My friend wants some of my hostas. I have about ten varieties, and they've been growing pretty much wherever they want for many years. As you can see in the pictures, the locations and sizes rule out digging up as an option.

If I cut some leaves can she propagate them?

If so, where on the stem and how should I make the cut?

What method should she use for rooting and planting?

Does the timing matter? I'm in Massachusetts, and they're about midway through this year's growing cycle. They won't bloom until about two months from now.

Also, some are in the shade, others in the sun. Would it be correct to assume that she should place them in the same type of conditions in her yard?

Here are just a few! Click on them for larger size.

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  • 2
    This where things like the Japanese hori hori (sort of halfway between a serrated kitchen knife and a trowel) come into their own - you can quite easily excise a small chunk without having to lift the whole plant. Commented Jun 26, 2017 at 21:25
  • From my experience; I have very large Hosta plants in a row of 5 that were planted more than 20 years ago. When they were planted one of the hostas was planted deeper than the others which when spring comes, makes that plant come in later than the others. But it does catch up to the other 4 very nicely. Commented Jun 24, 2023 at 22:03

3 Answers 3


I suppose you might be able to, but I think you'd be well into cell culturing rather than "stick a leaf in damp soil and get a plant" ala African Violet - but I have not tried it (since I've never seen it suggested and it appears from my experience likely to fail.)

Division is the only way I've ever propagated hosta, and I don't see your claim that "digging up is not an option" - a small division from the outer edge of the plant need not involve a great deal of digging, and gets some root to go with the leaf.


Yes, you can root hosta leaf cuttings but you have to cut the leaf with a bit of the root it is growing from, preferable with a few small roots attached to the cutting. Put it in water, change the water frequently until there are enough roots growing to pot the leaf. I have a Victory hosta single leaf cutting done this way and now potted about a month but am not seeing any new sprouts yet. Its far easier to let a hosta plant grow new shoots then carefully dig and expose a developed shoot, cut it away and plant in a pot or directly into the garden and water as needed until it takes hold.


This spring I had transplanted some and had a few leaves with a bit of stem fall off. I figured I would try to propagate them and had about a 40% success rate. I might have had better success if I had paid more attention to them. I just dipped in rooting hormone and put in a pot with a mixture of potting sol, very composted wood chips (basically soil at this point) and some sand. Watered every few days. I started 10 and 4 grew to plants. Some of the leaves had more stem than others and I believe that is the reason they took. But again, I didn't pay much attention to them.

  • Helpful answer; if you could include how deep you planted them that could also be helpful. Thank you.
    – M H
    Commented Aug 4, 2020 at 15:48

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