Rhonda B
Rhonda B
  • Hometalker
  • Muscatine, IA

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
hosta moving leafed how to, gardening, how to, perennial
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.
hosta moving leafed how to, gardening, how to, perennial
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)
hosta moving leafed how to, gardening, how to, perennial
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:
hosta moving leafed how to, gardening, how to, perennial
hosta moving leafed how to, gardening, how to, perennial
3. Now pull the belt (or rope) up around the stems of the plant:
hosta moving leafed how to, gardening, how to, perennial
Pull it tight enough to hold the stems and leaves up-as tight as possible without breaking the stems or leaves.
hosta moving leafed how to, gardening, how to, perennial
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.
hosta moving leafed how to, gardening, how to, perennial
6. Wrap the tape around 3 or 4 times. When you have taped the Hosta you can release the belt and remove it.
hosta moving leafed how to, gardening, how to, perennial
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.
hosta moving leafed how to, gardening, how to, perennial
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.
hosta moving leafed how to, gardening, how to, perennial
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:
hosta moving leafed how to, gardening, how to, perennial
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.
hosta moving leafed how to, gardening, how to, perennial
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).
hosta moving leafed how to, gardening, how to, perennial
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

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 54 questions
  • We just moved to a new home and don’t want to leave all of our beautiful hosta’s at the old house (we still own it)... they are in HUGE bunches... do u have a blog on separating each Hosta bunch into multiple bunches?

    Thanks!

    • Lori
      31 minutes ago

      I talked to a gardener at Leif Erikson Park in Duluth,MN about this. She said hostas are very forgiving! You can move them at any time after the frost is gone until it freezes in the fall. You can take a shovel and cut their base and root system to divide them. As stated in the article, keep them watered until they are established. We have done this several times with success. I love the tape idea! Gonna use that this summer!

  • Lisa Hess
    5 days ago

    Oh wow !! I’d never thought to do this ! Mine are all SO huge !! Could you Maeve the tape around them so they stay that size ??

  • Eugenia Nikole
    2 days ago

    are Hostas’ able to grow well in Clay dirt? As my entire yard is all clay dirt.

Join the conversation

2 of 133 comments
  • Jennie
    on Feb 3, 2019

    I am a novice gardener, your detailed instructions are fantastic. Thanks for the help, I will certainly do this.

  • Brenda
    on Feb 4, 2019

    Great advice. I wasn't sure how big they get, so I now know how to space them. Made that mistake with gardenia plants, now have 5 crowding each other.

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