Growing & Transplanting Hostas:
How to Grow Hostas Organically

Transplanting hostas (and learning how to grow hostas from division or root stock) will add striking foliage and flower color to your garden and cut flower arrangements. But you’ll need to thwart the slugs that love them in order to ensure you make the most of these herbaceous perennials.

Growing & Transplanting Hostas: Plant Snapshot

Growing & Transplanting Hostas
  • Hosta (Hosta)
  • Annual or perennial? Perennial
  • Recommended varieties (by FLOWER color):
    • Lavender: Blue Blush, Halcyon, Summer Fragrance
      Lilac: Sum and Substance
    • Off-white: Frances Williams
    • Purple: Shaishu Jinea, Decorata, Venusta
    • Violet: Emerald Tiara
    • White: Honeybells, So Sweet
  • Recommended varieties (by FOLIAGE color):
    • Blue: Big Daddy
    • Blue-green: Blue Blush, Love Pat, Halcyon, Elegans
    • Golden green: Emerald Tiara, Golden Prayers
    • Yellow: Gold Cadet
    • Silvery: Sieboldiana
    • Green and white: Regal Splendor, Univittata, Undulata
    • Green and yellow: Decorata, Wide Brim, Aureomarginata, September Sun
  • Recommended USDA Hardiness zones: 04a to 09a
  • Mature Height: 14 to 36 inches (35 to 90 cm)
  • Mature Spread: 10 to 48 inches (25 to 120 cm)
  • Sun Requirements: Shade & partial shade, partial sun
  • Blooming season: Early, mid & late summer, early fall
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Growing & Transplanting Hostas: Planting Hosta Seed, Transplanting Hostas and/or Dividing Hostas

Where to Find Planting Supplies...

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Most gardeners grow hostas by root division or from bare-root stock. This is because plants grown from seed rarely develop blooms.

Plant root divisions or bare root-stock in the spring or fall as soon as possible after dividing hosta roots or obtaining bare-root stock.

It’s very important that hostas not dry out as they establish. To help accomplish this, when planting hostas into the ground, work the soil into downward slopes towards the plant to create water reservoirs.

If you decide to buy hostas for sale that have been pre-grown, follow these same transplanting guidelines.

Snapshot: Planting Hostas

  • Germination soil temperature: 32 degrees F (0 C)
  • Distance between plants: about 24 inches (60 cm)
  • Planting depth: 1 inch (2.5 cm)
  • Days to germination: 30 to 90 days
  • Preferred soil pH (see soil pH tester for more information): 6.5 to 7.3
  • Root division information (perennials only):
    • Root system type (clumping, spreading, rhizome or tuber): clumping
    • Roots division frequency: Every 3 to 4 years
    • In which season should dividing occur? Spring
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Growing & Transplanting Hostas: How to Care for Hostas

Where to Find Growing & Plant Care Supplies...

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Just like the planting phase, it’s important that hostas stay moist while growing. In addition to watering at least twice a week, use organic mulches in spring to ensure the soil around the plants retain moisture. This is especially true if your hostas are planted under a tree.

Divide root clumps in the spring. If the roots are large and tough, use a spade to slice through them. Make sure there are several buds on each division. If the plant has looser roots, it’s possible to use two garden forks to pull sections away to make new divisions.

Hosta plants die down naturally over winter, so use plant markers to help you look out for the emerging shoots in the spring.

Snapshot: Hostas Plant Care

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Growing & Transplanting Hostas: Harvesting/Cutting Time

Hostas are often grown for their foliage. Although pleasant, their flowers tend to look better in the garden. Take a look at our other flower planting guides for more appropriate cut flowers.

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Growing & Transplanting Hostas: Pests & Diseases

Hostas are a favorite feast for slugs and snails. There are a number of organic methods for tackling this.

Slugx Snail and Slug Trap

If your hostas are in pots, the best control method is a band of copper that provides a protective barrier that mollusks won’t cross. You should also remove debris hiding places around the plants and either check and remove the slugs or snails by hand or set slug traps.

The following pests and diseases have been known to affect the success of growing Hostas (see Organic Garden Pest Control for information about how to prevent and address pests and diseases)...


  • Nematodes
  • Snails and slugs
  • Vine weevils


  • Anthracnose
  • Foliage blight
  • Petiole rot
  • Root rot
  • Viruses
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