Divide and Conquer: How to Propagate Perennials
Many perennials outgrow their space or lose vigor with age. Revive plants by dividing them when dormant and replanting.
- garden fork
- two garden spades
- trimming shears
Step 1: Lift Plant
Most perennials need dividing every two or three years, but some grow more vigorously than others, requiring frequent division, while others flower better when congested, are slower growing, or resent disturbance. Dividing perennials is a useful way to propagate them. Carefully lift the plant, using a fork. Take care not to damage the roots as you do so. Gently shake off excess soil as you remove the clump.
Step 2: Separate Plants
Separate plants by inserting two spades back-to-back in the center of the clump and pushing them away from each other to split the mound.
Step 3: Divide Clumps
Divide the larger clumps into smaller, more manageable pieces using your hands. Discard any unhealthy-looking sections, and pull out any weeds.
Step 4: Trim Growth
2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited
Trim away any old top growth, and replant the newly divided sections into their new positions at the same depth as before. Firm the soil around the roots well.