We like to get the most out of our gardens in every situation, and that means making sure that our perennials are in good shape. To keep our gardens looking amazing, we need to make dividing perennials a part of our yearly routine. A garden in which you take the time for separating plants is a healthier and happier place for your flowers and veggies.
When you divide perennials regularly, you ensure that your plants get the nutrition and growing space they need to thrive. Our guide helps you find the perfect plants for folks who wish to include splitting perennials into their gardening tasks.
In this article, you’ll get a rundown of flowers and grasses that will reward regular division with brilliant sights and delightful scents. We also give you some tips on dividing perennials so that you wind up with contented plants. Before long, your yard will be awash with a fireworks display of colors.
How to Divide Perennials
Perennials usually grow wherever you decide to plant them without needing much encouragement. The easiest perennials to grow are just a step or two up from weeds and will take to the soil no matter the time of year.
However, you can give your perennials a better shot at thriving if you take a few precautions. Most of them will take off and sprout like mad if you give them the right growing conditions.
There are so many different types of perennials that it can be challenging to choose just one or two. If you have an issue with unwanted bugs, try planting lavender as they are perennials that repel mosquitoes and they only need to be divided every few years.
When Should I Plant Dividing Perennials?
Try to plant your separating plants after the final frost of spring has passed unless you are planting seeds that require a freeze to start germinating. Check your local agriculture office for specific planting information that addresses your regional environment.
They’ll be able to give you a reliable planting timetable for your perennials. You can also get tips from them on how to get rid of grub worms and other pests.
How Do I Prepare for Splitting Perennials?
Your first goal when splitting perennials should be to get the job done early. Don’t wait until your perennials are overcrowded and unhappy. When you get ready for separating plants, you should look around for the best-looking perennials.
Dividing perennials when they are at their peak ensures that all parts of the division will be healthy and ready to grow. Make sure that the weather is cool, too, to help your plants bounce back more quickly.
Start by preparing the area. Clean pathways with a pressure washer to have a clear surface upon which to work. Next, select the number of plants you wish to divide and give them a thorough inspection.
Check them for damage caused by injury, nutrition issues, or pests. To make your workspace a more beautiful place to operate, consider placing some natural insect-repellent plants as a home remedy to get rid of gnats to make time in the garden more enjoyable.
What is the Best Method for Separating Plants?
When you’ve identified the splitting perennials you wish to divide, you should begin by loosening the earth with a garden fork. Then, dig at the drip line around the center of the plant with a sharp spade. That allows you to get all of the roots out without injuring the plants.
Make a trench around the plants until you have a whole clump of earth that contains the root ball. Once you have plants out of the ground, don’t let them dry out. Place them under some damp newspaper and in a shaded and cool container.
Take this opportunity to fertilize the soil in advance of your replanting to help your divided perennials do well. The rule of thumb is to divide plants into sections no larger than a quarter of the original plant’s size.
You might need to use a small sharp knife or spade to separate some woody or fleshy root systems. Try to divide by hand whenever possible to avoid traumatizing the plants. Spread the new divisions out, and give them lots of space to grow.
Bee Balm (Monarda fistulosa) – Excellent Dividing Perennials
When you want perennial plants that produce lovely purple-and-white flowers and attract beneficial flyers, you can’t go wrong with Bee Balm. Bee Balm will knock you out with its good looks and is perfect for folks who enjoy separating plants. Bee Balm plants live up to their name and attract pollinators including bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies.
Try to pick a few Bee Balm flowers regularly to encourage additional growth. Keep the soil moist and well-fertilized for best results. Some pollinators attract cats and other small predators into your garden.
Fortunately, you can find lots of excellent DIY tips on how to keep cats out of your yard. Divide the Bee Balm plant in either the early spring or late fall.
Garden Phlox (Phlox paniculata)
Do you like your perennial garden to come in spectacular colors? You won’t want to miss the Garden Phlox. Garden Phlox is one of the most cheerful and easy to care for perennials and rewards your care with amazing panicles of lavender, white, and pink.
