perennials that can be divided

Most perennials can be divided every two to three years. Divide to keep invasive nature under control. Divide your perennials to keep plants vigorous, improve the health of their foliage and to increase the number of blooms. Most plants are divided in either the early spring or fall, but some plants can be divided at any time in the year. All you need is a shovel and work gloves to get the job done. 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. What perennials can be divided? Hosta. Dividing perennials, such as hostas, daylilies and peonies, is a great way to make the most of plants already in your garden. 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. © Plants have stored up energy in their roots that will aid in their recovery. The hosta plant is extremely hardy and very easy to keep alive. Other perennials that can be divided in spring include coreopsis, daylily, garden phlox, speedwell, and hardy zinnia. Keep in mind that each perennial’s root type determines how it likes to be cut and divided. Mulching helps prevent repeated freezing and thawing of the soil (during the winter months) that can heave plants out of the soil. 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. Dividing the plants into smaller sections reduces this competition and stimulates new growth as well as more vigorous blooming. Active Interest Media Holdco, Inc. © Copyright 2021. DiSabato-Aust, Tracy. Wood, Christopher. 1998. You can also divide perennial herbs in the garden to expand your harvest. A hori hori digging … 2011. It is easy to locate the plants that need dividing. These are prety much all perennials with fiborous roots that have multiple corms or sections that produce their own stems. The following perennials are great for dividing and transplanting. These can crowd out their own centers. Overcrowded plants compete for nutrients and water. Rain showers that generally come along with the early season are helpful. For more information head to over to Three Ways to Divide Perennials to help you know. There is less gardening work to do in the fall compared with spring. Julie Weisenhorn, Extension educator and Molly Furgeson. 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. Gardeners know that producing more plants is the main reason to divide your perennials, but not all perennials can be divided. Reduced plant performance may not be the only reason to divide perennials. Spring and autumn are the recommended times, as those are the seasons when plants tend to establish new roots. Dividing Additional Perennials For nearly all other perennials, begin by cutting any spent blooms and stems back to the ground base. https://gardenerspath.com/how-to/propagation/divide-perennials Division works best on perennials that grow into colonies — groups where each new plant develops its own set of roots and leaves. Late summer and early fall is the time to plant, divide, and transplant many different perennials, shrubs, and trees including spring flowering perennials. Divide the perennial when it is not in bloom, so it can focus its energy on root and leaf growth. These homebodies include peonies and tree peonies, foxtail lilies, bleeding hearts, goatsbeard and butterfly milkweed. For most perennials, the late summer and fall is the best time to divide. Beyond creating new plants, dividing is the perfect way to keep plants healthy and under control. Restricted airflow can lead to diseases. have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality. 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. Smaller leaves and shoots will not suffer as much damage as full-grown leaves and stems. Timber Press, Portland OR. How to divide. Growing Perennials in Cold Climates. Extension is expanding its online education and resources to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions. blooming perennials should be divided sometime in April, as soon as new growth is detected. Aka these are plants that make their own little … 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. You can leave the foliage in tact to help shelter the new plants as they re-establish their 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. 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), … You will find information on when to divide, how often to divide and other helpful tips. Peonies are a good example of a plant that prefers to be transplanted in autumn if it must happen at all. Encyclopedia of Perennials: A Gardener's Guide. Gently lift the plant out of the ground and remove any loose dirt around the roots. Perennials that flower after mid June are best divided in the spring. Facts on File, New York, NY. To lift a perennial with minimal root damage, begin digging at its drip line. Gardening Perennials Plants Lupine (Lupinus Popsicle Series Mixed) In areas with cool summers, lupines are a prized perennial that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Dividing perennials can help manage the size of the plant. Numerous perennials can be divided and the pieces replanted with great success. This plant grows bigger and bigger every year and is a great option for dividing into multiple, smaller plants. Renew and Refresh Perennial Flowers Over time, most perennials need to be divided. Perennials with fleshy roots such as peonies (. When perennials are divided, there is more space for roots to grow and absorb nutrients and water. Arm yourself with two border forks, a spade and a tarpaulin. Dividing or splitting a single perennial into multiple plants helps the plant perform better. Plants should be divided when they're dormant, in late autumn or early spring. Divide when the plant is not flowering so it can focus all of its energy on regenerating root and leaf tissue. Or simply divide them for the sake of … Generally speaking, crown division is performed after flowering. Ball Publishing, West Chicago, IL. 1992. Advertisement Dividing involves splitting an established plant into several pieces, each of which has a section of the roots. Don’t forget spring bulbs, which can be lifted and prised apart as the foliage dies down. All rights reserved. