How To Reduce Shock When Transplanting Hostas

Hostas are one of the most beautiful plants for gardens and landscaping. Why is it important to learn ways to reduce shock when transplanting Hostas?

The Hostas’ natural ability to thrive in well-shaded spaces offers lush green foliage to any empty yard or garden. So, you will want to plant lots of them!

Hosta young plant, freshly planted and fenced with wooden sticks. — Stock ImagePin
Young transplanted Hosta |

Hostas are a perennial plant species with a variety of sizes and appearances. Their broad leaves and root stalks (rhizomes) make them easy to identify from which they grow.

These plants are known for their easy-maintenance and near permanence to their planting location. Due to this, transplanting hostas can be a complicated process.

How Can You Reduce Shock When Transplanting Hostas?

Reduce Hosta transplant shock by:

Planting Hostas

Hostas do best in partial-to-full shade environments. These plants, when first purchased, need even spacing from one another.

It can be tempting to cover the ground with their foliage, but this can lead to overcrowding.

Related: What Are Some Hosta Companion Plants?

What Does Shock Look Like In Hosta Plants?

Hostas are some of the most adaptable perennials. They are hardy and resilient in stressful situations, like transplanting.

It is not common for Hostas to turn brown and die after transplanting. But, they are prone to stunted growth.

Hostas’ biggest shock during transplanting is:

  • Expanding its root system
  • Finding a balanced in its new location

When To Transplant Hosta Plants

The primary growing season for Hostas is during the summer. During this time, the plant grows new leaves and expands its breadth.

Avoid transplanting during this season. The stress is too much for the Hosta and the root system in its new environment.


Transplant in early spring as new growth eyes begins to appear. 

Spring is an excellent time to transplant hostas. Both the soil and air temperatures are cool during this time. The plant’s metabolism will be slower. A slower growth rate allows the plant time to recover after transplanting.

There are a few downsides to transplanting in the spring. The most significant risk is a race against the clock. The race to encourage your Hosta to establish itself and overcome any stress before summer and the growing season kicks in.


The best time to transplant Hostas is in the fall when air and soil temperatures are cool. It is the end of the summer growing season, and plants’ will have time to establish before the ground freezes.

The downside with transplanting in the fall is the lack of moisture within the soil. Water regularly to keep moisture as the Hosta attempts to heal.

How to Transplant Hostas?

Transplanting Hostas can be simple if you are aware of the types of stress the plant will face. As mentioned above, the greatest risk to Hostas is stunted growth due to lack of an established root system.

Preserving the Roots

To preserve the roots, dig your spade into the ground at a slight angle at least six inches from the plant. 

Hostas can range in size from four-inch miniatures to six-foot giants. But, the goal of preserving the roots remains the same.

A good rule of thumb is to stay at least ⅓ of the plant’s width away from the crown to conserve the most stalks in the root ball.

It’s important to understand. Root damage will happen during the removal process. But, the plant will recover if the majority of its root structure remains intact.

Tips to Make Transplanting Easier for Your Plant


Before placing a Hosta into its new home, be sure to add a little bit of compost or leaf mold into the newly dug hole. The compost will help the plant keep moisture and encourage new root development.

Be careful not to over-amend. The Hosta needs to be capable of adapting to the new soil.


To protect your Hosta and retain moisture, place mulch at the base of the plant. Bury the plant up to the crown in the new hole and top the soil with mulch. 

Water Thoroughly

Thorough watering is crucial throughout the complete transplanting process. When choosing a day to transplant, a cloudy day after rain is a perfect time because the soil will be wet and easier to dig.

After planting your Hosta, water it frequently to encourage new root growth. The extra moisture helps reduce plant transplanting shock and aids in the establishing process.

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