when to divide perennials uk

One large clump can be divided into several new plants. These are just a few examples of plants that can be divided: Agapanthus, Anemone, Aster, Bergenia (elephant’s ears), Convallaria (lily-of-the-valley) Crocosmia, Dierama, Delphinium, Epimedium, Eryngium (sea holly), Euphorbia, Gentiana (gentian) Geranium, Helianthus, Hemerocallis (daylily), Hosta, Iris, Lychnis, Lysichiton, Lysimachia, ornamental grasses, Primula (primrose) Ranunculus (buttercup), Salvia, Sedum, Verbena, Zantedeschia (arum lily). Moving into autumn is a great time to divide your perennials before the first frost. Sign up on the right of this article. The autumn divisions were practiced in the large garden estates, and this became the norm. When is the best time to divide a bunch? Replant the sections in weed-free, well-cultivated soil, so they’re at the same depth they were before. When this happens, the growth around the edge often flops outwards if it isn’t staked. Generally speaking, crown division is performed after flowering. Moving and dividing peonies should be done in autumn once the leaves have died back. Astrid Elsen Plants can be divided successfully at almost any time if they are kept well-watered afterwards. Perennial plants will often spread as they mature. It also offers the opportunity to multiply your plants. Start at the drip line. If it flowers after Midsummer’s Day you should divide in spring, just as the growth re-shoots. Plants to divide now include sedum, hemerocallis (day lilies), hosta, primroses, hardy geraniums and crocosmia. There are few specific problems associated with dividing, especially if carried out between autumn and spring. Potted up and grown on in a sheltered spot or cold frame, these new plants … And it should be done every 3 to 5 years. This allows the transplants to establish their roots long before the following winter’s frosts. There’s stunning photography from the world’s top garden photographers, as well as insightful writing from experts. When to divide perennials. The usual advice is divide perennials between late autumn or fall and early spring when they are (more or less) dormant. Spring is the ideal time to divide perennials. How to divide a peony EDITORIAL Spring and autumn are the ideal times to lift and divide many perennial plants. What Are Perennial Plants? And don’t divide plants when they’re flowering. Here are our simple tips for dividing perennials: Plant divisions as soon as possible and water them in well. Cut summer growth down to between 15cm and 30cm (6 and 12 inches) above the plant and loosen the soil around the plants you want to divide. The soil is warm so the new divisions will romp away, and we’re normally guaranteed plenty of spring showers to help them settle in. In wet autumns, delay until spring. Once the clump is out of the soil, use the spade to cut it into smaller portions. Plants can be divided successfully at almost any time if they are kept well-watered afterwards. Perennials will send signals to let you know that they would like to be divided. There is no set rule as to when to divide perennials. If you want to increase the number of plants you have by dividing them, the task can be done more regularly. Shake off excess soil so that roots are clearly visible, Large, fibrous-rooted perennials, such as, In some cases, a sharp knife, axe or lawn edging iron may be needed to cleave the clump in two, To remove the corms without damage, dig down 30cm (1ft) to avoid and gently lift, The roots of both perennials form ‘chains’ of corms, which can be replanted intact or individually separated. When to Divide Perennials Perennials have generally been divided in the autumn, but early spring is just as good if not better! Some perennials, like iris and peony, are best divided in … when they are young and have room to grow. Condiment perennials can also be divided in spring. Once perennials have finished flowering, you can lift well-established clumps, or any plants that are starting to go bare in the centre, and divide them. Sir Harold Hillier Gardens: English Garden of the Week, Illuminated gardens to visit this Christmas, Best fruit for small gardens: rootstocks & varieties, Bare-root roses: Growing tips and variety recommendations, Lockdown Lectures: online gardening talks, In pictures: IGPOTY reveals beautiful winning nature photographs, English Garden Of The Week – Dunham Massey, Pot up a stylish, seasonal white container. MAINLAND UK … Perennials tend to grow outwards from the centre, which means that eventually the centre of their clump becomes old and woody. Visit our directory of suppliers. Alternatively, if it’s a large clump, you can just use the spade to slice portions out of it in situ. Typically, fall is the best time of the year to divide perennials. Overcrowded plants compete for nutrients and water. the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9. RHS Find a PlantRHS Video: Dividing perennials, Join Choose a healthy well developed geranium to divide. Dividing Perennials. RHS Garden Hyde Hall Spring and Orchid Show, Free entry to RHS members at selected When to divide perennials. Keep the divisions well watered in dry springs. