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

Wildflowers after controlled burn in New Braunfels, TX
February 19, 2009 - I live in the Hill Country a few miles north of New Braunfels. As soon as we get enough rain to lift our burn ban, I will be thinning out some of my Ashe juniper and will do some burning in the open ...
view the full question and answer

Can trees survive if trunks are buried under 3-5 ft of soil?
January 27, 2012 - We have two cedar elms and a mesquite that I protected from backfill as our Texas Hill Country lot was leveled in preparation for building a house. The bulkheads are now holding back 3' to 5' of ma...
view the full question and answer

Digging wild buttercup from roadside in Mechanicsville MD
May 28, 2012 - Mr. Smarty Plants, is it illegal to dig out wild buttercup in Maryland? I see them along the dirt road or just in the ditch. Since buttercup considered weed, I'm wondering what the law say about this...
view the full question and answer

Need tips for planting wildflower seeds in pots in Edinburg, TX.
July 22, 2012 - Can you give me some tips for starting wildflower seeds in pots or trays, rather than outdoors? Is this even possible? Most instructions I have found are for seeding large areas. I want to get some p...
view the full question and answer

Can I Grow Beautyberry
December 30, 2011 - Will try to be brief. Beautyberry sprouted leaves in vase of branches in water. It's NYC beginning of winter. Can I plant it outside? If not will it grow in a pot inside? Thanks. Happy New Ye...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center