|Who wouldn't want more of these?|
'Rozanne geranium' is a 5 star perennial which can
be divided after several years growth. That makes
more for your garden - or for your friends.
It’s that time of year when we see that the garden is coming back to life and notice that our black eyed Susan’s (Rudbeckia) are hell bent on swallowing the nearby Rhododendrons or the “nice big hosta” is a monster this year and you have to pole vault over the top of it to walk along the path. Sound familiar? So which perennials can you divide at this time of year, how do you know they need to be split (apart from the aforementioned pole vaulting through the garden) and how do you go about it?
|This Siberian iris is ready to be divided; notice how it has|
died in the center. A good sharp whack with a spade
will sort it out.
1. The ‘Stomp & Whack’ method. This is perfect for those of you with little patience, little time and hefty feet. For the seriously lazy gardener just leave the patient where it is, aim a sharp spade overhead and stamp down hard like a guillotine a few times. Assuming you weren’t wearing flip flops your feet will be fine but the plant will be dissected into chunks. Sure there’ll be a few lost leaves and bits of roots here and there but there will be enough good pieces to lift and replant elsewhere. This works really well for hostas and big grasses, and you can often yield 4-6 good sized pieces. However in defense of the humble hosta I should probably tell you that it never needs dividing for its own sake. It is happy to just keep growing bigger every year, so it only needs this brutality if you need to beat something up or the hosta has got too big for its allotted space.
|Daylilies need dividing when they no longer bloom well.|
|Heuchera 'Peach flambe' responds well to|
decapitation! I managed to propagate
a nice carpet of this variety, all from
- Don’t do this on a very sunny day; overcast, cooler weather is better.
- Division in easiest before the plant is fully leafed out
- When replanting sections there is no need to fertilizer but a handful of compost mixed in with the soil as you tuck them in isn’t a bad idea.
- Keep well watered; these little babies will be stressed enough without being thirsty too.
|Old fashioned bellfower (Campanula |
persicifolia) is a classic cottage garden
perennial. It self sows and spreads easily
but should you want to give some away
just show it that spade!