Weekend DIY: Dividing Perennials

With every dropping leaf, we are reminded fall is here. And as you shed a tear at each fading bloom in your garden, don’t forget – those bountiful perennials that provide summer-long color will be back before you know it next spring. But before you hang up your shovel and gardening gloves, keep them out a weekend or two longer. You’ve got some perennials to divide (and fall bulbs to plant)!

dividing perennials


If you’re looking for more bang for your buck when it comes to gardening, than perennials are a great investment. Overtime perennials should to be divided to allow for proper growth of the existing plant, but once you divide them, you magically have more to plant elsewhere in your garden and enjoy. As perennials get more compact, they fight for nutrients and water, so don’t skip this simple and rewarding step.

Check out these Instructions from the blog, FlowerBulbCrazy:

  1. Make sure you do not divide perennials while they are flowering. Save those to divide in spring
  2. Cloudy days work best, so you can work as slow as you like. Then the roots will not dry out.
  3. Cut back perennials before digging them out.
  4. When diving perennials dig up the entire root ball and then split it with shovel or sharp spade. If needed, use a hose to remove dirt so you can better see which roots can be easily divided.
  5. Now you are ready to replant your perennials, plant at the proper depth in well-draining soil and after re-planting be sure to provide enough water until it thoroughly soaks through the soil.
  6. Keep the new and old perennials well-watered over the next few weeks to ensure great establishment in their new location.

Here are a few other tips we came across for successfully dividing perennials:

  • If you can, plan to divide perennials just a few days before a rain shower
  • Use organic soil and add nutrients to new soil to help promote healthy growth
  • In many perennials, one stem likely triples or quadruples itself each year, so don’t be too strict in dividing
  • Don’t replant parts of the perennials that don’t look healthy
  • Spread out the roots in a starburst pattern i the hole you’ve dug to promote healthy roots and to prevent them from getting too compact again too fast

A few other fall gardening chores to include in your weekend outside: bringing your container plants indoors to avoid being swallowed by the cold, planting flower bulbs, and harvesting seeds from perennials and flowers, and again you’ll have more to grow.

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