According to Weston Miller, dividing a plant is referred to when a plant is dug up from the ground, divided into multiple pieces (using either hands or tools), and then those smaller pieces replanted (Pokorny, 2015)

Dividing is important because as perennials grow, and their clumps become larger, the plants start to yield fewer flowers. They may even eventually stop flowering. Miller says, people also divide plans because they want to increase plant numbers (Pokorny, 2015)

Miller also indicates that plants that bloom in the fall, and summer should be divided in the spring, and plants, that bloom in the spring should be divided in the fall, or after they have bloomed (Pokorny, 2015)

Miller has given advice on dividing plants

  • The soil at the location where you want to plant the newly divided plants, must be saturated few days beforehand
  • organic matter should be utilized to prepare the new area, and then it should be watered again
  • Dig holes in the area where the plant divisions are to be planted. The holes should be big enough to accommodate the root systems, and a little wider. They should be deep enough so that when planted, the crown of the plants will be at the same level as the top of the soil
  • Check the plant you want to divide a day or two before dividing-if the soil is dry, water the plant
  • A spading fork, or sharp shovel can be used when digging out the plant
  • Take out the whole plant
  • Do not let the plant dry-out once it is out of the ground. Cover it with a plastic sheet or cloth in warm weather. Plant clippings can also be used.
  • Make sure that there are growing portions in every division
  • Hands can be used to split apart fibrous root systems, a serrated knife, or a weeding tool may also be used. A shovel, sharp spade, ax, or handsaw may be used for tougher root systems, or larger plants
  • Loose soil should be gently shaken off, and the dead centre taken off as well.
  • The smaller plant divisions should now be planted in the prepared soil areas, with their crowns level with the top of the soil line


Pokorny,K.(2015). Divide and Conquer Plants to Keep them Healthy and

Productive. Retrieved from:



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