How to Divide a Flowering Shrub


Gardeners divide a flowering shrub to take up less space in the original planting area and to expand their gardens. The key is to avoid adding stress to a flowering shrub when you make the division. Perform divisions during the shrub dormancy period, after it has completely bloomed and just prior to cold weather in your region. Avoid division during the growth period or in hot weather.

Step 1

Put on garden gloves. Select a flowering shrub for division just prior to cold weather. Water the flowering shrub with 1 to 3 inches of water using a garden hose.

Step 2

Pick a location to transplant the division. Dig a hole that is twice the depth of the expected root ball length of the divided flowering shrub.

Step 3

Return to the original shrub. Rake all debris, mulch and leaves from under the shrub.

Step 4

Dig up the original flowering shrub to expose the root ball. Lay the dug-up shrub on its side. Place the shovel in the center of the root ball. Pull and push the shovel back and forth to separate the root ball and divide the shrub.

Step 5

Gently pull the shrub sections apart. Lay one section aside on the ground. Place one section back into the original hole. Fill with dirt. Water the replaced shrub with 1 to 3 inches of water to reduce stress.

Step 6

Pick up the divided flowering shrub. Take to the new location you dug previously. Place the divided section into the new hole. Fill the new hole with dirt. Water the new divided section with 1 to 3 inches of water.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never divide a flowering shrub that is sick or full of pests.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden gloves
  • Garden hose with water source
  • Rake
  • Shovel


  • Plant Propagation
Keywords: divide a flowering shrub, shrub division, flowering shrub division

About this Author

Lisha Smith writes for several blogs and has freelanced for six years. She has a Bachelor of Arts from UNC-Greensboro in psychology. Smith has self-published several books. Her areas of experience include gardening, cooking, home improvement, pets and mental health.