Dividing Perennials

Dividing Perennials - Perennial flowers, perennial bulbs, gardening tips.

Dividing Perennials

Dividing perennials is a great gardening tip to keep perennial flowers healthy and looking great. It also saves money and resources. We'll teach you how to do it.

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Dividing perennials can be a very rewarding process. It's also great for keeping perennials fresh and full of life.

We also like the idea of dividing your perennials because it saves money and resources. When you divide your own perennial flowers, you don't need to purchase more. It's sort of like reusing your own flowers!

Thriving Perennial Garden

Thriving Perennial Garden

Dividing Perennials Is A Simple Process

Beginning gardeners may think that this process is too difficult, but it's actually quite simple if you follow a few simple instructions.

Every 3 to 4 years, you may want to divide your perennials, or at least determine if there is a need to divide them.. Here's how you do it:

For perennials such as daylilies, dig up the entire clump by digging around the perimeter of the perennial with a sharp spade or a Digging Fork. Pry up on the clump until it "pops" out of the ground. and divide with either 2 digging forks, or cut through the clump with a Sharp Pruning Saw - (this is our favorite method).  You can also utilize the drywall saw for dividing Hostas.

The saw makes quick work of the division - at least with Hostas, and if you divide daylilies, you can do that with the saw too - although you will cut several of the tubers off in the process, but they recover very quickly.

Pop The Clump Out Of The Ground

Pop The Clump Out Of The Ground

Planting Your Divisions
    Keep your divisions moist and cool.
    Do not set them in the sun.
    Clean off all the dead roots from each division.
    Mix in plenty of rich compost and bone meal in the new planting hole.
    Plant with the crown of the new plant slightly above grade level.
    Pack the soil around each division tightly to eliminate any air pockets.
    Water-in each division toughly.
Divide To Increase Your Garden Stock Division to Increase Your Garden Stock:

You can really get quite aggressive when you are dividing perennials.

Hostas, Daylillies, Iris, Sedum and many more can be divided into at least 6 to 8 divisions from a healthy full-grown sized mother plant. If you don't care about size for the whole first year, this allows you to increase your perennial garden by 6 to 8 fold in the first years of planting.

At my home I stared with about 12 total Hosta of many different varieties. I planted and cared for them and started to divide by the third year. These were very big, healthy plants and I divided them into 8 small divisions.

Now I have Hosta numbering about 800 in my yard. I've had a similar experience with daylilies, though I find a bit bigger clump comes back quicker than the smaller clumps. So I divide daylilies into 4 to 6 at most.

Decide How Many Divisions You Would Like

Decide How Many Divisions You Would Like

When Dividing Perennials, Consider How Many Plants You Want

If you don't like to sacrifice a full-sized parent plant, consider dividing the parent in half and re-plant one half. Divide the other half into 4 to 6 division and plant them around the parent. In a couple of years you won't be able to tell which one is which.

It's really as simple as digging up the clump and then cutting. Make sure that you don't divide the plants so far that there are no roots left on any one plant.  Once you've divided you can simply replant your multiplied perennial flowers.

When Is The Best Time for Dividing Perennials?

The best time of the year for dividing perennials is either at the beginning or at the end of the growing season, but you can divide many perennials at any time of the year if you give the divisions care.

Usually when the plant looks its best, it is the best time to divide as you will get the most healthy divisions.

If the plant is full grown and the center starts to die out or grow smaller, it is time to divide the plant.

If the plant has outgrown it's boundaries and is growing into it's neighbors.

Gently Rip Apart Fiberous Rooted Perennials

Gently Rip Apart Fibrous Rooted Perennials

Split Fibrous Rooted Perennials By Hand

Perennials with fibrous roots can be split by hand. Simply dig up the clump and pull them apart. Next, replant the new divisions, and be sure to trim down the top growth by at least 1/3 to 1/2 to minimize planting shock and water transpiration.

In cold winter climates, dividing perennials is best done in the spring when you first see the growing buds appear. Try to give the plants at least a month or two of growing time before the onset of hot weather so they can become established and are able to take-up water and nutrients properly.

If you prefer dividing perennials in the fall, make sure you plant the divisions so they get at least a couple of months of growth before the first killing frost.

In warm weather winter areas, dividing perennials is best done in fall, after the growing season has ended. Heaving is not a concern here and the plants can develop a good root growth over the winter months.

The most important thing to remember is that dividing perennials is not an exact science. If you are starting with healthy plants, you probably can't do much damage to your plants during the dividing process, even if you make a mistake.

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