Division of Plants

Math was never one of my favorite subjects in school and yet I use all four operators in the garden on a regular basis.  I add plants every year, some things have to be subtracted when they die or if their invasive, plants multiply and finally have to be divided to keep them going strong.  Most plants do multiply themselves in some format whether that be reseeding or clumping.  Division is a necessity to some plants or they will die out in the center leaving a void.  This process also creates more plants that you can place elsewhere in your garden or give to friends & neighbors.  I like to wait till the fall when the weather is somewhat cooler to divide/move plants.  Some of my favorite plants for division are shown above.  Irises can be easily divided right after blooming each year.   After digging up the rhizomes I remove any soft or damaged material and cut the fans down to about 1-2″.  This allows more energy to go to establishing themselves in their new home.  Daisies need to be divided every other year or they die out in the center of the plant.  I dig the entire plant up and separate it into smaller sections.   You should be able to pull apart the mother plant into smaller divisions.  Dividing Hostas is similar to dividing the Daisies.  Daylillies can be somewhat more difficult depending on the size of the clump.  Their roots which look like skinny potatoes tend to intermingle with each other.  It can be like dissembling a puzzle.   Some people will use two garden forks back to back to pull the plant apart.  The Liatris grows from a corm that produces some small fibrous roots & baby corms that replace the original corm in time.  These are easily divided by digging up the clump of corms & pulling them apart into smaller sections.  My favorite shade perennial to divide is the Solomon’s Seal which multiplies well in my garden each year.  It comes up from a root that gets larger and has several eyes on it.  You can even break the root in half to create more plants.  Some of the larger roots produce baby roots too which will get larger in time.  Division is a great way to add free plants to your garden or to share with friends.  It rejuvenates the plants and keeps them healthy for years to come.


21 responses to this post.

  1. I just love being in your garden class, you are an excellent teacher. Thanks again for the info, some posts I read over and over so it will stick in my thick head, LOL.

    Thanks Darla, I’m glad you find my posts were informative & helpful. That is very sweet. 🙂


  2. Very informative! You have to like being able to double your plants…for free!

    Thanks Nancy, it is a great benefit of growing perennials. It also makes their original price an investment in all the babies they will produce in time.


  3. I have never thought about gardening in terms of mathematics before ~ we do use all those principles tho. Clever of you to see it! I’m so bad about dividing, I know I have plants that I should divide but somehow I never end up doing it. Your energy in the garden is to be applauded!

    I was thinking about this this morning after a evening of dividing & replanting. I find that the plants seem to grow bigger & stronger with division in time. It really rejuvenates them. Plus this is the kind of gardening I really enjoy. 😉


  4. I’m dividing Shasta daisies this week!

    That’s what I need to do Sheila. There are 3 huge clumps of them in Grandma’s garden that really need to be divided badly. That means I can place some of them in other areas too. They were gorgeous this year.


  5. Wonderful post! You are so knowledgeable and a very talented writer as well as gardener! Makes me want to get busy in the yard, but I am so busy with other things I can’t even find time to post! 🙂

    Thank you Linda. What wonderful compliments. 🙂 It is hard to divide yourself in so many directions especially when you work outside the home. I try to do a little something in the garden each day.


  6. Lesson well taught! It is that time of year, and I do enjoy dividing plants. As you say it’s like getting free plants and a fuller garden. And, it is good for the plants. Thanks for the informative post.

    Thank you Beckie. I enjoy dividing plants too, it’s so much fun to see all the new divisions I have to place elsewhere. You are very welcome, I’m glad you enjoyed the post today.


  7. What a clever way to combine math to gardening. I never thought I’d have to use division in anything… and now it’s in everything I do… gardening and cooking!

    I was the same way DP, lol. Math is in everything we do from budgeting our bills, grocery shopping, gardening & especially cooking.


  8. I have leucanthemum ‘Broadway Lights’ that I planted last year. Each plant is already over a foot wide. When do you think I should divide those? BL are new varieties of shasta for me and I’m thinking I should wait until spring. Your thoughts? Thanks, Cameron

    You can divide them now if their done blooming Cameron. I prefer dividing things in the fall because it gives the plants all those extra months of getting established before they have to deal with the summer growing season. Broadway Lights is a beauty, not something I’ve every grown before. My grandma has the Becky Shasta Daisies which are pretty hardy w/sturdy stems.


  9. …”Math was never one of my favorite subjects in school”

    You get it from your Mama 🙂 Clever and informative post and it is all about math isn’t it. You have been busy!