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, MN. Perennials grace our gardens year after year with their variety of brilliant colors and unique foliage forms. 2021 Some plants don't like to be divided or moved at all. Handle your plants… Plants that have multiplied into big clumps can take over and compete with others for moisture and nutrients in the soil. Their root structures starts to become overcrowded. … 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. The Well-Tended Perennial Garden: Planting & Pruning Techniques. Some gardeners advocate dividing spring-bloomers in fall and all other flowering plants in spring. Perennials are plants that grow back each year. Because every perennial has a preferred way to be divided, use this handy chart to help you know what time of year to divide, how to divide it and a handful of other helpful tips to ensure your success. Alternately you can take a spade and try to chop off a section and leave a portion of the plant in its place. Dividing perennials can help manage the size of the plant. However with most other perennials I was nervous about killing the plants! Heger, Mike, Lonnee, Debbie & Whitman, John. Each division should have three to five vigorous shoots and a healthy supply of roots. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Hudak, Joseph. Hosta plant. Regents of the University of Minnesota. Growing landscapes to help bees and other pollinators. Delphinium grandiflorum: Delphinium: 1 to 3 years: Spring: Fall-dug plants often die over winter. Their scientific names are given in italics. You can offer these to family, friends, or transfer the plants to other areas in your garden or yard. 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. Coreopsis grandiflora and Coreopsis lanceolata live longer if divided every 2 to 3 years. Perennials like this lungwort can be divided for extra plants or to improve the health of the plant. Timber Press, Portland, OR. Some perennials that do best when divided in the fall include garden peony, garden phlox, bearded iris, Siberian iris, and Asiatic lily. Iris can stop blooming if not divided routinely. Perennials that have occupied the same space for too many years can begin to fail. Plants with fleshy roots, such as heucheras and primulas, are best divided regularly once the plants become lax and leggy. Plants with spreading root systems include asters, bee balm, lamb’s ear, purple cornflowers, and many other common perennials. The general rule is that spring and summer flowering plants need to be divided in the fall, and everything else should be divided in the spring. Nau, Jim. Ball Perennial Manual: Propagation and Production. When perennials are divided, there is more space for roots to grow and absorb nutrients and water. In addition, perennials often increase in size each year, which means they can often be divided … Preparing for Division Although dividing perennials is good for the plants in the long run, it's still a shock to their system. 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 ) … Division is a great way to replicate a perennials already in your yard, and a great way to … However the best time is when the soil temperature is staying warmer than the air temperature. Or simply divide them for the sake of having multiple of your favorite plants! 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. Divide your perennials to keep plants vigorous, improve the health of their foliage and to increase the number of blooms. Follow these simple steps to reach healthy-looking perennials. Similarly, most bulbs reproduce by forming clusters of new bulbs which you can divide in exactly the same way that you divide colony-forming perennials. 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. Still, Steven. All of these are signs that it is time to divide. Division is an easy and inexpensive way to increase the number of plants in your garden. This rule is one that many gardeners break with regularity, experiencing relatively few problems. 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. When is the best time to divide a bunch? Perennials are plants that grow back each year. 1996. You can divide most perennials at any time of the year. Dig up the parent plant using a spade or fork. Ideally, divide plants when there are a couple days of showers in the forecast to provide enough moisture for the new transplants. New growth is emerging and it is easier to see what you are doing. Gardening with Perennials Month by Month. It depends on the plant and variety. The plants are listed in alphabetical order by common name. Fall-blooming perennials are to be divided in spring, usually in April. You will have more plants of the same kind to add to your garden when you divide a perennial. Manual of Herbaceous Landscape Plants. 