Splitting perennial plants and dividing them into sections is a great way to create more plants for your wildlife garden. It’s perfect for gardening during austerity – enabling you to transform your garden for free. You are also more likely to have luck gardening with plants that you know already thrive in your wildlife garden.
What are perennials?
Perennials are plants that grow back every year, even if they lose their leaves over Winter.
Why divide perennials?
Perennials benefit from division to keep them looking their best. It also means you can fill your garden borders for free. The more plants you have in your wildlife garden, the better the wildlife habitat – more insects, which means more food for hedgehogs, birds and other wildlife. Plants also provide ground cover for wildlife to safely forage in.
When to divide perennials
The best time to divide perennials is in early Spring or Autumn. Wait for the first growth to appear in Spring before you divide them.
How to divide perennials
- Make sure the plants are well watered before division.
- Carefully dig up the plant making sure that you keep as much of the root ball in tact as possible.
- You can also use a cutting knife to cut a plant in a pot or in the ground into sections if you want to leave part of it in situ.
- Carefully cut the plant into several sections, each with a good bit of root ball attached.
- Discard any woody old sections of the plant – usually the central part.
- Re-plant your divided plants at the same depth as the original plant was growing.
- Water thoroughly until established.
What perennials can you divide
You can divide most perennial plants. I have been busy dividing perennials to make sure I have ground cover and flowers for insects and wildlife throughout the year. Plants I have divided this Spring include:
- Japanese Anenomes – fabulous for the backs of borders
- Sedum Autumn Joy – great for the middle section of borders
- Purple Loosestrife – perfect for damp areas in the garden
- Hardy Geraniums – great for the middle section of borders
How often can you divide plants?
You should divide most perennials every 3 or 4 years, especially if the middle section is getting woody with fewer leaves and flowers.
I am a hedgehog rescuer and wildlife gardener based in York. I am passionate about encouraging people to garden for wildlife. My work is entirely self-funded. If you have found this information useful, please consider helping to support my work. Please take a look at all my other blog posts for other tips on making your garden wildlife friendly and how to garden on a budget.
I also make wildlife jewellery to raise funds for my hedgehog rescue work. You can visit my online jewellery shop here.