5 Ways to Make Dividing Perennials Easier than Ever


Dividing perennials is a common garden task, but it’s easy to get wrong. To ensure success next time you divide your favorite perennial plants, use these five tips for guidance.


There are plenty of reasons why you might want to divide your perennials. No matter what your reason may be, you need to know how to get the job done the right way. This article will help you through the process by revealing the top five tips you need to know for dividing perennials.

1. Know the Ideal Time to Divide Your Perennials

One of the biggest issues gardeners face when dividing perennials is choosing the wrong time to do so. Dividing perennials at the wrong time can cause them to wilt and die. However, if you know what factors to consider when timing your perennial divisions, your plants will have a much better chance of survival.

What Time of Year for Dividing Perennials?

The best time of year to divide perennials depends on the type of perennial you have. For instance, while some perennial plants bloom in the spring and summer, others bloom in the fall.

5 Top Tips for Dividing Perennials

Ideally, you should divide perennials when they are not in bloom. When your plant is not in bloom, it is better able to allocate its energy toward new growth and recovering from the shock of division.

If your perennial plants bloom in the spring or summer, try dividing them at the end of the growing season, a few weeks before the first frost arrives. If your perennials are fall bloomers, you should try dividing them in the spring.

What's the Best Weather for Dividing Perennials?

Believe it or not, the weather plays a role in the success of your perennial division. The best type of weather for this gardening chore is cloudy and relatively cool. Hot weather and unabated sun exposure can cause your perennials to dry out much more quickly and may cause them to die.

5 Top Tips for Dividing Perennials
What's the Best Temperature for Dividing Perennials?

If you want to give your plants the greatest chance to thrive after division, you should also pay attention to the temperature. Generally, you should aim to divide your perennials when it is around 50 degrees Fahrenheit outside. That moderate temperature ensures your perennials will be neither too hot nor too cold during division.

2. Start Digging at the Drip Line

Another mistake gardeners make when dividing perennials is that they dig too close to the center of the plant while removing it from the ground. By digging in that incorrect location, those gardeners risk cutting their perennial’s roots, which lessens their odds of survival. Rather than making that error, you should always begin digging at your perennial’s drip line.

5 Top Tips for Dividing Perennials

The drip line is directly below the edge of your plant’s outermost foliage. Many of your plant’s most important roots will be within the drip line, which is why that is an excellent place to start digging. While you may damage some roots when dividing your perennials, digging at the drip line is a great way to minimize the damage.

3. Choose the Best Way to Divide Your Perennials

Once your perennials are out of the ground, it is time to select the method you’ll use to divide them. Typically, there are three reliable ways to perform perennial division:

5 Top Tips for Dividing Perennials

When deciding what method to use, consider the size of your perennial. While large perennial root masses may require you to use a shovel, smaller ones may allow you to use a smaller tool or your fingers.

4. Ensure Each Division Has Plenty of Healthy Roots

When dividing your perennials, make sure that each division has enough roots. Roots are crucial to a plant’s success as they are responsible for taking in nutrients and moisture from the soil. Without an adequate quantity of roots, most plants will quickly die.

5 Top Tips for Dividing Perennials

Not only must you ensure that each division has a considerable root system, you must also match the roots to the amount of foliage the plant has. The size of the above-ground foliage and the below-ground root system should be similar as they share a crucial relationship that allows your plant to live.

5. Don't Allow Your Divisions to Dry Out

One of the biggest threats to your perennial divisions is a lack of moisture. In fact, anytime you remove a plant from its growing location, whether transplanting or dividing, you risk drying it out. Fortunately, if you are aware of this challenge, you can circumvent it in most instances.

5 Top Tips for Dividing Perennials

Provide plenty of water for your plant throughout the division process. Doing so, along with choosing the ideal time for division, will help your plants maintain their vigor and display healthy growth more quickly.

5 Top Tips for Dividing Perennials

Dividing perennials is not too difficult to do. But you do need to understand a few insights before you get started. Referring to the five tips above is a fantastic way to begin dividing your perennials the proper way.