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How To Dividing Plants?

How To Dividing Plants?

Basic Dividing Equipment

The few items of equipment shown here are all you need to divide plants successfully.

  • Cutting tools A sharp knife is essential to ensure neat cuts and divisions. A smoothly cut surface is an important factor in preventing attacks by organisms that cause disease.
  • Forks A garden fork is useful for dividing perennials. (You may need two for dividing large clumps.) A hand fork is useful for dividing small perennials.
  • Other items Fine gravel can be used to improve soil texture and drainage. Wire pegs are useful for securing runners.

Suitable Plants
Achillea, Anemone hupehensis, Arum, Aster, Aslilbe, Aslranlia, Bergenia, Campanula, Centaurea dealbata, Coreopsis verticillata, Crambe corclifolia, Doronicum, Epilobium, Geranium, Helianlhus, Hellcboms orientalis, Hemerocailis, Heuchera, Hasta, Liatris, Lobelia cardinalis, Lychnis, Nepela, Oenothera, Paeonia, Pbormium, Polemonium, Pulmonaria, Rheum, Rudbeckia, Sedum speclabile, Sidalcea, Solidago, Thalictrum, Troltius, Veronica.

Dividing Rhizomes
Division of plants provides the opportunity to rejuvenate old clumps of rhizomes and bulbs, and to create new clumps at the same time. Tough plants may require two large forks back-to-back to divide them, but many can be divided by hand or with a knife.

Lifting, Trimming, and Planting Iris Rhizomes

  1. Use a large fork to lift the clump. To reduce the risk of root damage, drive the fork into the ground at an angle and well away from the rhizomes. Shake off excess soil, and split up the clump.
  2. Detach any new, healthy rhizomes from the clump, and trim their ends with a sharp knife. Dust the cut surfaces with a sulfur-based fungicide. Discard old or diseased rhizomes.
  3. Make a diagonal cut on each leaf to about 6 in (15 cm) to minimize root disturbance from wind rock. Replant, leaving just the tops above soil level. Be sure the foliage is upright.

Caring For Bulbs
Bulbs require some attention if they are to perform well over a long period. Clumps become overcrowded after a few years and need to be divided. It is best to lift clumps during dormancy, and to replant the bulbs in irregular groups immediately after division.

Bulb Maintenance

  • Marking clumps When clumps begin to flower unreliably, it is a sign that they need to be divided. Mark these clumps with a stake when the foliage starts to die back so that they can be identified easily when dormant.
  • Foliar feeding Bulbs that need dividing are often considerably undersized. Help to boost their growth by giving them a foliar feed immediately after replanting. Continue to feed regularly during the growing season.
  • Offset bulbs Do not discard offset bulbs. Plant them in a separate site or nursery bed until they are fully grown.

Suitable Plants

Dividing Overcrowded Bulbs
Lifting a clump; Lift a clump using a hand fork. A garden fork may be necessary for big or deep clumps. Try to avoid piercing any bulbs, and discard any that are damaged. Prepare a fresh planting hole, and incorporate fertilizer into it.

Removing offsets; Carefully remove offsets from the parent bulbs; discard bulbs that appear unhealthy. Replant bulbs that are full-size or nearly full-size immediately, at the correct depth, and in a suitable site for the bulb type.

Scaling Bulbs; Bulb scaling is a method of propagation for any bulbs with scales. It is most frequently used for lilies and Fritillaria, and it is carried out in late summer or early autumn. Look for scales with bulbils (miniature bulbs), which form at the base of the scales.

Propagating with Lily Scales and Bulbils

  1. Remove any soil and damaged or diseased scales from around the bulb. Gently pull off any healthy scales that have bulbils at the bases. Be careful not to separate the scales from the bulbils.
  2. Shake the scales in a bag containing sulfur. Remove the scales, and tap gently. Put them in a bag of peat and Seal, and keep in the dark at 70°F (21°C) for three months.
  3. Plant the scales in individual pots of sandy potting mix. The tops of the scales should be just beneath the surface of the mix. Keep in a cold greenhouse or well-shaded cold frame.

Dividing Plants
Most plants will reproduce readily in their natural habitat, and propagation often takes advantage of this process. Propagation by division produces sizable plants very quickly. Correct timing and proper aftercare of new plants are the key to guaranteed success.

Division Success

  • Timing Choose the time of day carefully for this task. Divisions are likely to fail if they become dehydrated. Try to divide plants during the coolest part of the day – if possible, early in the evening.
  • Cool spot Replant any divisions as soon as possible to minimize moisture loss. Keep the new plants in a cool spot out of direct sunlight.
  • Healthy material Use only healthy stock as propagating material. When dividing plants, take the opportunity to discard weak or old sections.
  • Weeds Before replanting divisions, remove any weeds that are growing among the crown and roots.

Using Runners

Dividing strawberry plants
Strawberry plants produce runners that make propagation very easy. Space the runners out around the plant, and peg them down. When they are rooted and showing signs of strong growth, sever the runners from the plants, and replant.

Using Offsets
Dividing Sempervivum These plants produce many small plants in clusters. Carefully remove these from the parent plant. Some may have already grown small root systems, but even those that have not will readily root when potted up in sandy potting mix.

Dividing Raspberry Plants

Raspberry canes naturally form suckers. If these are healthy and disease-free, they can be used to replace old stock or to add to the existing crop. In late autumn, you can lift any suckers that have developed around vigorous, healthy plants.

  1. Established plant. Use a fork to lift suckers, taking care not to damage the roots. Sever each sucker with pruners or a sharp knife. Be sure that each sucker has a good root system.
  2. Remove the remaining leaves, and replant the rooted suckers in a well-prepared site. Choose a new site to limit the risk of soil-borne pests and diseases. Water the suckers well.

Dividing Perennials

  • Clumps Perennials respond particularly well to propagation by division. Once a clump has become well established, there are few herbaceous plants that will not benefit from this propagation method.
  • Timing Division is usually carried out while the plant is dormant in autumn or early spring. Spring division is usually most successful in heavy soils.

The best time for dividing most plants is between late autumn and early spring.

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