How to Divide Perennials

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How to Divide Perennials - Provided by eHow
Divide perennials that come back each year by pulling them apart and leaving some stem and root for each plant to continue to grow. If perennial plants will not come apart, soak them in water until the roots break up, using instructions from a... View Video Transcript

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Yolanda Vanveen

Video Transcript

Hi this is Yolanda Vanveen and in this segment we're going to talk all about how to divide perennials. Now perennials came in, come in all different shapes and sizes. But what they do is come back every year. And when they do that they multiply so they make lots of babies and before long, you have huge clumps of whether it'd be dailies or irises or lilies or crocosmias, you end up with lots of them. So there's a lot of easy ways that you can divide them and pretty much as long as you've got a stem and any type of roots or a bulb with it, you, that is a new plant. So that's always the goal when you divide and we'll talk about a few different plants. So these are bearded irises and they braid. They kind of make this big braids under the ground. So when you divide them up, it's really easy because every little piece is going to grow. So you can't make a mistake for one. Don't worry about that. And I just kind of break them apart and twist them and then just kind of separate them and wherever there is a eye, there is going to be a new growth. I still like to leave them on a pretty good size because they found if you leave them a little bit bigger, they're going to grow bigger right away as oppose to break them into two smaller pieces. But as long as you've got plants or ants, they're going to grow. Now bamboo really takes over and it's just a grass. So just like grass, it's really easy to separate and as long as you've got a stem and some root, you can make a new plant. And it doesn't take much root even at all. So I could just separate it and divide it and when they get really thick too you might have to take electric drill or shovel or any type of method that you can get them up out of the ground 'cause they can really get compact. You can always water plants down really well too; if you make them really wet they'll divide and break a lot easier too. Just throw them in a bucket of water for awhile too and they'll break up in a little easier. Now lilies, they just multiply like a garlic with, they just make masses of bulbs. So I always try to just twist them. When I separate them too, I just twist it from the stem. It's a lot easier than pulling. So twisting is always easier than pulling when you're dividing plants. Then when I plant them back out, I still will put them in a triangle, maybe six inches or more apart as oppose to touching. And even, this is going to be two stems, so you could even break that apart and make two lilies out of it. But my theory is, don't separate the mommas from the babies till the babies are as big as the mommas. So this is just about ready to be separated. But if it was any smaller, I would have left it together. Now plants like day lilies can really be a challenge to separate because they just make this huge mounts. And so I just keep working at it and even just throw, just take a shovel right down in the middle, take a knife right down in the middle; this one is just so compact right now. I'll probably end up just soaking it in a bucket of water first and then it will just pry open a little easier. Or I could take an electric drill or I could take a knife of I could take a shovel right down in the middle. So you've got stem and you've got some bulbs, you can divide them. So dividing plants is just as easy as pulling them up and separating them out. As long as you got a stem and a root, you can plant them right away again. And the trick is plant them in the ground or in the pot as soon as possible 'cause plants don't hold up out of the ground for too long. But saying that, if you do dig some up and you leave them out for awhile and they look dry, as long as part of it is still solid, they will grow again. So even if it's a year later, I always plant them in the ground. And never ever throw them away or composed your plants if there's actually bulbs with them 'cause you can always donate them to many different vendors at a Farmer's Market or you can go to Habitat For Humanity or you could go to any other group or your school, anywhere, your neighbors, put them out in the corner with a free sign. Always give your plants away and recycle them, never throw them away because dividing them is sharing them.