Gardening With Perennials And Division

Gardening with perennials can be a colorful way to brighten the lawn and garden. This article gives tips on how to divide your perennials.

Are you growing those beautiful perennials and need some information on dividing these flowering plants? My suggestions may help.

Did you know that the best time of the year to divide perennials is definitely spring and also after the early summer flowering plants have finished their early growth?: this can be in August or September depending on the individual perennial plants. Nearly all fall-flowering plants can be divided in the early spring. Of course there are exceptions such as Garden Iris, Polyantha Primulas and Sweet Violet, these should be divided immediately after flowering, during June and July. Scabiosa cauasica should be divided in early spring, and the Peonies in September or October.

To divide perennials, dig up the plants and shake the soil from the roots so you can see the very best parts of the plant. This is easiest to accomplish when the soil is dry, so plants to be taken up for division should not be water before dividing. A cool, cloudy day is best for this type of work because the sensitive roots must not be exposed to injury by the sun. Care at this time should be amply repaid by the fine and beautiful blooms you will have later on.

In sunny weather, the plants may be moved to a shady spot as soon as they have been dug, and the division should be made ther. A watering can and moist burlap should be within reach to dampen and cover the roots as soon as the plants have been divided. This extra work will also be repaid by having healthy and vigorous transplanted plants.

There are certain perennials taht must be divided by hand, such as Adonis, Anemone, etc. and carefully separated by individual crowns. Others can be divided only with a knife or sharp spade. A cross-cut separating the clump into four equal parts usually suffice. Another method I have used is to force two spading forks together back to back deeply into the center of the clump. The plant may then be pried apart by using the two forks as levers, and pulling or pushing the handles toward each other.

Old plants such as Michaelmas Daisies, Achillea, Bocconia, etc. should be dug up in spring once the young shoots have appeared above ground. After the soil has been shaken out the suckers are pulled off the main stem. The strongest and best-rooted are replanted in lots of three to five. The old, central part of the plant is discarded, for it is useless now.

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