easy shade gardening: dividing hostas

Finally was able to plant the north side of the house this weekend.  It only took a few hours and minimal $$$.


This is what I started with after all the junk amazing treasures were removed.  It had been one of my lumber stash areas because it was hard to see from the street. 😉 Since we did the fence project in the back of the house I finally could move the lumber stash and plant some of my great deals.

Yes, I’m totally cheap or thrifty so I didn’t want to spend a ton of money that isn’t seen by hardly anyone except you folk who suffer   enjoy reading my blog.  I was able to use 75% of plant material from dividing up plants from the front yard. I divided 2 Hostas and one Pachysandra then added some clearance plants. Every thing should fill in nicely even though there is a lot of shade in this part of the yard.

steps to dividing Hostas or most perennials

  • dig around the base of the plant far enough out so you don’t damage the roots.
  • lift plant out of hole
  • place dirt side down in a wheelbarrow
  • lift and drop plant carefully with enough force that the soil loosens and fall away from the roots
  • with a lot of the soil removed you can pull off individual divisions
  • replant at the same soil depth
  • soak soil and gently but firmly press soil around the plants removing trapped air
large Hosta ready to divide


Check out the surprise I found in the middle of the hosta.

tennis ball hiding in Hosta


I got about 18-20 individual plants off this one over grown plant.

this was only part way through dividing the Hosta


large leaf hosta

I also divided up a large leafed Hosta that I bought on clearance a few years ago. It was in such bad shape I thought it was a much smaller leafed variety. It soon was growing too large for where I had planted it. Now was the perfect time to move it. It was divided into thirds. These Hostas it will provide some interest by having some variation in  a very monochromatic color palette.

large leaf Hosta crowding out



3 large Hosta plants from one


The last Hostas I planted were some I found on clearance at $3.73, for a savings of $11.21. You can see the damaged leaves, The plant will be just fine next year.  I love the white edges on the leaves, they will brighten up the shade.

clearance Hostas



bishop’s weed

I love having ground covers growing under and between Hostas in the yard. They push out weeds and adds diversity in shape and size so that the Hostas stand out. I’ve grown Bishop’s Weed before. It grows fairly fast but can be very invasive. The white edges will look great against the plainer green Hostas.  I got lucky and there was some on clearance at $1.66, for a savings of $4.67. They looked real bad but I could see where new growth was starting again. It seemed a good bet that the roots were still ok.


dead nettle

I also planted some Dead Nettle near the tree, a bit away from the bishop’s weed, to give the dead nettle a chance to get established before the Bishop’s Weed reaches it. I was able to divide it up out of the 4″ containers, not a lot but every little bit helps.

Dead Nettle will have pink flowers



The last plant I divided was a Pachysandra Terminalis, also known as:  Japanese Pachysandra, Carpet Box or Japanese Spurge. I picked up a 4″ pot, on clearance of course, 2 years ago.  I wanted to see how fast it would grow. It wasn’t super fast but fast enough that I didn’t want it in that other bed if it started to take over some of the more delicate Campanula. I felt it should be better in this bed because with solid green Pachysandra underneath the variegated Hostas the white edge leaves would pop.


turn your yard into a plant factory

Whether you have lived in your home for some time or are just moving in; this technique is fun, satisfying and can provide lots of benefits later on.  Make up a design for your garden and buy some clearance Hostas and other perennials. Plant them in your front yard first.  As you are working on different space on your property you will have plant material to fill in other beds and have a cohesive look as you move through the spaces. Just as you repeat elements in decorating your home, the same concept works in your yard.



Planting in rows or patterns increases maintenance. If a plant should die you will have the dilemma of replacing all of them or finding one a similar size.

Non flowering plants can still look interesting if they have

  • various size heights
  • various size leaves
  • different leaf texture
  • variegated leaves


Next year, I will add some color to the fence with some hanging baskets as the kitchen windows look out on this side yard. However most people don’t see this part of the yard so I want it as maintenance free as possible.

Do you have any questions about dividing plants? Give me a shout. Enjoy your week and remember, Fall is a great time to be gardening,  preparing for the next year.

For you guys who don’t have hard freezing temps it’s also time to think about planting cool weather annuals. Check out these post for a tips and tricks to consider.

quick garden tip: cool weather annuals

basic flower gardening for newbies: annuals

Have fun and think nutty!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s