How to Grow: Dividing Perennials

Learn how to divide and care for your perennial flowers including information on which flowers to divide when and the proper way to divide common perennials such as daylilies and iris.

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In his book Pass Along Plants. Felder Rushing talks about passing a long or sharing special garden plants he’s had for years with friends, family, and neighbors. I love this idea. It’s like having a remembrance of your friend in your garden. One of the best ways to pass along a perennial flower is to divide it and, for certain perennials, now is the time to do it.

Perennial flowers come back every year and often spread, needing to be divided to grow their best. Divide summer and fall blooming perennials, such as hosta, daylily, and aster, in early spring, and divide spring bloomers, such as peonies and iris, in late summer or fall. When dividing, wait until the plants are up and growing a good 4- to 6-inches tall. With a sharp spade, dig out the whole clump and place it on a tarp. Tease the plants apart or slice them into 6-to 12-inch diameter sections with a good set of roots attached. Replant in a location with similar light and soil conditions, add a little compost to the new hole, and water well.

For this week’s garden tip, how about the snow that fell this week? While it may bend and break branches and flatten flowering tulips and daffodils, in general, the snow shouldn’t have a harmful effect on the garden. Actually the melting snow will slowly release nitrogen it captured from the atmosphere into the soil creating a faster and lusher green up. That’s why it’s often called the poor man’s fertilizer.

From the Vermont Garden Journal on Vermont Public Radio.

For more garden videos, check out the National Gardening Association



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