Dividing Perennials
It’s a great time to divide your perennials and it’s easy during this early emergence period. Monkey Grass, Hosta, Coral Bells, Aster, Sedum, Salvia, Coneflower, Black Eyed Susan, Ornamental Grass, Yarrow, Beebalm, & Daylily. Primrose and Phlox can be divided after flowering has finished. We don’t recommend dividing Poppy, Bearded Iris, & Peonies until late summer/fall.
Why divide perennials? Sometimes it’s as simple as controlling the growth of vigorous growers. Some perennials such as Bearded Iris need to be divided every few years because they slow down production when they get overcrowded. Often people divide to get extra (free!) plants.
Don’t be too nervous. You will find that some perennials come out of the ground easier and some almost fall apart when you go to divide but for most perennials just follow the simple instructions below.
  1. Use a spade or other sharp shovel to cut into the soil around the plant and then pry the entire clump from ground.
  2. Knock off loose/excess soil
  3. See if you can find a natural area to the plant that you can make the cut but if not – just cut the plant down the middle. Use a gardening knife or extra knife you have to cut where you want to divide. Large clumps can even be cut in half again to create another division.
  4. It’s important that you get both green foliage at the top and roots at the bottom of each division
  5.  Replant by planting the clumps at the same level the plants were initially. Plants should always be planted with the top of the root ball just barely above ground level.
  6. Water at planting

If you are dividing to control the growth of a plant and don’t want to replant, just ask a neighbor or local garden group if they would be interested in your divisions!

Questions about dividing specific perennials? Just contact The Green People!

1 reply added

  1. Pingback: Gardening Calendar: April - Evergreen of Colonial Heights

    […] Dig & divide perennials such as Hosta & Daylily. You can divide & replant (or share with a neighbor!) Note: Peony, Bearded Iris, Lily, & Oriental Poppy prefer to be divided in late summer after blooming. Read more about dividing your perennials in Spring here. […]


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