Why, When and How to Divide Flower Plants

Why, When and How to Divide Flower Plants



Why, When and How to Divide Flower Plants

Why, When and How to Divide Flower Plants


I don’t know about you but I love a beautiful flower garden, I really don’t have a green thumb but I have found that following advice from those that do have that green thumb can aid you in having that beautiful flower garden.  The “Why, When and How to Divide Flower Plants,” hopefully will help you in producing a beautiful flower garden.

One reward about having a perennial flower garden is that most plants increase in size over the years, so after time some of your perennials will benefit being divided. Also you can save money by keeping your perennials healthy by dividing them.  One thing I have thought would be a great benefit is every one that had those perennial flower beds would share their divided plants with others, could surely give your community a beautiful face lift.


Why, When and How to Divide Flower Plants.

Roots, clumps and planting





The Why’s to dividing your perennials: 

  • Keep them healthy.  Dividing the large clumps every 3 to 4 years will prevent the plant from becoming unhealthy, clumps when they get large tend to die out in the middle. Clumps can become congested or roots get old and woody.
  • Nutrients in your soil can become exhausted, therefore stunting growth, yellowish leaves or lack of bloom.
  • Protect your perennials from fungal diseases and insect infestations.
  • Overcrowded perennials often times have fewer or smaller flowers, so dividing the plants and giving them some space is like giving them a fresh breath of air.  Rejuvenate your aging plants and extend their life by dividing them. 
  • Some perennials are aggressive and can crowd out other plants, dividing these plants will keep them from becoming overwhelming to their neighbors.
  • Plus one other great benefit is that dividing your plants will give you more flowers to plant in other places or to share with your family, friends or neighbors.

When to divide your perennials:

  • You can divide most perennials any time from spring to fall, those are the best times.
  • Dividing perennials can be stressful on your plants but they will recover better from the shock in cool, moist conditions. If you have to divide in the summer make sure they have plenty of moisture.
  • One rule of thumb: perennials that flower between early spring and mid June are best divided in early fall.  Perennials that flower after mid-June are best divided in the spring.  
  • Spring is the best time to divide your ornamental grasses, especially the fall flowering types. 
  • Daylilies can be divided any time but spring is the most suitable time.

How to divide those perennials:

  • Dividing perennials can be a bit overwhelming, but follow a few general rules and you should do fine, making sure the plant roots are moist and cool. 
  • Dividing your plants with large enough clumps, too small clumps might not have the stamina to withstand the division process.
  • When your plant shows signs of growth in the spring (inch or two of new shoots), dig up a large clump, as many as thick roots as possible.  
  • Dig all the way around, then pry the clump out of the ground, try to knock off any loose soil. 
  • Part the shoots, either by cutting them apart or some perennials can just be sort of pulled apart easily. Look closely at your clumps, seeing if they have a natural point where the clump can be easily separated. You may be able to divide your clumps in 3 or 4 sections, trying to keep them the diameter of your fist or larger.
  • Each new division needs to have 2 or 3 new shoots and a good segment of healthy roots.  

What to do once you have the divided roots:

  • Plant the new divisions at the same depth that the old plant was growing.
  • Water them well and keep the soil adequately moist for several weeks.

Now that you have learned the basics “Why, When and How to Divide Flower Plants,” return for the next post about dividing 4 of my favorite flower plants and some additions tips on what plants to divide and which not to divide and frequency of dividing plants.

Links to dividing flower plants: