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Dividing Plants

Dividing Plants

This is the time of year when the plant world seems to be growing like a weed. Hostas come charging out of the ground and do daylilies and many other perennials. This afternoon I dug up about a couple of dozen daylilies that I had set out in the vegetable garden last year after dividing them off the original plants. Tomorrow I will continue the process and also divide some others like the yarrow and SHASTA Daises.

How does one go about dividing these tinder plants, am I not afraid that I will damage or kill them. Well I do it with great tenderness and lots of care and match my tools to my task. The three prime tools that I will use are a sharp shovel, a semi sharp machete and either a knife or a Japanese garden knife. If I am going to replant the results in different places I dig up the whole plant and shake a lot of the dirt off so I can see the root structure.

Some pants at this point you can worry apart and not have to cut. With Hostas this will not work well. So make sure that you have a rooted section to each division and cut them apart. Keep wet until you replant or put in a pot with dirt. With plants that I intend to leave where they are, but want to divide to keep them healthy or to have more plants I simply put the shovel carefully on the top of the plant mas where when I cut I will have good sized sections that I am cutting off. Two to three inch pieces are good. Having made the decision then I jump on the shovel and pop loose the new division.

This is not the way to do butterfly weeds, Peonies and some others but for most it works well and so if you make a mistake you will still have enough plants left to make up for it. Spread the good plants around share them with a friend or if have a garden club do a plant sale.

John Acuff
Master Gardener

Nov 2018
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