Dividing perennials

Thu. Apr. 25, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Dividing perennials

With our “new normal” frost date on the horizon, as I talked about on Monday, we’re looking at warmer temperatures.  Although you could argue about that after experiencing January and February of 2019!

The point being, soon you will be able to start dividing your overgrown perennials.  GENERALLY speaking, perennials can be divided every 3 years.  Hostas are one of these plants!

Divide perennials when they are peaking up about 3 to 6 inches or so.  You can divide when they’re larger but they’ll look floppy for longer.  It’s easiest on the plant to do it earlier.

hosta garden Lakeville

I had a LOT of hosta….

hosta garden Lakeville woods

A garden fork is your best friend for digging up plants.  You do minimal root damage by using a fork.

This one even has an optional foot pad

This is a video I did in 2013 from my show Dig In Minnesota.  Note:  the front of my home looks much different than in 2013!

If any of your plants have mushy parts, release them to the Great Beyond.  They’re not going to produce as you would want them to and may infect other plants.  You want to make sure that you have plenty of roots and growing points (3 to 5) for each plant.

You can use a spade, a knife or your hands to divide your plants.

To prevent disease, wipe your tools each time you make a cut.  The simplest is to wipe your tool with 70% alcohol.  There’s no need to rinse.  A 10% bleach solution is just fine but the bleach loses it’s potency in the bucket after about half an hour.  So you’ll want to refresh it.

If you have an abundance and your family, friends and neighbors don’t want any more of your bounty, you can donate them to Master Gardener plant sales or church sales or any other creative outlet.