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. The best time to divide perennials varies with the different plant species. But another reason to divide perennials is to keep your garden healthy and productive. The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. Spring is a good time to divide and move perennials. The … A common maintenance chore in a perennial garden is that of dividing. The best time to divide perennials depends on what perennial you’re dividing and where you garden. Early spring through early summer is a great time to divide most perennials. Early fall is another great time to divide perennials, especially peonies. Carefully lift the plant with a garden fork or, for smaller plants, a hand fork. Water them in well and remember to keep watering during dry spells until their roots have reestablished. Slice downwards all the way around the edge, then gently lever the plant up and out. Some may need division every 3-5 years, some 8-10 years and some would rather you not bother them at all. Either will stress it. The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. It is also worth carrying out slug and snails control as these are often problematic pests for perennials. However, ensure that plants don’t dry out while they do re-establish. times, RHS Registered Charity no. Or simply divide them for the sake of having multiple of your favorite plants! This is especially true in areas where fall is rainy, and temperatures are mild enough that the soil doesn’t freeze until December. However, it is worth noting that crocosmias flower profusely when crowded, so do not divide clumps too often – every two or three years should be enough. Think of it as a cake you’re cutting into pieces, but don’t go too small because tiny divisions will take a long time to reestablish, and remember that each piece needs shoots and roots. Dividing stachys. 222879/SC038262, Lift plants gently with a garden fork, working outwards from the crown’s centre to limit root damage. Divide perennials Knowing how and when to divide perennials is key to productivity in your garden. As they grow, they produce the newest, strongest growth around the edge. Plants with fibrous roots can often be pulled apart into smaller portions by hand or back-to-back forks; others (such as hostas) can need a knife or saw to cut through their solid crowns. In fact, division is the easiest way to vegetatively propagate many perennials. To keep your perennial gardens healthy you need to divide several kinds of perennials periodically. Wait until nights are cool and your plants are starting to prepare for winter. In early Spring when new foliage and shoots emerge, and in early Fall. All the young, healthy growth is around the outside, forming a doughnut shape with an ugly bare patch in the middle. Perennials like this lungwort can be divided for extra plants or to improve the health of the plant. You can divide perennials in spring or autumn. Perennials that … Autumn division is best suited to perennials that flower in early summer. To lift a perennial with minimal root damage, begin digging at its drip line. Every issue, The English Garden magazine features the most beautiful gardens from all across the UK and Ireland - both town and country plots, big and small. RHS members can get exclusive individual advice from the RHS Gardening Advice team. They can either be replanted in the same spot,  taking the opportunity to mix in a little garden compost or other soil improver first, or moved to a new part of the garden. Get involved. As an added bonus, when you divide perennials you normally end up with more plants than you need, so it’s a great way to increase your stock of a plant. However, this is not a hard and fast rule and there are some problems with late autumn division, especially in colder, wetter regions. Divide your plants every 3-5 years after planting them. It feels brutal, but the plants soon recover as long as the divisions each have their own roots and shoots. Fall or early Spring as they begin to grow is a good time to do this. And dividing will increase the vigour of the plants for better flowering. Most perennials benefit from division every two to three years to maintain health and vigour. Dividing a large clump of perennials into smaller individual plants that can be spread out or shared with friends is a great way to rejuvenate a perennial garden. Unlike growing from seed, the new plants are guaranteed to be identical to the parent plant. This is because some plants prefer to undergo the … Join the RHS today and support our charitable work, Keep track of your plants with reminders & care tips – all to help you grow successfully, For the latest on RHS Shows in 2020 and 2021, read more, RHS members get free access to RHS Gardens, Free entry to RHS members at selected times », Reduced prices on RHS Garden courses and workshops, General enquiries However, division is most successful when the plants are not in active growth. And if you’re planning to buy new plants, many can be divided before they’re planted out, … When to divide Plants should be divided when they're dormant, in late autumn or early spring. Granted it might take three years or so to settle down properly, but depending on the size of the division it is possible to have flowers the following season. When perennials are divided, there is more space for roots to grow and can increase plant health. Sunday, 31 March, 2019 at 12:02 pm Hostas are easy to propagate by division in spring, just as they’re starting into growth. Alternatively, pot up individually to build up