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How to Divide Perennials

Hey folks, our post for today is something related to our previous topic – last but not the least. Check out these guidelines on how to divide perennials. But before you do, here are important reminders:

how to divide perennials
  1. Divide perennials on a cloudy, overcast day as dividing on a hot sunny day can cause the plants to dry out.

  2. Water the soil a day in advance if the proposed area is dry. Ideally, divide plants when there are a couple of days of showers in the forecast to provide enough moisture for the new transplants.

How To Divide Perennials

  1. Dig up the parent plant using a spade or fork.

  2. Gently lift the plant out of the ground and remove any loose dirt around the roots.

  3. Separate the plant into smaller divisions by any of these methods: 

  4. Gently pull or tease the roots apart with your hands. 

  5. Cut them with a sharp knife or spade. 

  6. Or put two forks in the center of the clump, back-to-back, and pull the forks apart.

  7. Each division should have three to five vigorous shoots and a healthy supply of roots.

  8. Keep these divisions shaded and moist until replanting.

When To Divide Perennials

Divide when the plant is not flowering, so it can focus all of its energy on regenerating root and leaf tissue.

Divide fall-blooming perennials in the spring because:

  1. New growth is emerging, and it is easier to see what you are doing.

  2. Smaller leaves and shoots will not suffer as much damage as full-grown leaves and stems.

  3. Plants have stored energy in their roots to aid in their recovery.

  4. Rain showers that generally come along with the early season are helpful.

  5. Plants divided in spring have the entire growing season to recover before winter.

Divide spring and summer blooming perennials in the fall because:

  1. There is less gardening work to do in the fall compared with spring.

  2. It is easy to locate the plants that need dividing.

  3. In the fall, divide perennials with fleshy roots such as peonies, oriental poppy, and Siberian iris.

  4. When dividing plants in the fall, time it for four to six weeks before the ground freezes to establish the plant’s roots. 

If you are just starting out and aren’t actually sure yet which perennials would be right for your garden, check out this post.

I hope these tips help! If you know a tip or two about dividing perennials that I have not listed here, please share in the comments below!

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