Divide Perennial Flowers in the midwest

August is the Time to Divide Perennial Flowers

August is the best time to dig and divide perennial flowers such as hostas, Oriental poppies, lilies, daylilies, bearded iris, and ornamental grasses. In order to remain healthy perennials need the same kind of yearly attention that people do. Once in a while they need a boost to keep them in top form. For us, that boost could be a vacation, a new vitamin or a healthy diet. For our plants this boost comes when they are divided and the overgrown perennials are given a new space to thrive in.

Over time all perennials will need to be divided, but not every perennial needs to be done at the same time. How do you know? Your plants will actually tell you, you just need to do a little investigating. Check the center of your plant. Is it beginning to die out? Ornamental grasses, chrysanthemums and iris are three specific plants that as they age begin to die in the center, leaving a ring around the healthy growth. This is your plant begging to be divided.

How do you know it is time to divide perennial flowers

Some plants tell you clearly they need help by not blooming as profusely as before. Peonies and daylilies, for example, don’t die off, but rather they just don’t bloom. It’s time to separate them!

Remember that dividing plants is definitely a seasonal job and some perennials, like salvia, phlox, chrysanthemum, and ornamental grasses need to be done in early spring. However, August, which usually signals the end of the main perennial growing season is perfect to divide lilies, peonies, and bearded iris. Interestingly, hostas and daylilies don’t care when you divide them.

The spade is the best tool, lift plant gently to prevent damage to the root ball. Pull the clump out carefully and use a large garden knife or the spade to cut it into smaller pieces. Replant the smaller pieces as soon as possible. If you don’t know what you’re going to do with the bulbs you might need to consult the landscape professionals as to which planting beds could be enhanced by the additional flowers or what new area can be created within the existing landscape The landscape professionals at R & S Lawn Service would be happy to assist you! Give them a call today at 816-532-4999!