Dividing Your Perennials
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How to Have Great Results When Dividing Your Perennials
There's a lot of different reasons to divide perennials. Sometimes it's a health concern. Given how quickly some perennials can grow, it's essential to ensure they have the proper amount of space. And sometimes, it's simply a matter of wanting to move plants to new locations. But whatever the reason, it's essential to divide one's perennials properly. Thankfully it's pretty easy to do so.
The first thing to keep in mind is that timing matters. Dividing the perennials can cause a lot of stress for the plants. The best way to ensure the proper recovery is to ensure that the perennial plants have a relatively moist and relaxed environment. That means that the ideal time to do so will be between spring and fall in most locations. If you need to divide the plants during other periods, you can help them out by providing them with generous amounts of water afterward.
Next, you'll want to begin by isolating the clump and loosening the roots in the area. To do so, you need to insert your shovel very deeply into the surrounding soil. Again, this is a reason why spring is the ideal time to divide perennials. The moisture and humidity will help keep the soil malleable.
The next part can be a bit nerve-wracking, but the plant should be fine if you've correctly worked the surrounding soil. It would be best if you got your shovel underneath the root ball. Then, move the shovel around a bit. Think of loosening the lid on a jar. Instead of a single forceful movement, go slow and steady. Then lift the shovel and the plant and root ball. Care is critical during the process as roots are easily damaged. Then carefully wash off dirt and soil from the root ball.
The next part will also require a bit of extra care. Any time you're working with the roots, you should be especially mindful of their delicate nature. But that nature will also help as you split the crowns. You'll want to either use your hands to separate the crowns or use a knife to do so. It's important to remember that the clumps will all require their leaves and roots to grow. The idea is to ensure that each new clump looks like a plant. That will mean that they have all of the structures needed to keep perennial plants alive.
Finally, you'll need to replant your perennials. The plant will have a general preference for their location. So when replanting them, it's essential to try to keep them at about the same height in the soil. That will also help ensure that they have the proper amount of support. Add in some mulch to help them heal up afterward as well. And if it's scorched, be a bit more generous than usual when watering them.