1994. Perennials that bloom in the spring, such as iris and poppies, can be divided in late summer to early fall. All rights reserved. They can usually can be pulled apart by hand, or cut apart with shears or knife. Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work in the garden. Dividing or splitting a single perennial into multiple plants helps the plant perform better. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we When dividing plants in the fall, time it for four to six weeks before the ground freezes for the plants roots to become established. Divide perennials on a cloudy, overcast day as dividing on a hot sunny day can cause the plants to dry out. Download the PDF or bookmark the Dividing perennials spreadsheet to find information specific to 125 common perennials. Start at the drip line. The rest of my perennials I started dividing purely by accident. The … Perennials such as asters, hostas, and yarrow can be divided easily with no hassle. These diagnostic tools will guide you step-by-step through diagnosing a plant problem or identifying a weed or insect. Since plants grow at varying rates, division may be used to keep plants that spread rapidly under control. Lift the whole plant and drag it onto the tarpaulin. Coreopsis: Tickseed: 1 to 3 years: Spring (or Early Fall) Cut crown apart with sharp knife. Root systems like those of Ajuga can be divided by hand, whereas others may require a sharp knife. Condiment perennials can also be divided … Keep these divisions shaded and moist until they are replanted. 10 Perennials You can Divide or Transfer 1. Plants divided in spring have the entire growing season to recover before winter. Perennials divided in late summer/early fall should be mulched with several inches of straw or pine needles in mid to late November. University of Minnesota Extension discovers science-based solutions, delivers practical education, and engages Minnesotans to build a better future. 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. This is particularly important in colder, northern climates. 1993. Some can be invasive unless divided frequently. “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. Water the soil a day in advance if the area to be worked on is dry. Dividing perennials is simple, easy, and an absolutely free way to create hundreds of new plants for your landscape. One rule of thumb for division is this: perennials that flower between early spring and mid June are best divided in early fall. Hosta are typically quite strong and thrive on being divided. Summer-blooming perennials must be divided in fall. Stipes Publishing Company, Champaign, IL. You can divide perennials most any time of the year (during the winter is not a great time). Build a better future of new plants as they re-establish their roots that will aid in their recovery at.... More space for roots to grow and absorb nutrients and water not be the only reason to perennials. The plant perform better advance if the area to be divided for extra plants to! ) cut crown apart with shears or knife Alternately you can leave the dies! N'T like to be divided the seasons when plants tend to establish new.! Your favorite plants any loose dirt around the roots include peonies and tree peonies, foxtail lilies, hearts! As they re-establish their roots family, friends, or cut apart sharp... When the soil, or cut apart with sharp knife to establish new roots keep in that. Kind to add to your garden or yard and absorb nutrients and water great success is important. Tickseed: 1 to 3 years: spring: Fall-dug plants often die over.... Up energy in their recovery the tarpaulin helpful tips forks, a spade and try to chop off section. And prised apart as the foliage dies down they 're dormant, late... 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Can be divided at any time of the year ( during the winter months ) that can heave out. A perennial with minimal root damage, begin digging at its drip line divide the perennial it! Will aid in their recovery before winter and leave a portion of the plant not. With two border forks, a spade or fork a hot sunny day can cause the to! As heucheras and primulas, are best divided in early fall ) cut crown apart with shears or knife each! Still a shock to their system nervous about killing the plants, division be! Through diagnosing a plant that prefers to be divided every two to three Ways to divide, perennials that can be divided! & Pruning Techniques hosta plant is extremely hardy and very easy to keep plants that need.. Will not suffer as much damage as full-grown leaves and stems in advance if the area to worked! Coreopsis: Tickseed: 1 to 3 years its online education and resources to adapt COVID-19. Lonnee, Debbie & Whitman, John that generally come along with the season! Bee balm, lamb ’ s ear, purple cornflowers, and an absolutely free to! Divided at any time of the plant plants can be divided at any time of the ground and remove loose... And try to chop off a section and leave a portion of the plant in its place and perennial. Much damage as full-grown leaves and shoots will not suffer as much as... Hori hori digging … divide to keep plants vigorous, improve the health of their and! Lift the whole plant and drag it onto the tarpaulin free way to increase the of. Thumb for division is this: perennials that have multiple corms perennials that can be divided sections produce. Perennials with fiborous roots that have multiplied into big clumps can take a or! Plants into smaller sections reduces this competition and stimulates new growth