    Thanks Mom. 😉 I guess I’m okay at the basic math at least, thank goodness I don’t need algebra to garden. lol


  10. I just got some Solomon’s seal like last year and am looking forward to dividing. I did not know so thanks! Can’t wait til it grows big enough now:)

    It mulitplies pretty quickly about the 2nd season in the garden Tina. I bought one small root & now I have tons of it. Glad this post was helpful to you.


  11. Racquel, this posting is so helpful. I didn’t like math as a kid, either–but doesn’t it prove useful in the most wonderful places!

    Thanks Cosmo, glad my post was helpful. It does seem to be a part of everyday living. From cooking to gardening.


  12. What a clever post today! I really enjoyed this one Racquel. Plus you know I can’t resist propagating. 😉 I’m a little overzealous with it but I find it fun to be able to share my plants with everyone.

    Thanks Cynthia. I’m glad you enjoyed my post today. 🙂 Division, propagating & layering are wonderful ways to fill a garden economically as well as share with friends.


  13. Hi Racquel, excellent tutorial on dividing. Lots of people are afraid of hurting their plants and don’t divide them and wonder why they dwindle. My favorite of your list is the solomen’s seal. It is such a hard worker in the shady garden and colors well for fall too. One plant will give you as many as you want in a short time. I wish my hostas were large enough to divide, they keep getting smaller and smaller with these drought years we are having. Some have died out completely. Maybe next year will be better for us.
    (Sorry to end on a sad note. It was a beautiful fall like day here.)

    Thanks Frances. It does amaze me that people are afraid of dividing plants. This was something I started early on before I even knew the proper way & most of the time the plants survived. 🙂 Solomon’s Seal is one of my favorite shade perennials too, I love the variegated foliage on mine, the flowers are quite insignificant. My hostas have been suffering lately too. The only ones that have done well are the Royal Standards, they don’t seem as susceptible to the drought. I hope next season brings us better weather too for the garden. Have a great weekend. 🙂


  14. Racquel, I always did wonder what your name was. That’s a great name!

    You know, it’s funny but I hated math in school too!!! I have to admit I’m the worse at dividing up plants. I don’t really enjoy doing that chore much.

    Right now I do have some daylillies that need dividing. Got a trip planned to MS anytime soon?

    Thank you Susie. I appreciate the compliment about my name. 🙂 Dividing plants is one of my favorite chores, because I anticipate how wonderful they will look next year. Sorry, lol no trips to MS planned anytime soon. You will have to take the bull by the horn. I need to divide my Stella’s too. 🙂


  15. Divide and conquer! I love your new diggs. It’s pretty around here. I just added your new url and name;)

    Thanks Anna. I’m glad you like the new “diggs” and that you added me to your blogroll again.


  16. Raquel, many of my plants including the roses are pass along plants. Fantastic post.


    Those are some the best kinds Debbi. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. 🙂


  17. Great post–and here I thought I didn’t have much use for math! I need to divide many of my plants, especially the daylilies, but I was going to wait till spring. Do you think fall is a better time?

    Thanks Rose, I really do this fall is a better time to divide most perennials, because the majority of them are done blooming or starting to go dormant. Spring is the 2nd best time.


  18. Racquel,
    I plan on moving all my coneflowers…E purpurea to a different bed, I do love moving plants about…it’s so much fun; I can tell you enjoy it, too. Your new wordpress home is fantastic…please give me the nudge to finish setting mine up! It’s transplant experience that I am unsure of! Gail

    Hi Gail! Looks like moving plants around in the garden is something we have in common, lol. I really do enjoy it! 🙂 Thanks so much, you should definitely finish setting your wordpress home up, it’s been a great transition for me, and fairly painless since you are able to upload your archive of posts from blogger into wordpress. The blogroll was the only tedious thing.


  19. Hi Raquel, so nice to be on a first-name basis! I love being able to divide perennials. With as frequently as I’ve moved over the past decade, bringing divisions with me to new gardens has been a great money-saver while still leaving the original plants for the new home owners. Each time I’ve moved, potting up divisions from the garden has been the first “packing” I’ve done.

    Hi Linda, it is nice isn’t it. 🙂 That is a wonderful example of how division makes it possible to bring the plants you love with you when you move. That’s what I would do too, if I ever move from here.


  20. Posted by patientgardener on September 22, 2008 at 7:10 am

    I didnt know Solomon’s Seal was so easy to divide – I will have a go once mine has bulked up abit.

    Glad I could pass on some useful info PG! 🙂


  21. Thanks for visiting my blog . Yours is pretty interesting too!

    YW LB! Thanks!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: