to previous methods.

The first thing to do is to tear the leaf with the stem from the rhizome so that it has a little white root tissue. 

Next, you need to choose where to root the leaf. There are two ways. The first is in water; the second is soil. Many people claim that there is a higher percentage of hosta rooting success in the water. However, this method has the disadvantage that you have to change the water quite often.

Rooting hosta stem in soil requires fewer efforts, but the risk of failure is higher.

In a few weeks, the stem will either root or die. If you are lucky and the roots appeared to plant Hosta in the ground and feed a little. Also, do not forget to water it more often.

Propagation tissue culture

The most exotic way to reproduce hostas is tissue culture propagation. Due to its complexity, it is not widespread in nurseries. However, it can produce great results, so let’s talk briefly about it.

It all starts with the fact that part of the plant is cut into small pieces. Then the cut material is sterilized and placed and transparent containers with a special gel. This gel contains nutrients, vitamins, and growth promoters.

All work is done in a special sterile incubator where there is no spore of fungus and other pathogenic bacteria. When the plant particle is placed in a gel, the container is covered with a lid and transferred to a special box where the required temperature and light.

After a short period, the cells begin to divide, and a new plant, an exact replica of the parent plant, forms. After some time, the plant is transplanted into the soil.