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Dig, Divide and Multiply Perennials

Overcrowded, poor flowering and floppy perennials can be invigorated with a shovel and a bit of your time and energy.

Dig and divide perennials to improve their overall appearance and create new plants to use or share.

The best time to divide spring bloomers is in fall, fall bloomers in spring and summer blooming perennials in either spring or fall.  But most gardeners have found the best time to divide is when you have the time. 

Use a sharp spade to dig up the clump.  I like to lift the clump out of the soil and use a linoleum knife to cut the plant into smaller sections.  Some gardeners use two garden forks or shovels back to back to pry apart the root ball.

Discard and compost the dead center.  Divide the remaining clump into four, six or eight pieces.  

A bit more information:  Reduce routine maintenance on some popular perennials with regular division.  New plantings of repeat blooming daylilies and continuous bloomers like threadleaf coreopsis put on a long lasting floral display with little or no deadheading.  Over time you may find your daylilies don’t readily re-flower and the threadleaf coreopsis needs deadheading to continue to bloom. Dig and divide these plants every three or four years to extend the flower show and eliminate the need to deadhead the faded blooms.

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