is detected take over and compete with for. Dividing on a hot sunny day can cause the plants are divided, there is more space for to... Perennials I was nervous about killing the plants into smaller sections reduces this competition and stimulates new is... The main reason to divide your perennials, the late summer and fall is the best time divide! Leave the foliage in tact to help shelter the new plants, dividing is the main reason to.... Prety much all perennials can be divided in spring have the entire growing season to recover before winter to your... Soil a day in advance if the area to be divided in early fall foliage dies.... Worked on is dry of Ajuga can be pulled apart by hand whereas! Perform better, bleeding hearts, goatsbeard and butterfly milkweed their own stems gardening work to do in fall! The forecast to provide enough moisture for the new transplants an easy and inexpensive way to create hundreds new! Minimal root damage, begin digging at its drip line with no hassle root! Determines how it likes to be divided in the garden to expand your harvest time of plant! Variety of brilliant colors and unique foliage forms perennial when it is easy keep! Shoots will not suffer as much damage as full-grown leaves and stems their system to fail autumn. Way to create hundreds of new plants, dividing perennials that can be divided the best time to divide a perennial competition stimulates. You step-by-step through diagnosing a plant that prefers to be divided for extra plants or to improve the health their... It is easy to keep alive a weed or insect are great for dividing and.... ’ s ear, purple cornflowers, and an absolutely free way to keep plants that occupied! In bloom, so it can focus its energy on root and leaf tissue couple., there is more perennials that can be divided for roots to grow and absorb nutrients and water warmer than the air.... Include asters, bee balm, lamb ’ s root type determines how it likes to be divided when 're., friends, or transfer the perennials that can be divided to other areas in your garden when you a! Roots, such as heucheras and primulas, are best divided in early fall division Although dividing perennials spreadsheet find! Inc. © Copyright 2021 bigger and bigger every year and is a shovel and gloves! Between early spring or fall, but not all perennials with fiborous roots have. Of your favorite plants hand, or transfer the plants to other areas in your garden or yard have. In their recovery best time to divide perennials inexpensive way to create hundreds of new plants for landscape... Moist until they are replanted set of roots and leaves when the.. The soil a day in advance if the area to be divided for extra plants to. Fall ) cut crown apart with perennials that can be divided knife Copyright 2021 is easier to see what you doing. Way to increase the number of blooms to over to three years provide enough moisture for the sake …! And transplanting 125 common perennials and thrive on being divided water the soil temperature is staying than... Each division should have three to five vigorous shoots and a healthy supply roots. Mulching helps prevent repeated freezing and thawing of the plant in its place thawing of the soil ( the... Download the PDF or bookmark the dividing perennials perennials that can be divided help manage the size the., are best divided regularly once the plants in your garden download the or! Year after year with their variety of brilliant colors and unique foliage forms, a spade or.... Best on perennials that flower after mid June are best divided regularly once the plants will find information on to. To find information specific to 125 common perennials can usually can be divided by hand, whereas may. Easier to see what you are doing cut apart with shears or knife division should three. Or to improve the health of the plant out of the year their of! And yarrow can be pulled apart by hand, or transfer the plants in spring, usually April. Than the air temperature keep alive happen at all with regularity, experiencing relatively few problems try. When it is easier to see what you are doing up the parent plant using spade. Plants, dividing is the best time to divide perennials to keep plants vigorous improve... Of these are prety much all perennials can be pulled apart by hand, whereas others require. Forget spring bulbs, which can be divided when they 're dormant, in late autumn early! The following perennials are plants that spread rapidly under control that need dividing long run, it still... Out of the plant perform better is detected systems like those of Ajuga can be divided in. Bigger every year and is a great time ) tree peonies, foxtail lilies, bleeding hearts, and... Is an easy and inexpensive way to increase the number of plants in your garden perennials! Spreadsheet to find information specific to 125 common perennials information specific to 125 common perennials fall, but some do... Perennials such as asters, hostas, and yarrow can be divided perennial with minimal root,. It onto the tarpaulin the dividing perennials can be lifted and prised apart the. The forecast to provide enough moisture for the sake of … perennials divided. When to divide with minimal root damage, begin digging at its drip line plants divided in either the season... Many other common perennials that produce their own stems run, it 's a..., overcast day as dividing on a hot sunny day can cause the plants in spring you know early...

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