Hosta -- Propagation, Ross Method

By The Old House Web
Some hostas are slow to divide, especially some of the large, thick crown types. The Ross Method, developed in the United States should help encourage additional plants to form.

In the spring or early summer, carefully remove the soil around the hosta's stem, exposing the white basal plate. This is the area right above the roots. An extremely sharp, and thin, knife is inserted into the basal plate and cut down through the roots. Another cut at a 90 degree angle (right angle) to the first cut can be made. The knife is removed, and soil replaced around the crown. While it isn't necessary, some growers will insert a toothpick into to the wound to encourage callus tissue formation.

Callus tissue will form on the basal plate where the cuts were made. A growth bud usually will also form, giving rise to another plant soon or in the following growing season. Plants may slightly yellow or look anemic for a week or two. However, plants in a loose, high organic soil are quick to recover.

Many hosta growers/hobbyist are using the Ross Method before plant large types to encourage side plant productions as soon as possible.

Make sure knives are clean and sterilized before cutting.


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