Dividing Perennials

Why should you divide your perennials?

  • It is an easy, cost effective way of making more plants.
  • Some perennials get overcrowded and exhaust the soil.   Dividing them brings them new life.
  • Some perennials spread rapidly and dividing them keeps them under control.

When should you divide your perennials?

  • When the plant is not flowering or getting ready to flower.
  • When the new leaves are just coming out, or it’s old leaves are mature.
  • In the spring, on a cloudy day when rain is in the forecast, or early fall.
  • At least six weeks before winter frost or summer heat.

When should you NOT divide your perennials?

  • Some perennials have deep roots and do not recover well.  False Indigos, Baby’s Breath, Sea Lavender, Perennial Flax, Lupine and Sweet Cicely are examples of perennials that are not made to be divided.
  • Perennials that form a spreading mat and are woody at the base are difficult to divide.  These may be propagated from seeds or cuttings and include most Pins and Evergreen Candytufts.
  • Many perennials can be divided but will also thrive for many years without division.  These include Daylilies, Hostas, Peonies, Goatsbeard, Snakeroot and Butterfly Weed.

Stay tuned for tips on HOW to divide your perennials.