Ah, September! The days may be getting shorter, but the gardening possibilities are still endless. It’s the perfect time to give your perennial plants a little TLC, and one of the best ways to do that is by dividing them.
Not only does this promote healthier growth, but it also allows you to expand your garden without spending a dime on new plants.
Learn to Divide 10 Common Perennials in September
In this guide, I’ll take you through the process of dividing 10 common perennials in September, ensuring your garden stays vibrant and thriving. Plus, we’ll sprinkle in some gardening humor along the way to make the experience even more enjoyable.
So, grab your gardening gloves and let’s get started on this horticultural adventure!
1. Hostas: Separation Anxiety
Hostas are the darlings of shady gardens, but even these leafy beauties need some space to breathe. To divide them, start by digging up the entire clump.
Use a sharp shovel or garden knife to slice through the roots, creating smaller sections. Remember, it’s like plant surgery – precision is key! Make sure each section has a good balance of leaves and roots.
Replant them in their new homes, and don’t forget to water generously. These shade-loving sweethearts will thank you for the much-needed breathing room!
2. Daylilies: Divorce Court
Daylilies are known for their dazzling blooms, but they can become overcrowded over time, leading to a garden drama you didn’t sign up for.
To divide them, dig up the clump and gently separate the individual fans. Be sure to trim the foliage back to about six inches – think of it as a fresh start for your daylilies.
Replant the divisions, and within a season or two, you’ll have a daylily display that’s as stunning as ever, without the drama.
3. Peonies: The Art of Patience
Peonies are the divas of the perennial world, but they’re worth every ounce of effort. Dividing them in September requires some patience, but the payoff is spectacular.
Carefully dig up the entire rootball, being cautious not to damage the delicate roots. Wash away the soil, let the divisions air dry for a day or two, and then get ready for some “peony-therapy.”
Each division should have three to five eyes (buds). Replant them at the right depth – no deeper than two inches – and wait patiently for these slowpokes to bloom again. Your patience will be rewarded with magnificent, fragrant blossoms.
4. Irises: A Slice of Elegance
Irises are the garden’s aristocrats, and they, too, need their space. In September, carefully lift the clump and use a sharp knife to slice through the rhizomes.
Be gentle; they’re like the delicate china in your grandmother’s cupboard. Each division should have healthy roots and a fan of leaves. Plant them with the tops of the rhizomes just above the soil surface, and in no time, you’ll have a garden that’s fit for royalty.
5. Lavender: Scent-sational Split
Lavender is the aromatic superstar of the garden, and it deserves room to breathe and thrive. In September, dig up your lavender plant, being gentle to preserve those precious roots.
Use a sharp knife or your nimble fingers to separate the woody stems into smaller sections, each with some healthy roots attached.
Plant them in well-draining soil and watch your garden transform into a fragrant haven. Lavender always knows how to make an entrance!
6. Astilbe: Less is More
Astilbes are the shade garden’s secret weapon, but they, too, can get a bit too cozy with their neighbors. To divide them, dig up the entire clump and gently tease apart the fibrous roots.
You can be a bit ruthless here – smaller divisions are better for astilbes. Replant them in a shady spot, keep them well-watered, and watch as they flourish with their feathery plumes. Less really is more when it comes to these delicate beauties.
7. Black-Eyed Susans: Sunshine Split
These sunny, golden blooms can sometimes become a little too close-knit for their own good. In September, dig up the clump and use a shovel or your trusty hands to separate the root mass into smaller sections.
Replant them in a sunny spot, and you’ll have even more cheerful black-eyed susans to brighten your day. They’ll soak up the sun and repay you with their radiant smiles.
8. Coral Bells: A Leafy Divorce
Heucheras, also known as coral bells, are prized for their colorful foliage, but even they need their space to show off.
To divide them, gently dig up the clump and separate the crown into smaller pieces, ensuring each division has some leaves and roots.
Plant them at the same depth as they were before and keep them well-watered. Your garden will be awash in vibrant foliage in no time, and these coral bells will happily flaunt their colors.
9. Sedum: Stone-Cold Easy
Sedums are the garden’s tough cookies, and dividing them is a piece of cake. In September, simply dig up the clump and pull the plants apart.
