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A Tip For Dividing Plants

A Tip For Dividing Plants

By Bluestone Perennials

We’re all for working smarter, not harder. When it comes time to divide a plant (either to refresh or to multiply it) and you like where it's located in your garden—don't dig the whole clump.

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Here’s what you can do:

  • Cut back the tops, usually 6 to 10 inches, so you can see what you’re doing.
  • Think of the plant like a pie and first cut vertically down with a shovel or spade. Just be careful not to stomp all the way down to avoid crushing the crown of the plant.
  • You can cut any number of slices you wish. For this discussion, let's say quarters.
  • After cutting vertically down—dig inward, starting about 6 inches away from the plant and angling in towards the bottom (underneath) at about a 45 degree angle. Do this just on the sections you will be removing. You don’t want to disturb the part of the plant that’s staying behind.

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  • Now dig and remove your new starts. Voilà, your garden is now a nursery! The more dirt you can leave attached to your "new" plants the better.
  • You’ll want to fill dirt back in where you just dug. I like to use the soil from the new holes I'm digging as I’m moving my plants into their new homes.

This technique works for all the dividable plants, but is especially useful on large ornamental grasses; it can be a bear to dig up the whole clump. The section of plant left undisturbed will quickly fill back in, and in short order, you'll never know you've been there!

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