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Moving a Leafed Out Hosta With the Help of a Belt and Some Tape

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Denial-that is what I am in every time I plant a Hosta. I know it is going to grow and get big I just don't believe it at the time. This is probably because I usually purchase bare root Hosta from online retailers and they usually have only a few leaves and 1 or 2 eyes (eyes are what growers call a Hosta division). They seem so small that when I go to plant them I lose all sense and end up putting them where I will eventually have to move them.
Here are a couple of examples of some small Hosta I planted that will eventually be very large (given time): Here is Hosta "Liberty" which I planted last year. It is hard to believe from her size right now she will eventually be 6 feet wide.
So this denial leads to my Summer ritual which involves moving these beasts to a more appropriate position in the garden without setting them back too much. Using a pitchfork loosens the roots without cutting them like a shovel would do. The tape helps to make digging and moving it easier and also keep the Hosta leaves upright so the roots can pump water up the stems.
What you will need for this:
1. A pitchfork or perennial fork-I prefer to use a pitch fork to move my plants I feel it causes less damage to the plants roots than using a shovel
2. A shovel to dig a new hole
3. Masking tape or painter's tape
4. An old belt with a D ring (or a piece of rope)
Steps to move the Hosta:
1. Dig a hole where the Hosta is going to go or prepare a container for the Hosta.
2. Take the belt (or rope) and place it around the bottom of the Hosta:
3. Now pull the belt (or rope) up around the stems of the plant:
Pull it tight enough to hold the stems and leaves up-as tight as possible without breaking the stems or leaves.
4. When it is tight enough tie it off. If a couple leaves escape that's OK:-))
5. Get the tape out and run the tape sticky side out around the Hosta either above or below the belt-I prefer above to keep the leaves in a tight bunch.
6. Wrap the tape around 3 or 4 times. When you have taped the Hosta you can release the belt and remove it.
7. Now grab your pitchfork. Shove it in the ground around the base of the Hosta and wiggle it back and forth (up and down) where you inserted it in the soil. This is to loosen the roots from the soil. Do this all the way around the base of the Hosta.
7. Now grab your pitchfork. Shove it in the ground around the base of the Hosta and wiggle it back and forth (up and down) where you inserted it in the soil. This is to loosen the roots from the soil. Do this all the way around the base of the Hosta.
8. Knock off extra dirt by dropping it a couple of times in the hole.
9. Now place it in the hole that you have dug making sure you are planting it at the same depth it was at.
10. Backfill the hole with dirt and water well:
11. Keep well watered until the Hosta becomes established in it's new home. Leave the tape on for a few weeks (until it loosens)-it will help keep the Hosta leaves upright while the Hosta recovers from the move.
Here is a picture of Hosta "Honeybells" that I moved about a week ago. You will notice how the tape keeps the leaves from wilting and flopping (even in a sunny position).
This technique can be used with any size Hosta that is fully leafed out-just make sure to keep the Hosta well watered until it becomes established-which may take the rest of the season.
Visit my blog for more detailed information:

To see more: http://www.sproutsandstuff.blogspot.com

Ask the creator about this project

  • Douglas Hunt
    Douglas Hunt New Smyrna Beach, FL
    on Jul 18, 2014

    The tape and belt trick is genius, and I love how you have laid out all the steps.

  • Melody Drinkwater Wagner
    Melody Drinkwater Wagner Erie, PA
    on Jul 19, 2014

    Thanks for the helpful tip. I have plenty of hostas that need transplanting. Day lilies too. <3 it!

    • Rhonda B
      Rhonda B Muscatine, IA
      on Jul 24, 2014

      @Melody Drinkwater Wagner You are welcome!

  • Katie
    Katie Canada
    on Jul 20, 2014

    This is excellent information and very timely for me. I'm moving and will be moving as much of my garden as possible. I have about 50 hostas as well as many other plants and now I have the perfect way to prepare them for moving. Thank you for the information and the great detail!!

    • Rhonda B
      Rhonda B Muscatine, IA
      on Jul 24, 2014

      @Katie Good luck with your move-I hope this makes moving those Hosta a little easier:-))

  • Colleen
    Colleen Fargo, ND
    on Jul 20, 2014

    Great Tutorial!.

  • Christine
    Christine Upper Marlboro, MD
    on Jul 20, 2014

    Just yesterday I put 10 hosta into a newly prepared bed. They'd been in pots since 2006. I just KNOW I'm planting them too close together, even though I tell myself it's just fine. One of my favorites that has its new home is also a Honeybells. :) If you move your pitch fork side to side, too, it also helps loosen the roots. Another trick is to water well if your soil isn't the best and they'll come out more easily. I think I like this method for dividing, too. Because I just hate shoving a shovel into the middle of a beautiful hosta. With your method, day lilies, heuchera, hosta, and other muti-eyed type plants can go right back in their same hole! :) 'Cause you and I both know we won't stop planting them too close together. hhahhaa.

    • Rhonda B
      Rhonda B Muscatine, IA
      on Jul 24, 2014

      @Christine I agree-I might say I will plant them farther part but what I do is another story:-)

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