Video:How to Divide a Perennial Plantwith Amanda Switzer
If you're lucky enough to have a garden that's flourishing, you might want to consider dividing your perennials to protect their health. See how it's done.See Transcript
Transcript:How to Divide a Perennial PlantI'm Amanda Switzer for About.com Home.
Why Divide a Perennial Plant?If you're lucky enough to have a garden that's flourishing, you might have to consider dividing your perennials. This means taking them out of the ground, splitting them-up, and then planting them back in the ground. Not only will you save the health of your plants, but you will also have many more plants to fill in your garden!
Sometimes perennials will start dying out from the inside out, and this really is bad for the plant. It gives bad balance and it creates rot inside the plant. So you really benefit from dividing the perennials in your garden.
When Should You Divide Perennials?A good time to start dividing your perennials is either in the late fall or the early spring. I prefer the early spring because my mind is fresh with new ideas, and also the plant material has a longer time to establish root growth. Some perennials are easier to divide than others.
Which Perennials Divide Easily?Here we are going to be dividing some day lilies. They're a little easier than other plants because they're clumping by nature, and they have tubers which come apart pretty easily. Other perennials, like sages and pheroscias, are more difficult. They're woody at the base and can crack.
Start by Pulling out the PerennialsSo what we're going to do here is pop these day lilies out of the ground, lay the tubers out on the soil (which I've already pre-prepared) and then set them in the ground. Let me pull some out here - and you see the tubers - very evident, yellow, tubers on this. What we're going to do is move them over here on the soil, and lay them down.
Set the Divisions in the SoilNow that I have all my divisions all laid out, they're just ready to go into the ground. I don't really have to do anything to the soil because it's already been prepared and amended earlier in the season. So all I need to do is move the soil to the side, make a little hole with my hands. I can use a trowel if I want but I prefer to use my hands. And then set the divisions right into the soil and press hard.
I'm going to do the same thing here. Make sure all the tubers are in the ground and completely covered, then I press down really firm so the perennials don't fall over with wind or when they get watered.
Perennial Plant Care And MaintenanceWhen you're transplanting any perennial, it's crucial that it has water for the first few weeks. We've done a lot of root damage, so we need to water and take care of these plants. Try dividing your perennials early in the season, because the longer you wait, the harder recovery time is for the plant material.
The key to dividing perennials is not being afraid of popping them out of the ground, cutting them up and then putting them back into the ground. This way, you have so many more plants and it's also better for the health of the plant!
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