Note: check out my update below to see what the transplant and divisions look like after one year!
We finally bit the bullet and decided have our lower deck replaced. The fat deposit check went out in the mail last week, so it’s getting real. We should have pulled the plug 3 years ago before the wood began to disintegrate, but oh well. Walking around on a rotted deck has kept us nimble and improved our powers of observation.
The work hasn’t been scheduled, but it will happen sometime before fall, which means moving the surrounding plants almost midsummer. I planted everything so close to the deck that there would inevitably be serious plant damage during construction. They’d also be in the workers’ way, so it would be a little rude not to move them.
Anyhow, two plants I really wanted to salvage from this spot are a Slender Hinoki Cypress, which I’ll talk about in a future post, and a June Hosta I planted 7 years ago. As it turns out, the spot I decided to put the Cypress was home to a Sum and Substance Hosta , so I had to move that one as well. Two-for-one bonus!
The Transplanting Process
This is not the ideal time of year to transplant hostas, but I’ve done it before and have yet to lose one. The lovely Seattle climate and general hardiness of hostas contribute to that success, but there are some key factors that help:
- Prep the soil. Dig a large hole transplant hole and amend the soil with a healthy dose of compost. No fertilizer! Think bland hospital food after surgery.
- Keep air off the roots. After transplanting and backfilling, compact the soil enough to eliminate air pockets.
- Water, water, water. Because the hosta has all its leaves, it will be thirsty. Normally hostas are drought tolerant but they’ll need extra moisture when transplanted fully leafed out.
Lastly, and the most fun – use twine to tie up your hosta leaves! This gets them out of your way before you dig, and creates a more compact bundle which is easier to handle.
Enough with the words, here are some pictures (and more words):
Extracting the Hosta
Prepping the New Home
Same Process Plus Division – a June Hosta
Just when you thought this post couldn’t get any longer…
I hope this was helpful. If you have suggestions for how to improve this process, let me know in the comments!
UPDATE: One Year Later
I love before and afters, so here’s an after! These are some pics of the transplant and divisions one year and one month after the time I originally posted this story. They are doing quite well, and are sporting some flowers since we’re a little later in the season.