There are some plants that are picky about being moved. Take poppies...have I ever properly been able to transplant one?? NOPE. Luckily, there are plants that almost seem to like being battered and broken and slung into the ground. One of those plants is the ubiquitous hosta.
|Hosta :: Guacamole|
So anyway, back to dividing. For small hostas, you simply wait until there is a good rain and then grab the hosta by the base and gently pull it from the ground. If it is large, you will need a good shovel. If you want to completely move the hosta, go around the plant with the shovel cutting the roots and then dig the whole shebang out of the ground. If you want to simply take a piece, you can drive the shovel straight through the crown of the plant, take off a piece, pile some soil up around the original plant and you are good to go.
If you have a whole plant, you can usually just pull the pieces off. The hosta will almost fall apart where it is ready to divide (kind of like brisket after 10 hours in the crock pot). Dig a hole for each plant (or just use your hands and scoop away a chunk of soil), place (plop) the plant in and press down gently, but firmly around the edges of the soil to finish. Basically, just throw it in the ground. It will grow.
Many times I even end up breaking a bunch of leaves, especially on large specimens like this 'Sum and Substance', The poor plant looks tortured. He will be ok though. IN fact, this photo was taken 2 or 3 days ago. Today, there is quite a bit of leaf growth. By 2 weeks out, the plant will be back to his former glory.
Here are sections of a hosta. The first is the leaf and a little bit of crown (the whitish/purplish part at the bottom). The second is a clump of roots that fell away from the plant when I was dicing it. I planted both. The leave went about 2" deep into the ground. The roots were buried about 2" under the surface. I am about 90% certain both will grow.