How to divide the right perennials
Mar 16, 2023, 6:00 PM | Updated: Sep 5, 2023, 2:10 pm
SALT LAKE CITY – It will soon be time to divide perennials. With the temperatures moving up to the mid-50s, a lot of perennials will start breaking dormancy.
On the latest Greenhouse show, horticulturist Liz Hamilton joined Taun Beddes and Maria Shilaos as guest co-host. They talked about which perennials you should and shouldn’t divide and how to divide them.
“It’s worth noting that spring is the best time for the majority of perennials that you’re dividing and also that some perennials shouldn’t be divided,” Hamilton said.
How to divide perennials
The main way that Hamilton divides her perennials is by digging up the entire plant into a ball and finding a good division point. What does she mean by finding a good division point?
“I’m looking for maybe a natural break in the root ball where I’m not going to cut directly through an eye, which is a sprouting area,” she said.
After that, she’ll use her shovel to chop it in half.
The reason she likes to pull the entire plant out is because it lets her see where it would fit and rearrange it when she puts it back into the ground.
Should all perennials be divided?
There are certain plants that Hamilton suggests not dividing: plants that have a clear rosette like lupine and plants that have a woody base, such as lavender and sage.
Another thing to note is that there are some plants that you should move in the fall instead of the spring.
“Plants with large, fleshy roots do better with a fall transplant,” Hamilton said.
Shilaos has several peonies that she’s getting ready to move, but Hamilton recommends waiting a bit longer because those don’t do well with a spring transplant.
Listen to the full segment on our podcast below!