Dividing the plants into smaller sections reduces this competition and stimulates new growth as well as more vigorous blooming. … These can crowd out their own centers. Spring and autumn are the recommended times, as those are the seasons when plants tend to establish new roots. Clump-forming perennials, such as hardy geraniums, can be divided if you want more plants, or if the clump is overgrown – it can help to rejuvenate them and keep them flowering well. Plants should be divided when they're dormant, in late autumn or early spring. Most plants are divided in either the early spring or fall, but some plants can be divided at any time in the year. Rain showers that generally come along with the early season are helpful. You will have more plants of the same kind to add to your garden when you divide a perennial. Overcrowded plants compete for nutrients and water. 1992. Hosta. Division is an easy and inexpensive way to increase the number of plants in your garden. Keep these divisions shaded and moist until they are replanted. Divide when the plant is not flowering so it can focus all of its energy on regenerating root and leaf tissue. Stipes Publishing Company, Champaign, IL. Still, Steven. They can usually can be pulled apart by hand, or cut apart with shears or knife. However with most other perennials I was nervous about killing the plants! Condiment perennials can also be divided … Separate the plant into smaller divisions by any of these methods: Gently pull or tease the roots apart with your hands; Or put two forks in the center of the clump, back to back, and pull the forks apart. Delphinium grandiflorum: Delphinium: 1 to 3 years: Spring: Fall-dug plants often die over winter. Advertisement Dividing involves splitting an established plant into several pieces, each of which has a section of the roots. http://www.gardengatemagazine.com/articles/how-to/divide/how-to-divide-45-favorite-perennials/, How to Propagate Rex Begonias from Leaf Cuttings, Divide in early spring or after it stops blooming in late summer to early fall; will bloom better with division every 2 to 3 years, Easy to divide; needs to be divided every 1 to 2 years to keep plants vigorous, Divide in summer when flowering is over, at least 6 weeks before frost so plants have time to get established, Spreads quickly; easy to divide; for ease of handling, divide in spring as foliage is emerging, Easy to divide; divide every 3 to 4 years; for best appearance next season, don’t make divisions too small, Easy to divide; roots usually pull apart easily by hand; divide every 3 to 4 years, Divide as foliage goes dormant in the heat or mark plant location; roots are brittle, handle carefully, Divide in late spring to early summer, after blooming; will reseed but divide to keep specific cultivars true. When perennials are divided, there is more space for roots to grow and absorb nutrients and water. After a few years in the garden, these perennials may start to produce smaller blooms, develop a 'bald spot' at the center of their crown, or require staking to prevent their stems from falling over. Or simply divide them for the sake of … You can divide most perennials at any time of the year. Divide your perennials to keep plants vigorous, improve the health of their foliage and to increase the number of blooms. Renew and Refresh Perennial Flowers Over time, most perennials need to be divided. Summer-blooming perennials must be divided in fall. This plant grows bigger and bigger every year and is a great option for dividing into multiple, smaller plants. Fall-blooming perennials are to be divided in spring, usually in April. Perennials with fleshy roots such as peonies (. Perennial flowers work in multiple situations: in whole garden beds, in combination with annuals and bulbs, as accent to shrubs and trees, and in containers and windowboxes. Hosta plant. Divide in early spring for easy handling; for fall division, cut back flowers; Divide in spring or fall; easiest in early spring as leaves begin to emerge; doesn’t need frequent division, This hardy plant roots along the stem; cut a piece off the edge and replant; cut leaves back by half; don’t overwater, Rhizomes pull apart easily; make sure each new division has a leaf and a cluster of roots, Big leaves wilt easily; cut each leaf back by half and keep summer transplants well watered, Divide in midsummer; foliage goes dormant quickly after flowering so mark the plant’s location; keep new transplants watered, New plants will take a few years to flower; set new plants at same depth as they were previously or they won’t bloom; keep watered; does not need to be divided often, Very difficult to divide because of taproot; for best results, purchase new plants, Divide every 5 or 6 years or when plant dies out in the center, Easiest to divide in spring when foliage is still small; dividing clumps later won’t harm plant but may reduce bloom for the year, Easiest to divide in spring when foliage is still small; dividing clumps later won’t harm plant but will reduce bloom and leave plants lopsided for the year, Easy to slice into pieces; make sure to get plenty of roots with each new section, Divide every 4 years or as needed; if you divide in fall, wait until the plant is done flowering, Easy to divide; most types spread quickly so divide every 2 to 3 years. Divide your perennials to keep plants vigorous, improve the health of their foliage and to increase the number of blooms. Coreopsis: Tickseed: 1 to 3 years: Spring (or Early Fall) Cut crown apart with sharp knife. For most perennials, the late summer and fall is the best time to divide. Gardening with Perennials Month by Month. The plants are listed in alphabetical order by common name. Manual of Herbaceous Landscape Plants. These homebodies include peonies and tree peonies, foxtail lilies, bleeding hearts, goatsbeard and butterfly milkweed. Start at the drip line. Aka these are plants that make their own little … Plants with separate rosettes and fibrous roots, such as primroses, can be dug up and divided as their flowers start to fade, while hostas and other perennials with impenetrable root balls can be cut up with a sharp knife or spade. Water the soil a day in advance if the area to be worked on is dry. Their scientific names are given in italics. Plants have stored up energy in their roots that will aid in their recovery. Follow these simple steps to reach healthy-looking perennials. 2011. Plants that have multiplied into big clumps can take over and compete with others for moisture and nutrients in the soil. This is particularly important in colder, northern climates. These diagnostic tools will guide you step-by-step through diagnosing a plant problem or identifying a weed or insect. Perennials divided in late summer/early fall should be mulched with several inches of straw or pine needles in mid to late November. Plants with spreading root systems include asters, bee balm, lamb’s ear, purple cornflowers, and many other common perennials. Dividing perennials is simple, easy, and an absolutely free way to create hundreds of new plants for your landscape. Peonies are a good example of a plant that prefers to be transplanted in autumn if it must happen at all. Iris can stop blooming if not divided routinely. Timber Press, Portland, OR. All rights reserved. You can offer these to family, friends, or transfer the plants to other areas in your garden or yard. There is less gardening work to do in the fall compared with spring. You can divide perennials most any time of the year (during the winter is not a great time). Growing landscapes to help bees and other pollinators. Timber Press, Portland OR. All of these are signs that it is time to divide. Or simply divide them for the sake of having multiple of your favorite plants! Dig up the parent plant using a spade or fork. Dividing perennials can help manage the size of the plant. “Usually, the plants let you know when they need to be divided,” said Brister, “OR if your friends want some of your plants, then divide away!” Healthy plants do their best to stick around. Their root structures starts to become overcrowded. However, just as different plants can go different lengths of time before being divided, some plants, such as peonies, do better when divided in the early fall. Growing Perennials in Cold Climates. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Since plants grow at varying rates, division may be used to keep plants that spread rapidly under control. However the best time is when the soil temperature is staying warmer than the air temperature. DiSabato-Aust, Tracy. Most perennials can be divided every two to three years. Handle your plants… In addition, perennials often increase in size each year, which means they can often be divided … Knowing the time is near, you may ask, “How do I know when my perennials are ready to divide?” There a few tell-tale signs to look for that will help you know when to divide. Root systems like those of Ajuga can be divided by hand, whereas others may require a sharp knife. This allows for a lot of root growth in the ground to get the division good and established before they set on a lot of top growth. Late summer and early fall is the time to plant, divide, and transplant many different perennials, shrubs, and trees including spring flowering perennials. What perennials can be divided? Division is a great way to replicate a perennials already in your yard, and a great way to … Some gardeners advocate dividing spring-bloomers in fall and all other flowering plants in spring. Julie Weisenhorn, Extension educator and Molly Furgeson. All rights reserved. The … Generally speaking, crown division is performed after flowering. The following are examples of perennials you can divide at any point in the growing season, except for during the very hottest periods of the summer: Bugleweed ( Ajuga reptans ) … Extension is expanding its online education and resources to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions. have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality. Perennials are plants that grow back each year. 1993. Plants divided in spring have the entire growing season to recover before winter. These are prety much all perennials with fiborous roots that have multiple corms or sections that produce their own stems. Perennials are plants that grow back each year. Plants root as they spread; no need to dig whole plant; Difficult to divide because of taproot; for best results, purchase new plants, Doesn’t need division often; cut back whole plant by half so roots have less foliage to support, Divide every few years to keep this short-lived perennial around; reseeds but seedlings may not look like parent plants, Easy to divide; divide every 4 to 5 years for healthier plants; reseeds and seedlings are easy to transplant, Don’t worry about getting roots with each piece, they’ll sprout from the stem; cut individual leaves back by half to conserve moisture, Division every 3 to 4 years helps this short-lived perennial stay around longer; cut plant back by half, Divide every 5 to 7 years; rebloomers are best lifted in spring before they flower, Blooms best if divided down into small sections; division every 2 to 3 years will prolong plants’ life, Mat-forming types root as they grow; cut a rooted piece from the edge and replant, Easy to dig and split; likes moist to wet soils, so keep new plants well watered, Doesn’t like to have main clump disturbed; sends out underground runners so dig small new plants around the edges to transplant, Difficult to divide because of taproot; for best results, purchase new plants; slow to recover from being moved. New growth is emerging and it is easier to see what you are doing. These are just a few examples of plants that can be divided: Agapanthus, Anemone, Aster, Bergenia (elephant’s ears), Convallaria (lily-of-the-valley) Crocosmia, Dierama, Delphinium, Epimedium, Eryngium (sea holly), Euphorbia, Gentiana (gentian) Geranium, Helianthus, Hemerocallis (daylily), Hosta, Iris, Lychnis, Lysichiton, Lysimachia, ornamental grasses, Primula (primrose) Ranunculus (buttercup), … Don’t forget spring bulbs, which can be lifted and prised apart as the foliage dies down. You can also divide perennial herbs in the garden to expand your harvest. Dividing perennials, such as hostas, daylilies and peonies, is a great way to make the most of plants already in your garden. Wood, Christopher. It is easy to locate the plants that need dividing. Beyond creating new plants, dividing is the perfect way to keep plants healthy and under control. Regents of the University of Minnesota. Hosta are typically quite strong and thrive on being divided. Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work in the garden. For more information head to over to Three Ways to Divide Perennials to help you know. © The rest of my perennials I started dividing purely by accident. Lift the whole plant and drag it onto the tarpaulin. Perennials such as asters, hostas, and yarrow can be divided easily with no hassle. All you need is a shovel and work gloves to get the job done. 2021 Perennials grace our gardens year after year with their variety of brilliant colors and unique foliage forms. Each division should have three to five vigorous shoots and a healthy supply of roots. Coreopsis grandiflora and Coreopsis lanceolata live longer if divided every 2 to 3 years. Reduced plant performance may not be the only reason to divide perennials. Divide to keep invasive nature under control. Plants with fleshy roots, such as heucheras and primulas, are best divided regularly once the plants become lax and leggy. Some can be invasive unless divided frequently. Perennials that bloom in the spring, such as iris and poppies, can be divided in late summer to early fall. Other perennials that can be divided in spring include coreopsis, daylily, garden phlox, speedwell, and hardy zinnia. A hori hori digging … Alternately you can take a spade and try to chop off a section and leave a portion of the plant in its place. 1998. Mulching helps prevent repeated freezing and thawing of the soil (during the winter months) that can heave plants out of the soil. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, MN. Divide perennials on a cloudy, overcast day as dividing on a hot sunny day can cause the plants to dry out. Smaller leaves and shoots will not suffer as much damage as full-grown leaves and stems. Division works best on perennials that grow into colonies — groups where each new plant develops its own set of roots and leaves. When dividing plants in the fall, time it for four to six weeks before the ground freezes for the plants roots to become established. You will find information on when to divide, how often to divide and other helpful tips. This rule is one that many gardeners break with regularity, experiencing relatively few problems. To lift a perennial with minimal root damage, begin digging at its drip line. Divide in spring; lift clump and cut into sections; Easy to divide; divide every 2 to 3 years to keep plants blooming and vigorous; discard dead central portion, Divide every 3 years or when flowering diminishes; discard the woody center and plant the edge pieces, A ring of foliage around a dead center tells you it’s time to divide; usually every 3 to 4 years is sufficient, Rarely needs to be divided; tough roots make dividing difficult; leave plenty of room around new transplants because the plant gets large, Divide every 3 to 5 years to keep plants vigorous, Rarely needs to be divided; if you do divide it, do it in early spring while plants are in bloom or right after they stop flowering, Easy to divide in early spring when foliage is emerging; dividing large clumps later won’t harm plants but leaves them lopsided for the summer, Rarely needs to be divided, so divide only for new plants, every 7 to 8 years. University of Minnesota Extension discovers science-based solutions, delivers practical education, and engages Minnesotans to build a better future. Ball Publishing, West Chicago, IL. Preparing for Division Although dividing perennials is good for the plants in the long run, it's still a shock to their system. When is the best time to divide a bunch? Hudak, Joseph. Dividing or splitting a single perennial into multiple plants helps the plant perform better. 10 Perennials You can Divide or Transfer 1. Facts on File, New York, NY. The Well-Tended Perennial Garden: Planting & Pruning Techniques. It depends on the plant and variety. Some plants don't like to be divided or moved at all. How to divide. Keep in mind that each perennial’s root type determines how it likes to be cut and divided. Ideally, divide plants when there are a couple days of showers in the forecast to provide enough moisture for the new transplants. Ball Perennial Manual: Propagation and Production. Perennials like this lungwort can be divided for extra plants or to improve the health of the plant. Perennials that have occupied the same space for too many years can begin to fail. The difference is that some perennials, such as peonies, can go more than a decade without being divided, while others, such as chrysanthemums or ornamental grasses, like to be dug and separated every couple of years. Perennials that flower after mid June are best divided in the spring. The following perennials are great for dividing and transplanting. Some perennials that do best when divided in the fall include garden peony, garden phlox, bearded iris, Siberian iris, and Asiatic lily. Dividing Additional Perennials For nearly all other perennials, begin by cutting any spent blooms and stems back to the ground base. You can leave the foliage in tact to help shelter the new plants as they re-establish their roots.
perennials that can be divided 2021