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

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.
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Rhonda B

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 63 questions
  • Lisa Polk
    on May 9, 2019

    So what happened to the white stripes on the leaves....on the last looks like a different plant......🙄🤔....did something happen to the original transplant? Jus' wondering?

    • Kelly
      on Oct 6, 2019

      Hostas are the most hardest plant known to man besides weeds I split a bunch of hostas in the fall didn’t get them planted I set them in the ground around this circle I prepared and forgot about them when the snow came is when I remembered them and thought they were frozen out in the spring they were up and beautiful as ever they grew right down threw the ground themselves it was quite a surprise so truly they can be transplanted any time and divided anytime they are like a bad weed but beautiful in all ways

  • Fcs42702439
    on May 28, 2019

    When is the best time to divide hostas?

    • Marjorie
      on Jun 23, 2019

      Fall or early summer. Keep watered well. Then mulch.

  • Lynn
    on Jul 14, 2019

    Can hostas survive in sun?

Join the conversation

3 of 143 comments
  • Judi M
    on Jun 12, 2019

    I love the belt and tape idea. I will be doing that next time

  • AnDrea L
    on Jul 31, 2019

    Not a question just a heads up. I planted mine n the next day went out n ttthey were half eaten. I later found out after rescreach that rabbits n deer love this plants. So i bought liquid fence which has kept them away. Its like candy to them. But what i found strange was they only ate the ones that are tri colored n the all green they dont seem to like.

    • Valerie
      on Sep 8, 2019

      I live in the country with lots of deer. I spray a mixture of water and dissolved Irish spring soap. A bar of soap is enough for most of the summer. Just leave it in a container with water. Smells nice too. I picked this trick up from an older neighbour of mine.

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