How to divide perennials that grow in clumps

Some perennials have stems that are very short and often completely underground with leaves that are arranged in distinct rosette, tufts or fans.  Every year the new rosettes form right next to the old one and the plant becomes a dense clump.  Examples of perennials like this would be primroses, bergenias, geraniums, lambs’s ears, daylilies, lobelia, violets, lungworts, and Japanese painted ferns.

The best time to divide these perennials is right after they bloom, every two or three years.  Divide them in late summer or fall as long as the leaves are still green.

Dig around the plant beyond the edge of the leaves.  Lift it out of the ground and shake out the soil.

Choose a clump and pinch it firmly where the leaves and roots come together.  Use a shears to sever the connection and pull it away from the clump.

Replant the division promptly, tamping soil over the roots but don’t bury the leaf base.  Water it well.

With a little routine maintenance you will have beautiful perennials in your gardens for years to come.