Older plants that have been growing for years will eventually start to die out in their centers. To keep them healthy, you will need to lift and divide these plants. Dividing perennials is also beneficial for controlling the size of plants and allowing them enough space to increase in number. Lastly, dividing plants helps to rejuvenate them, keeping them vigorous and blooming freely. Dividing and replanting keep rapidly spreading perennials under control. Dividing perennials is an easy and inexpensive way to gain additional plants for your garden or to share.

Benefits of Dividing Plants

Health: Many perennials grow quickly, forming large clumps. Dividing them every three to four years will prevent these clumps from dying out in the middle, leaving a large hole.

Protection: Dividing your plants will protect them from fungal diseases and insect infestations.

Beauty: Overcrowded perennials have fewer and smaller blooms than their spaced-out counterparts. They may even appear stunted. Giving your plant more room will allow them the space for more, larger blooms.

Boundaries: Dividing your plants will protect them from fungal diseases and insect infestations.

More Plants: Because you are splitting your plant, you automatically will be left with two plants of the same variety. This is perfect for adding plants to other places or trading with family, friends, and neighbors.

When to Divide:

Don’t wait until your plant looks like it is about to die to divide it. When you think the plant looks its best, divide at the end of that year. Watch out for warning signs of overcrowded plants. Smaller leaves, fewer flowers, and weaker stalks are early signs of trouble. You should also be aware of when your plant runs out of growing room on its edges.

In general, it is best to divide spring and summer blooming perennials in the fall, and fall bloomers in spring. Diving can be stressful on plants. By dividing the plant when it is not flowering, all the plant’s energy can go to root and leaf growth. They will recover better in cool, moist conditions. If you divide your perennials in the summer, make sure they are well watered.