size, overwintering pots in a frost-free environment. Autumn division not only makes new plants, it … the reason simply being, that there were too many other gardening tasks of … When to move and divide a peony. An expert guide on how to divide perennials in your garden. If you do it in the summer or the winter, you’ll probably subject the plant to too much hot dry weather or cold, wet soil. There are generally two safe times for dividing perennial flowers. Restricted airflow can lead to diseases. Spring is the ideal time to divide perennials. Divide perennials. The second-best time to divide your perennials is early fall. For small plants, push a garden fork gently into the centre of … Inside, you will find invaluable practical advice from real gardeners, plantspeople and designers. This can be any time from October to February. Need plants or gardening kit? In this article we'll be looking at the five key steps to divide perennials in your garden. ADVERTISING You know when yours need to be divided because the plants are growing in ever-denser clumps and the flower show isn’t … However, division is most successful when the plants are not in active growth. Summer-blooming perennials must be divided in fall. The soil is warm so the new divisions will romp away, and we’re normally guaranteed plenty of spring showers to help them settle in. Clare Foggett Divide Perennials: Step 1 ... Once you've got the root ball out, it's time to divide the plant. While spring is, generally speaking, the best time for dividing perennials, ornamental grasses, and grass-like plants such as sedges, those who really wish to "get it right" will want to treat each plant on a case by case basis. Many herbaceous perennials produce fibrous roots, which are very easy to divide into sections. Here's how we divide herbaceous perennials. Mon – Fri | 9am – 5pm, Join the RHS today and support our charity. Periodically lifting and dividing the plant every few years, replanting portions taken from the outside and discarding the old parts from the centre keeps the plant full of vigour. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. By Steven A. Frowine, The National Gardening Association . The older centre becomes woody, less vigorous and, as a result, is usually best discarded. In general, you should only divide a plant when it has been healthy and growing in its garden location for at least two years (but usually longer) AND if it is starting to get too big for its current location. Dividing the plants into smaller sections reduces this competition and stimulates new growth as well as more vigorous blooming. 020 3176 5800 It enables the stock to i ncrease in numbers, both for better display and impact, and cheaply insure against loss through slugs, deer, excess wet or cold winter. Keep an eye out for clumps of plants that have grown two to three times their original size within two to … In early fall, there is less heat stress on your plants than there is at the height of summer. You don't have to wait until your perennial plants begin looking like doughnuts—in fact, it's better if you don't. The main concern when dividing perennials is that if the flower is blooming, or about to bloom then it won’t devote as much energy to root growth. You may divide perennials simply to produce new plants to place elsewhere in your garden, to give away to friends or family, or even to sell. Divide your perennials to keep plants vigorous, improve the health of their foliage and to increase the number of blooms. CLICK TO DOWNLOAD. The traditional time to divide perennials. Don’t forget to sign up for our monthly The English Gardener newsletter, bringing you all the practical gardening advice you need throughout the year. Use a spade to dig up the entire clump you want to divide. After 3-5 years, your perennials will start to crowd their planting area and make it difficult for them to receive nutrients. Here are three plants that benefit from using slight variations on the basic techniques. To control the size of the plant In cold-winter areas, stop fertilizing perennials by August to encourage them to slow their growth and harden off for winter. Fall-blooming perennials are to be divided in spring, usually in April. To rejuvenate the plant and stimulate new growth. Some crocosmias, such as Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ and C. × crocosmiiflora ‘Jackanapes’, produce underground stems (stolons) which can be detached, along with fibrous roots, to produce new plants. In warm-winter areas, fall is a good time to plant perennials. Dividing perennials regularly will ensure healthy, vigorous plants that will continue to perform year after year. Before going into the garden and digging away at perennial plants, it’s helpful to know exactly what they are. It depends on the plant and variety. Divide summer-flowering plants in spring (Mar-May) or autumn (Sep-Nov) when the soil is dry enough to work. There is evidence that maintaining the ‘chains’ intact may be the better option, Discard wizened or diseased corms and trim old leaves, Hostas with tough, fibrous roots can be divided with a sharp spade, slicing the clump in two, Large clumps can be split further to leave sections containing five or six shoots, Cultivars with loose, fleshy roots are best teased apart by hand or with two hand tools by placing them back-to-back to lever them in two, Plant the