Dividing Perennials In Autumn: Which Plants And Methods To Use?

Posted on Nov 28, 2023 at 8:04 pm by Oliver C

Perennial plants are easy to grow and come back year after year to beautify flower beds and rocky gardens. However, it is common for these plants to spread over time and become too large for the space they occupy.

Why divide perennial plants?

Dividing perennial plants has several advantages:

  • Control their size: Division allows you to maintain a size that is suitable for the available space.
  • Rejuvenate the plants: Perennial plants can become exhausted over time and have a less attractive appearance. By dividing them, you get several small plants ready to be transplanted elsewhere in the garden or given to loved ones.
  • Multiply species: Division allows you to quickly create new flower beds using plants already present in your garden.

When to divide perennial plants?

The ideal time to divide perennial plants depends on their flowering period:

  • Plants that bloom in summer should preferably be divided in autumn.
  • Those that bloom later benefit from division in spring.

There are no precise rules regarding the frequency of division. It is important to observe the plant’s growth in the available space. Often, division every two or three years is necessary, but in some cases, it may be required every year.

How to divide perennial plants? Different methods

Method 1: Completely remove the plant

This technique, recommended by botanical books, involves completely uprooting the plant while preserving as many roots as possible before cutting it into two or more pieces. To do this, use a sharp shovel, knife, or pruners.

Method 2: Take parts without uprooting the plant

Less tiring, this method involves leaving the plant in place and taking certain parts to replant elsewhere. This approach also works very well and saves a considerable amount of time.

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Everything you need to know about transplanting after division

After dividing the plant, here are some tips for successful transplantation of the divided pieces:

  • Replant quickly: It is important to replant each cutting in fertile soil as soon as possible after division.
  • Add compost: Mix Passion Jardins seaweed compost with the planting soil to facilitate recovery and provide good nutrition for your perennial plants.
  • Water generously: Make sure the plant does not lack water by watering it abundantly immediately after planting and monitoring the soil moisture in the following weeks.

Some perennials to divide

  • Bearded Iris: Dividing every three to four years, after autumn flowering, revitalizes the plant and stimulates future blooming. Rhizomes should be replanted at the surface to avoid rotting.
  • Daylilies: This operation is recommended every three to four years. Autumn is ideal, as the plant goes dormant after the flowering period. Wait until the flowers have finished their cycle. Hemerocalles--300x200.png
  • Peonies: Divide them in September or October when temperatures start to drop. Prepare them by cutting the foliage to 20-40 cm, while preserving the eyes and minimizing root cutting. Plant the divisions at the appropriate depth.
  • Hostas: To avoid overcrowding and stimulate growth, divide your plants in autumn when temperatures are cooler, reducing the stress associated with summer heat. Wait until the leaves begin to fade.
  • Perennial Phlox: Divide them after their autumn flowering, ideally every four years, to promote abundant blooming.
  • Astilbes: Prefer division in autumn or spring, but autumn allows the divisions to establish themselves before winter.
  • Echinaceas: Divide them every three to four years to maintain their vitality.
  • Sedums: Some varieties, such as ‘Autumn Joy’ sedum, can be divided in autumn. Wait until the flowers fade and the stems begin to dry, then replant directly in the ground.

In summary, dividing perennial plants is a simple and effective technique for controlling the size of plants, improving their appearance, and multiplying species in your garden. Don’t forget that some plants can also benefit from fall fertilization to promote their growth and flowering. Feel free to share your tips and experiences in the comments below!


About Oliver C

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