How to Divide Pyrethrum Plants


Pyrethrum, more commonly known as painted daisies, are old-favorite sun-loving perennials that bloom in late spring and summer. Painted daisies are available in shades of red, pink, violet, white and yellow, with yellow button centers. Growing on tall, slender stems, painted daisies make ideal cut flowers. Divide painted daisies every two to three years in early spring or late summer when the weather is cool to keep them healthy and blooming for many years.

Step 1

Prepare a planting spot for the newly-divided painted daisies before you divide the plant. The divisions should be planted as soon as possible so the roots don't dry out. Use a garden fork or shovel to cultivate the soil to a depth of 8 to 10 inches, and remove any rocks or large clods. Work 1 inch of compost of well-rotted manure into the top of the soil.

Step 2

Dig up a clump of painted daisies with a garden fork or a shovel with a flat blade. Dig straight down a few inches from the plant, then rock the garden fork or shovel back and forth to loosen the roots. If the clump is large, it may be necessary to dig in a circle around the circumference of the plant. When the roots are loosened, lift the clump of painted daisies from the soil.

Step 3

Pull the clumps apart carefully with your fingers, where the painted daisy naturally divides into small plantlets. Make sure each plantlet has a good root system. Discard any sections that have soft roots, or that look weak or diseased, along with the old, woody center of the plant.

Step 4

Plant the painted daisy divisions in the prepared planting area. Dig a hole for each divided clump, and plant the painted daisy at the same level in the soil that it was previously, tamping the soil down lightly as you go.

Step 5

Water the newly-divided painted daisies thoroughly immediately after planting. Keep the soil moist for the first summer, until the roots are established.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden fork or shovel
  • Compost or well-rotted manure
  • Flat blade shovel (optional)


  • University of Minnesota: Dividing Perennials
  • Washington State University: Propagating Perennials
  • Oregon State University: Dozens of Daisies Dan Dazzle Into Autumn
Keywords: pyrethrum, painted daisies, divide painted daisies

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.