En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - September 06, 2005

From: Woodbridge, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Propagation
Title: Propagation of hostas
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I have many different types of hostas in my yard. This year they bloomed abundantly and now have large pods where the blooms were which are full of seeds. My questions: 1. If I plant these pods, or individual seeds, will the seeds grow into a new plant? 2. If they are seeds, should I scatter them throughout the hosta bed or in individual pots? In the past, I've divided them early Spring, but it would be wonderful if I could develop new plants from the seeds. I will most appreciate your advice. Thank you.

ANSWER:

The genus, Hosta, is native to Asia and is not within the area of our expertise since we focus solely on North American native plant species. However, I'll give you what help I can.

First, I would encourage you to review the information on the excellent website provided by The University of Kentucky for more information about propagating hostas. I am sure you will find answers to most of your questions there.

Regarding your specific questions, your seeds will probably germinate and grow into new plants just fine. However, they are unlikely to closely resemble their mother plant. Since most of the commercially available hostas are hybrids, they do not produce seedling offspring "true" to their parents. Usually, the seedlings of hybrids are disappointing, but occasionally (rarely, actually) an exceptional new cultivar may occur.

While it's possible that seeds sown in the garden will germinate and grow there, your best chance for success is to sow you seeds per the instructions given on the aforementioned website.

Hostas may be divided anytime except winter, with spring being considered the ideal time for division. You should be able to successfully divide your hostas this fall, but I would recommend dividing only a portion of them to insure against unforeseen problems.
 

More Propagation Questions

Should a bloom stalk be cut down in Yuma AZ?
May 07, 2010 - I have a plant in my front yard that looks like an aloe vera. It doesn't have any thorns or needles but does have a tall stalk like stem coming from the middle of it. The "stalk" is now approx. 5'...
view the full question and answer

Starting yucca from seed from Austin
December 24, 2012 - I would like to start a soft leaf yucca recurvifolia from seed. Is that possible? Also, I've looked for seed on dried flower stalks, and I'm not sure that what I'm finding is the seed, and I ...
view the full question and answer

How to propagate milkweed from root cuttings
June 08, 2009 - I am interested in propagating Asclepias speciosa (showy milkweed). Your info page for this species says it can be propagated via root cuttings. Does this mean I can lop off a chunk of the root/tuber ...
view the full question and answer

Care of recently propagated Century Plant from Litchfield Park AZ
April 24, 2011 - To germinate some century plant seeds I put them in dirt and put the pot in a tray of water. Now, I have 3 sprouts about an inch tall and they came up about an inch apart. Question is, how should I w...
view the full question and answer

Male and female possumhaws for berries from Georgetown TX
April 23, 2012 - Do I need to plant two ilex decidua (possumhaws), a male and female to have red berries on the tree in the winter?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center