Also known as Summer Phlox, Garden Phlox is the sort of perennial your garden likes to host. Garden Phlox loves sunshine, so make sure to plant it in spots that get lots of light exposure.
Plant your new plants in the early spring for best results. Give your plants at least a foot and a half of free space. You’ll need to keep the soil moist; consider adding a layer of mulch to help retain water.
Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
Perhaps you’re looking for a perennial that can take the heat and ask for more. If you live in warm and arid conditions, check out the Black-Eyed Susan. Black-Eyed Susans are familiar sights in gardens across the Southern United States.
They’re just what you need when you want a yard of hardy separating plants. You should deadhead, or remove spent flowers, from your Black-Eyed Susans regularly to encourage new blooms and to focus the plant’s energy on new growth. These long blooming perennials delight people and pollinators alike.
Make sure your plants grow in neutral pH soil for best results. Try to pair your Black-Eyed Susans with rosemary or lavender to keep furry visitors at bay.
German Bearded Iris (Iris germanica) – Perfect for Splitting Perennials
You’ve probably seen the German Bearded Iris in lots of traditional gardens, and for a good reason. These attractive and easy-care plants produce gorgeous flowers of blue and purple and reward your care all season long. They’re just what the doctor ordered when you’re looking for dividing perennials.
Plant your German Bearded Iris in the spring or early summer from rhizomes. Don’t plant them too deep in the soil, though, because that could lead to root rot. Make sure the soil in which you plant them is well-drained and loamy. Divide the German Bearded Iris every two or three years to keep them happy.
Bleeding Heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis)
If you ever run across this remarkable flowering perennial, you won’t soon forget it. These distinctive plants first produce blue and green leaves when they wake up in early spring. Then, they explode into their trademark red-and-white flowers that resemble drooping hearts on the vine.
They’re ideal separating plants. Water your Bleeding Heart flowers regularly, and make sure they live in organic soil with lots of nutrients.
Fertilize the plants as needed to keep them well-fed and comfortable. Apply compost and mulch to them as part of your regular gardening routine, and keep them out of direct sunlight. Divide your Bleeding Heart plants as needed.
Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
Do you like having your garden filled with friendly flying creatures such as hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies? The Butterfly Weed will make sure you always have visitors that pollinate and flit through the air from spring through fall. Butterfly Weed is a tall perennial with a substantial presence and lots of orange or red blooms.
These drought tolerant perennial plants fit well in most gardens and add a bright spot of color that you can enjoy for months. Butterfly Weed is well named and can grow in virtually any conditions. You can grow them in hot or cold climates and sandy, loamy, or rocky soil without much in the way of nutrients.
Butterfly Weed attracts few pests; just keep an eye on it. Once the plants establish themselves, you can divide them yearly.
Chinese Peony (Paeonia lactiflora) – Ideal for Separating Plants
The Chinese Peony is precisely what you need when you’re looking for a beautiful and hardy plant that can grow without much care. Chinese Peonies have dark green, narrow leaves that offset their amazing pink blossoms that explode from the plant.
Best of all, you can divide them easily and create an entire garden of color without much effort. As an added bonus, peonies are some of the most fragrant perennials you can find. The air explodes with their sweet aroma. Cut a few to put in a vase inside to enjoy for several days.
Plant your Chinese Peonies in less than two inches of soil to allow them to find their way to the surface. When it’s time to divide them, you’ll need to use a knife to cut the roots back to approximately six inches away from the crowns. Try to replant in a reasonable amount of time to keep the divided plants from drying out.
Oriental Poppy (Papaver orientale)
If you like to make sure that your garden plants are tried and true before you add them to your collection, you’ll love the Oriental Poppy. Oriental Poppies are some of the oldest cultivated plants around and offer vivid color to any area of the yard. These attractive plants are simple to plant and don’t require much care, and they are a dream when it comes to separating plants.
Poppies prefer dry conditions and do best when they have cooler weather. Plant Oriental Poppies in bright sunlight if you can. You should fertilize them once a year, and never overwater them. Divide your Oriental poppies at the end of each growing season to keep them looking their best.
