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Repotting hostas.

I need to think about splitting a number of my hostas.  They've been in the same pots for years, never had any feeding but seem to have thrived on neglect.  They were just bunged into pots with normal potting compost, but would it be better to use something like John Innes No3?


  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,639
    For some plants, JI no 3 is normal!

    I usually re-pot my hostas every 3 or 4 years?   The hardest part can be just getting them out of the pots but having them well wetted helps.  Then I carve them up with an old bread knife and re-pot.   No John Innes formula here so I use one that is not multi purpose and has some grit in it.   Water well afterwards and protect from slugs.

    The bigger leaved varieties like Sum and Substance can produce smaller leaves in the first season after re-potting but then get big again the following season.   
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • PurplerainPurplerain Posts: 1,053
    I love Hostas and use JI3 to pot on. Slug protection is important to stop them looking as if they came from the raggedy bin. I did split some (but left the rest) in the Autumn with a breadknife, and they are poking through now. I find them very obliging and I can't imagine a garden without them. We need to be kind to Hostas 🙂.
    SW Scotland
  • I use JI 3 with  some added organic matter ... either homemade garden compost or bought soil conditioner or if neither are available some MPC. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,551
    I use multi purpose with added garden compost.
    I'm too tight to buy JI compost. 
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 8,462
    Thanks everybody.  Time to get out in the garden with the bread knife.  Must remember to wash it and put it back in the block before the missus gets home. :D
  • Fran IOMFran IOM Posts: 2,565
    I have two hostas. One in the ground and one in a pot. I only know their whereabouts because of the flower stems still showing otherwise there would be no indication. Can I dig up the one in the ground to separate it now or do I have to wait till the leaves start to show again? And the same goes for the one in a pot. Having read the above I couldn't figure out what would have been showing before cutting them in half. 
  • PurplerainPurplerain Posts: 1,053
    I asked Hostafan last year about splitting in Spring or Autumn. He thinks Spring, so I left most of mine and will split when they show some life. Monty thinks Autumn so I did a few, and they are under glass still alive. I would wait now until they poke through Fran and then get the breadknife out. I am no expert though.

    SW Scotland
  • I'd go with spring - lots of active growing to repair any damage. Funnily enough a chap at a respected nursery told me not to water them after splitting. I'd always watered copiously after splitting!
  • Fran IOMFran IOM Posts: 2,565
    Hi @Purplerain & @DampGardenMan. Many thanks for getting back. I shall definitely wait till Spring. Wasn't sure what I would find if I dug them up. I will have the bread knife at the ready but don't know yet what will be there to use it on. I would have thought watering would be the obvious thing to do but no matter. All will be revealed come Spring I hope. Can't be long now...
  • PurplerainPurplerain Posts: 1,053
    I will make sure to keep out of your way when you wield that breadknife Fran 😀. When I was reading DGM's post, I thought that made sense, because the Hosta is full of moisture when it is split, and adding more might cause rot.
    SW Scotland
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