Even if you hate math, that’s no reason to be intimidated by this math problem! It’s incredibly important to divide your perennials every 3 to 4 years. Especially because many varieties like to grow in large clumps. If forgotten, your perennials can develop a bare spot where the clumps were. Not only does it help your perennials look better, but dividing them is known to help prevent pests and diseases. Here’s how to make dividing your perennials the easiest math problem you ever did!
It’s best to divide your perennials in the Spring or Fall, if you decided to divide them in the Summer, be sure to keep them extremely well watered. Being divided is traumatic for plants, and they recover better in moist conditions.
To begin, decide which “clump” of your perennials you’re looking to divide. Once determined, stick your shovel directly in the ground surrounding the clump. Loosen the soil .
Next, wiggle your shovel directly under the root ball of the perennial. Remove the root ball from the soil, taking care to keep as much of it intact as possible!
Once removed from the soil, shake loose any dirt from the root system. Pull apart any separate “crowns.” It’s super important for the success of your divided perennials that you give each plant a set of roots and a few leaves.
Once separated, replant your perennials immediately. Waiting to replant can result in dry, dead roots! Cover with an appropriate amount of soil, and water immediately after replanting.
Many perennials love to be divided, but there are a few plants that are better off if left alone! It’s best that you don’t divide these select varieties: Baptisia, Bleeding Heart, Butterfly Weed, Lavender, and Oriental Poppy.