As an added incentive to plant these beautiful flowers, they are one of the more popular deer proof perennials. Deer may take a nibble once, but the plant will upset their stomachs and they will be unlikely to try it again.
Chinese Silver Grass (Miscanthus sinensis)
Your garden shouldn’t only contain flowering plants, of course. Be sure that you have lots of different plant types to give your yard depth. Chinese Silver Grass is just what your garden needs to provide that extra texture.
It’s a handsome and easy-care plant that divides in a snap and is one of the best ornamental grasses around. Chinese Silver Grass can get out of control if you don’t keep an eye on it. Weed and tend to your Chinese Silver Grass regularly, and divide it whenever it begins to get overgrown.
Divide the grass every spring at the start of the growing season. Replant what you need of the divided plant, and get ready for a beautiful and exciting display.
Autumn Joy Sedum (Sedum x ‘Autumn Joy’) – Beautiful Splitting Perennials
When selecting dividing perennials, look for the plants that will thrive in your local environment without needing a lot of attention. Autumn Joy Sedum plants fit that bill perfectly. When you plant Autumn Joy Sedums, you get a hardy plant that will do well in a range of soil and moisture conditions.
You can also eat your Autumn Joy Sedum if you wish. Cook the leaves and stems to make a top-notch indigestion remedy. And, Autumn Joy Sedum leaves reduce inflammation and soothe burns and rashes. Grow your new Autumn Joy Sedum from cut stems. Plant the stems in the springtime to keep your plants looking fantastic.
Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis)
Do you like your perennials to be fragrant and gorgeous? You’ll fall in love with the Lily of the Valley. This plant enjoys all kinds of environments from arid to moist and produces white, bell-shaped blossoms that spread a delicate and delightful aroma across your yard.
Plant your Lily of the Valley in the fall, and make sure it’s in the ground before the weather gets too cold and the ground freezes. The plant needs cold spells to send it into dormancy for the winter. Divide your Lily of the Valley in either the fall or early winter for best results. The plant’s rhizomes split easily and take to new planting without much trouble.
False Indigo (Baptisia australis) – Lovely Separating Plants
When you have a garden but not a lot of free time, you want plants that require little to no regular care. The False Indigo will be perfect for your needs. A member of the pea family, the False Indigo spreads quickly and erupts into white and indigo spikes.
This remarkable prairie plant is just what your garden wants. Give your False Indigo plants time to mature. The plant can take as long as three years to start producing flowers from new shoots, so have some patience.
Give the False Indigo lots of sunlight and enough water to establish itself. Once it has a foothold, it will take off and grow without needing any further help from you.
Siberian Iris (Iris sibirica)
Your garden doesn’t need to contain only perennials that resemble weeds. There are lots of plants that are great for dividing and also add elegance and color to your yard. The Siberian Iris will do just that and is a fantastic choice for a separating plant.
When you have a few of these plants in your garden, you add a touch of class to your home. Plant the Siberian Iris in late summer or early fall to give it the best chance to thrive.
Ensure that the soil stays moist until they establish themselves in about a year. Fertilize your Siberian Irises each spring and at the end of the blooming season. Divide the Siberian Iris clumps every three years or so.
Blanket Flower (Gaillardia aristata) – Gorgeous Dividing Perennials
If you want to find a wildflower that looks as good in your garden as in a forest field, you’ll go crazy for the Blanket Flower. The Blanket Flower grows across many areas of the United States and is an excellent choice for your home as well. They divide quickly and will give you years of pleasure as a reward for your care and attention.
Plant your Blanket Flowers in well-drained and moistened soil and place the plants in full sunlight for best results. After the plant establishes itself, you can reduce your watering, as the Blanket Flower is drought resistant. Divide your Blanket Flower every other year, and weed them regularly.
We hope that you had a blast checking out our splitting perennials article. Having a garden full of perennials means that you need to keep them divided to be happy.
Knowing the best dividing perennials is essential to having a quality garden, and our guide can help. We show you which perennials are perfect for your yard and keep your home looking its best.
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