With most things in life when you divide you get less.
The birthday girl gets less cake when she divides it up amongst her guests.
The heiress gets less when the fortune is divided amongst her siblings…and so on. You get the picture.
This is not the case in the garden. In the garden when you divide you get more…much more! Isn’t the garden a special place?
Got questions about dividing your plants? I have answers for you. Let’s dig in!
There are three main reasons to divide your plants:
- control the size (avoiding the hostsa that ate my house scenario);
- to rejuvenate;
- to increase the number.
WHEN TO DIVIDE?
Divide Spring/Summer bloomers in the fall.
Divide Fall/Winter bloomers in the Spring.
Easy to remember, if it is flowering, or should be, don’t divide. Also don’t divide in super hot weather. That will put too much stress on the plant.
HOW TO DIVIDE?
- Prepare the area where you will put the new divisions
- Prune the ‘mother’ plant to 6″ off the ground
- With a pointed shovel dig all around the plant in a circle following the drip line
- Pry under the plant with the shovel & lift
- Shake off the lose soil
- Separate roots
In separating the root systems keep in mind all roots are not created equal.
There are 4 basic root systems:
- Spreading – separate by hand. Examples are asters & purple cone flower
- Clumping – separate with a knife. Examples are hosta & day lilies
- Rhizome – separate with knife leaving a few inches of rhizome & a leaf. Best example is the bearded iris
- Tuberous – separate with a knife with each tuber having some roots & a sprout. Best example is the dahlia
Some plants are so huge you’ll need a shovel & some brute force to divide. Don’t be timid…go for it!
Just get the new divisions in a bucket of water or in the ground right away. If you do, despite some rough handling, they will flourish.
So you ready to get more by dividing? Check the list here for more details on the plants you want to divide.
Get your gloves, knife & shovel. I will meet you in the garden! I’ll be there with you in spirit while you dig, separate & plant. If you have any questions along the way just holler.
Now go DIVIDE & CONQUER!