Here at Sienna Hosta, we propagate thousands of plants every year and grow them on ready for sale all from our Surrey nursery. During the growing season this is a time consuming job but by propagating our own plants we know we can guarantee the plants quality and health.
There are several methods that can be used to propagate hostas.
This is the method that we use at the nursery and is most common to propagate hostas. Division is also the most likely method home gardeners would use. Dividing hostas couldn't be easier, using a kitchen knife or spade (for large hostas) you can divide plants in minutes.
You can divide hostas at any time of the year, but the best time is early Spring or early Autumn. We divide at the nursery from the start of March to the end of September. Hostas can be divided through the Winter, but new divisions must be kept dry in an unheated shed or green house to avoid them rotting in the rain.
To learn more about how to divide hostas please see our article on Dividing Hostas here.
Tissue Culture (Micropropagation)
Tissue culture micropropagation is very specialist method the only small amount of nurseries, colleges and labs use. This method is excellent for creating large numbers in a short space of time, which is essential for new and rare varieties. Some varieties can also sell faster than we are able to divide them so using tissue culture we can grow a lot more to meet demand.
Tissue culture or micropropagation is when plants are grown in labs in petri dishes of agar before being weaned into plug trays. Once the plantlets are rooted into plug trays they are suitable for potting on into small pots. This whole lab process must be conducted in extremely sterile conditions to avoid bacteria or diseases being grown along side plantlets. By testing the original plant prior to production, we can guarantee hundreds of virus free plants that can be grown on ready for sale.
At the nursery we grow thousands of plants from tissue culture that we source from multiple labs we work with. We also have several new varieties that are currently in productions which will enable larger numbers to be available for sale when they are launched.
Growing hostas from seed can be quite enjoyable but you should know before you start that hostas don't come true from seed. The most likely outcome to growing hostas from seed is you will end up with plain green hostas, these are perfectly good plants but they won't resemble the varieties that you harvested the seeds from.
You can find out more about Growing Hostas From Seed here.