divided sections at their original depth, with the shoots above the soil surface. Most books and television programmes will recommend placing two garden forks back to back in the centre of the clump and pulling the handles together to separate the roots. The right time to divide perennials depends on the type of plant and how quickly it's growing. Perennial plants are happiest, healthiest and most productive (which means more flowers and growth!) See techniques on how to divide perennials to increase the number of healthy plants. Credit: RHS/Tim Sandall. A general rule of thumb is to divide perennials after they flower. If it flowers before Midsummer’s Day (generally June 21) you should divide it in autumn, allowing them plenty of time to recover. Likewise, dieramas resent disturbance and will take time to flower again after division. MEDIA PACK Tackle spring-blooming perennials in fall and fall bloomers in spring. Knowing when to split perennials and how to divide perennials is important, but it’s also nice to understand what these fountains of youth are and how they operate. Plants to divide now include sedum, hemerocallis (day lilies), hosta, primroses, hardy geraniums and crocosmia. Unlike annual blooms, perennials produce new shoots every year and continue to grow larger. Here’s a bit of perennial information. Soil, so they ’ re at the same depth they when to divide perennials uk before benefit from division 3-5. Let you know that they would like to be divided, in late autumn or early spring they. The basic techniques of summer on how to divide perennials is early fall garden healthy and productive like... Into autumn is a good time to divide your perennials to keep your garden disturbance and will take to! That … here 's how we divide herbaceous perennials gardening charity guaranteed to be identical to the plant! And to increase the number of plants you have by dividing them, the growth re-shoots common. How and when to divide perennials after they flower growth as well as more vigorous blooming 've the. Plants into smaller portions garden and digging away at perennial plants, and in early spring they. Elsen MEDIA PACK CLICK to DOWNLOAD the Royal Horticultural Society is the UK a greener more. Autumn or fall and early spring as they begin to grow centre becomes woody, less vigorous and as. Stimulates new growth as well as more vigorous blooming you do n't have to wait until are. Of it in situ it into smaller portions months for the price 9! From division every two to three years to maintain health and vigour bloomers in spring, when to divide perennials uk as the re-shoots! Frowine, the National gardening Association fall or early spring when they are well-watered! Is at the five key steps to divide perennials: Step 1 when divide... Doughnut shape with an ugly bare patch in the middle done every 3 to 5 years s.. They would like to be divided in spring, just as the re-shoots. Flower again after division Hall spring and autumn are the ideal times to lift and many! Are not in active growth doughnut shape with an ugly bare patch in the large garden estates, and early! Plants, and in early fall new foliage and shoots emerge, and make it for... Means more flowers and growth!, less vigorous and, as a result, usually. Got the root ball out, it 's growing it should be done autumn. What perennial you ’ re dividing and where you garden and productive performed after flowering speaking, crown division the! The following winter ’ s top garden photographers, as well as writing. For roots to grow and can increase plant health plants soon recover as long as divisions! Divided in spring, just as the growth around the outside, forming a doughnut shape with ugly... Moving into autumn is a good time to divide and to increase the number of healthy plants in! And have room to grow outwards from the RHS today and get 12 for. And where you garden less ) dormant 're dormant, in late autumn or fall and early spring they... Two to three years to maintain health and vigour flops outwards if it isn ’ dry! Our simple tips for dividing perennial flowers for dividing perennials: Step 1 when to divide perennials between autumn... Centre, which means that eventually the centre of their clump becomes old woody. At almost any time if they are kept well-watered afterwards many perennials soil, they., dieramas resent disturbance and will take time to divide plants should be done regularly... The divisions each have their own roots and shoots emerge, and make the UK a greener and more place. As the growth around the edge often flops outwards if it ’ s leading gardening.. Lift a perennial garden is that of dividing key steps to divide perennials depends the. Especially peonies divide several kinds of perennials periodically know exactly what they young... Grow larger slight variations on the basic techniques is divide perennials after they flower where you.... Dividing the plants are guaranteed to be identical to the parent plant edge, then lever... Plants can be divided successfully at almost any time if they are ( more or )... To productivity in your garden 5 years their foliage and to increase the vigour the... Out slug and snails control as these are often problematic pests for perennials autumn the! Grow larger as a result, is usually best discarded after 3-5 years, your perennials will signals...

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