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Video:Divide a Perennial Plant

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Dividing a perennial plant will give certain plants in your garden extra mileage all year long. Learn this simple technique & flex your green thumb today!See Transcript

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Transcript:Divide a Perennial Plant

Hi! I am Sheri Silver.  I'm a landscape designer here in Westchester County, New York.  My design firm is Fiore Garden Design and I also write the blog Donuts, Dresses, and Dirt.  I'm here today with About.com to show you how to divide perennial plants.

When to Divide Perennials

So, perennials are great because they come back every year and provide you with a lot of blooms with very little effort.  But there will come a time where you'll notice that the plant is starting to outgrow its space or does not seem to be blooming as profusely and that's the time to divide your perennial.

The Benefits of Dividing Perennials

Dividing perennial is going to give you sort of a jumpstart for your plant.  The plant will have new, fresh, more blooms than it did before.  It will be happier in its space because it will be smaller and be taking up less room.  And with your divisions, you can have more free plants to plant elsewhere in your garden or to give away to friends.

How to Divide a Perennial

This Nepeta is a perfect example of a plant that needs to be divided.  The blooms while we still have them are a little bit more sparse than they used to be.  The plant is quite large for its space and you can see the signature hole in the center.  What that means is that the plant has literally depleted the nutrients from its source and it needs to be cut down, divided, and replanted.

The first thing you want to do is to cut the whole plant down.  It's going to make it a lot easier to see the plant that you are working with and also to dig it up.  So now that the plant is cut down and I can see the shape of it, I'm going to dig it up.  You want to dig a hole that's slightly wider than the plant itself and you want to go all around the base of the plant until you can easily dig it up.  And once you dug around it, just lift the whole plant out.

So now, I'm looking at the plant and deciding how many divisions I want.  I probably going to want to cut this into two, but if I wanted I could cut this into 3 or even 4 separate divisions.  I am going to use my trusty folding garden saw to do this.  Nepeta is very easy to cut through.  The roots are not too tough and I'm just going to slice down the whole middle of the plant and now I have 2 nice new divisions.  One I'm going to put back and the other I will probably use in another area of my garden.

So this plant is ready to go back into its original hole.  It's really important to give a newly divided and replanted plant a lot of water, so give it some extra TLC for the first few weeks until it settles back in. 

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