How to Divide Plants

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This post on how to divide plants has been brought to you by Duluth Trading Co. All opinions are mine and mine alone.

I love gardening and spending time outside.  If I had my way, I would be at the garden center every day buying new plants, bushes, and flowers.  Sadly, I only have so much room in the garden for plants. Each spring I find myself having to divide the plants because they are getting too crowded.

How to divide plants

How to Divide Plants

 Not everyone knows that you often need to divide plants to continue to have blooms year after year.  When the plants get too crowded, they compete for the nutrients in the soil and they just don’t get enough to be healthy.  Dividing them allows them to have the room they need.

  • Typically, if the plant comes back year after year (perennials), it will need to be divided occasionally.
  • When your plant has grown to twice its size in about two or three years, it will need to be divided. Today I am dividing and transplanting my Egyptian Walking Onions into their new home.
  • Spring is the best time to divide plants because the plant’s root system is not as developed.
  • Soak the plants well the day before you plan on dividing them or divide them the day after a good rainfall. It is less shock to the plant that way.
  • Before you dig up your plants to divide them, decide where the ones you dig up are going to go. Make sure you have a hole dug already so the divided plant is out of the ground for as little time as possible.

How to divide plants

  • Using a shovel with a sharp edge, dig up and lift out the entire plant you want to divide.
  • Try to get as much of the rootball as possible without damaging the plant.
  • Starting in the center of the plant, carefully pry the plants apart.  If you are working with a large clump, you may need to use two shovels to pry it apart in the center.

How to divide plants

  • Continue separating until the plant will fit in the area you have prepared for it.
  • If you only want to remove a small portion of the plant and it does not have a huge root system (like spreading ground cover),  you can simply dig up the portion that has spread to far.  Make sure you still water your plant well the day before to keep it from being shocked.
  • Replant the new plant in its new location as quickly as possible and water well.  Remember not to do this in the hottest part of the day or leave your plant out in the sun too long.

How to divide plants

When I’m working out in the yard, whether I’m gardening or pruning trees, I make sure that the clothes I’m wearing are comfortable and made for yard work.   I want to be able to move freely and be protected at the same time.  Duluth Trading Company makes hot weather workwear designed with athletic-inspired performance technology. The clothes I’m wearing in the photos are designed for active women who work in the garden and yard.

Terracotta Composting 50-Plant Garden Tower by Garden Tower Project

If you are looking for comfortable but rugged garden wear while you take care of your yard work, Duluth Trading Company is the place to shop.  The style and comfort make my time out in the garden even more enjoyable.

Check out my easy gardening tips.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Resources to divide plants:

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61 thoughts on “How to Divide Plants”

  1. I can't plant bulbs of any kind. Chip munks & squirrels dig them up as soon as I plant them and go into the house. Sometimes they just leave them there for me to see. It's very discouraging. Any ideas?
    Reply
    • Hi Marilyn - Try sprinkling red pepper flakes around the bulbs when you plant them. It won't hurt the squirrels or chipmunks but they don't like it either so they won't try to eat them.
      Reply
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  3. Thanks so much for sharing this in my gardening linky this week! I really need to do this to my day lilies but have never divided plants before! Great tips!
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  4. Excellent.  Thanks for this post. I am needing to divide SO many of our plants. The landscape is very over-run as it was ignored for many years and we are new owners. 
    Reply
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    Reply
  8. These gloves look really nice: http://women.duluthtrading.com/store/womens/womens-jackets-outerwear/womens-hats-womens-gloves/11514.aspx
    Reply
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  10. I am just getting into planting bulbs. They don't do so well in the south but I am hoping to find a few heat tolerant ones that will really take off.
    Reply
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  12. I think I'd choose the Women's Short Sleeve Floral Overtime Crew in the Khaki print. My husband just built me a raised bed garden and I can't wait to plant veggies! Thanks!
    Reply
  13. I'm learning so much about gardening from you! I had no idea about dividing plants. I just thought you could put them wherever LOL. Shows you how little I know about gardening!
    Reply
  14. I think I would use it towards a Longtail T Shirt or two.  My son is 14 and 6'3" and I have a horrible time in my small town buying clothes for him.  They are way too big, but buy extra large just for the length...
    Reply
  15. I would get the "Precision Engraver" for my husband.  Also, I'm having issues with my lilies in the garden being too packed together - do you think this would work for them, too? as far as separating?  Great post!!
    Reply
  16. That reminds me, I need to divide my irises. I suspect that while they're blooming (they're gorgeous this year!) is not the time to do it, though.
    Reply
    • They are really cool.  In the fall, a little tiny onion bulb will form on the end of the green part.  The green part will fall over (or walk) and the little bulb will plant itself and grow a new one next year.  I harvest some & leave some to continue the plant's growth.
      Reply

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