You can be a bit rough with them – sedums thrive on a little tough love. Replant the divisions in well-draining soil, and they’ll continue to provide their fleshy, drought-tolerant charm.
They’re the reliable friends you can count on in your garden.
10. Shasta Daisies: Diva Daisies
Shasta daisies are perennial divas, and they may need a little “me-time” to shine again. To divide them, dig up the clump and gently tease apart the root mass into smaller sections.
Each section should have some roots and a rosette of leaves. Replant them, and these daisies will be back in the spotlight, gracing your garden with their classic white blooms.
After their little break, they’ll return ready to dazzle your garden once more.
The Art of Post-Division Care: Keeping Your Divided Perennials Happy
Congratulations! You’ve successfully given your perennial plants the freedom they needed by dividing them. But, just like any relationship, it’s not over once the separation is complete.
Your divided perennials may need a little extra love and attention to ensure they thrive in their new homes. Here’s the lowdown on how to care for your newly divided plants:
Aftercare Watering: The Quenching Quotient
Once you’ve replanted your divided perennials, it’s essential to water them thoroughly. Imagine this as giving them a refreshing drink after a long journey.
Watering helps to settle the soil around the roots and eliminate any air pockets, ensuring good root-to-soil contact. Be generous with your watering, but avoid over-saturation, which can lead to root rot.
As a rule of (green) thumb, aim to keep the soil consistently moist, not soggy, especially during the critical establishment period. Think of it as providing a cozy and welcoming environment for your plant divisions to put down new roots.
Mulching: Blanket of Protection
Applying a layer of mulch around your newly divided perennials is like tucking them in with a warm, protective blanket.
Mulch helps conserve moisture, regulate soil temperature, and suppress weeds – all essential elements for your plant’s well-being. It’s particularly crucial for perennials divided in the late summer or early fall when soil temperatures fluctuate.
Spread a three-inch layer of organic mulch, like wood chips or shredded leaves, around the base of your plants, leaving a small gap around the stems to prevent moisture-related diseases.
This mulch layer keeps your divisions cozy, just like your favorite blanket on a chilly evening.
Pest and Disease Vigilance: The Sherlock Approach
Just as you’d keep an eye out for any unexpected drama in your life, it’s essential to monitor your divided perennials for pests and diseases. The stress of division can make plants more susceptible to such issues.
Check the leaves and stems regularly for any signs of trouble, such as yellowing leaves, chewed edges, or unusual spots. Early detection is your best defense, so act promptly if you spot any unwanted guests or diseases.
You can use organic remedies or consult your local nursery for advice on treatment. By being a vigilant plant detective, you’ll ensure your garden remains a drama-free zone.
Fertilization: The Nutrient Boost
Think of fertilization as providing your plants with a nutritious meal after a long day. Divided perennials can benefit from a gentle boost of nutrients to aid in their recovery and promote healthy growth.
Choose a balanced, slow-release fertilizer specifically formulated for perennials, and apply it according to the package instructions. Typically, a light application in early spring and another in late summer or early fall will suffice.
Avoid over-fertilizing, as it can lead to excessive growth or nutrient imbalances. Treat your plants to a well-balanced meal, and they’ll reward you with vibrant foliage and beautiful blooms.
Water Management: Sip, Don’t Gulp
Watering isn’t a one-and-done affair; it’s an ongoing relationship. As your divided perennials establish themselves in their new spots, continue to monitor their watering needs.
During the first growing season, they may require more frequent watering than established plants. But remember, it’s all about balance. While they appreciate moisture, they don’t want to be waterlogged.
Ensure the soil remains consistently moist but not soggy. A finger test can be your best friend – stick your finger into the soil up to the first knuckle; if it feels dry, it’s time to water.
Providing the right amount of hydration is like maintaining a perfect water balance for your plants.
Dividing perennials in September isn’t just a gardening chore; it’s a chance to breathe new life into your garden and share your plant love with others.
By following these tips and techniques, you’ll not only keep your garden looking fresh and vibrant but also have the satisfaction of nurturing and expanding your green oasis.
So, roll up those sleeves, get your hands dirty, and enjoy the beauty that a well-divided perennial garden can bring to your landscape. Happy gardening!