Dividing perennials in your yard can be beneficial for so many reasons. This process keeps your plants healthy, while keeping your garden from looking overgrown and messy. Creating additional plants that can be used in places throughout your yard, is guaranteed to save you money. You can also share these perennials as a gift for a friend or neighbor.
How To Know If Your Plant Can Be Split
Any perennial plants that spreads from a central crown, and has a clumping growth, can be divided. It involves splitting and dividing the crown and root ball. When plants have taproots, they usually propagate through cuttings or seeds, rather than by splitting the plant apart.
When is the Best Time to Divide Your Perennial Plants
When to divide a plant, and how often, depends on the type of plant and the climate. Most guidelines are between 3-5 years, but I divide my perennials when they look like they are overcrowding my garden.
Most plants can be divided in early spring or fall. Spring and summer flowering plants are usually divided in the fall. That way, plants have more time to set new roots before they grow in the heat. I like splitting my plants in the spring, because the new growth is lower to the ground, and there is less growth to manage.
Some plants don’t respond well to their roots being disturbed. Because of this, it’s best to divide the perennial while it’s dormant, which will reduce the effects of shock from transplanting.
Split your perennials in the cooler weather, when the soil is warmer than the air, for at least part of a 24-hour period. Mornings are usually a great time to plant.
It is not recommended to split a plant that is still blooming. Even though I try to follow that rule, there are times when I will throw caution to the wind. I just divided and transplanted my blooming primroses today. I am getting a bit antsy, wanting to divide my hellebores as well, but it’s probably best ti wait until fall to split.
How to Divide Your Plant
Dig the entire perennial clump out of the ground. Carefully divide the crown and root ball into two or more sections, depending on the size. Once divided, shake off the excess soil. By cutting the plant back, prior to transplanting, you can reduce the shock that the division and transplanting process creates. Place the new plant into a hole, that is as wide as its roots, when they are spread out. Transplant your divisions in your garden, or gift some of your new splits to a friend or neighbor. They will really appreciate it!
Perennials to Divide by Hand
- Lady’s Mantle
- Lambs Ear
Perennials to Divide with a Spade
- Black-eyed Susan
Perennials to Cut up Rhizomes and Tubers with Knife
Peonies need to be sliced apart with a handsaw, because they have woody crowns.
Do not divide woody plants such as lavender and rosemary.
Click here to find out more about starting geraniums from cuttings.
Dividing perennials in your yard keep your plants healthy, prevent overcrowding and keep the appearance of your garden clean. This is a great way to save money, because you are basically shopping from your garden! I hope these tips on how to divide perennial plants has been helpful! I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave me a comment.
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