How can I save my hostas?
We're having some remodeling down and have had to "displace" a bunch of hostas -- they are at least 30 years old and are getting pretty thick. I'd like to salvage them and use them in building a garden next spring. Can I simply replant them to get the through the winter? Or should I just toss them since it's so late in the season?
Ramsey County Minnesota
Hostas are pretty resilient - especially older varieties. At this time, you can dig them and replant them, watering them well and mulching them with leaves. Or you can store them covered in a cool location (45-50 degrees) like a semi-heated garage or in a cool basement or cellar. Cool and humid conditions is the goal.
When the soil is workable in the spring, dig them out / take them out from storage, cut off all dead foliage and examine the roots. Use a large sharp knife or spade to divide them. Throw way any root sections that are moldy or rotted. You'll probably see buds emerging. Plant them in the new location the the leaf buds exposed (like they are emerging from the soil), water well and apply a little chopped leaf mulch to minimize transplant stress.