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Propagate perennials by division: which ones you can still rejuvenate in November and how to do it correctly

There are plants that are wonderful to divide and multiply in this way. But the duplicate is not the only advantage of this process. Sharing also rejuvenates the plant itself, which stimulates both growth and flowering. A number of perennial species have this characteristic in them and benefit from it. However, if you are propagating perennials by division, you should not only know the right time, but also which varieties are suitable in the first place. We summarize the most important things for November!

When to divide perennials?

Divide watering heart in autumn and plant in the garden

In principle, you can go by when the perennials bloom. For example, you can divide those that bloom in the spring and mid-summer in the fall, because this gives the plant plenty of time to develop well in its new location before it has to put its energy into flowering. So the perennial doesn’t have to divide its energy for both, so flowering won’t be shortchanged.

Examples:

  • Elfflower
  • Stonecrop
  • Lady’s mantle
  • Houseleek
  • Lungwort
  • Cat’s paw
  • Cowslip
  • Cowslip
  • Sternmose
  • Saxifrage
  • Thyme
  • Weeping heart

The situation is different for species that have their flowering season in autumn. Let them overwinter as they are. In the spring, you can divide these perennials, and more precisely, just before or at the first sprouting. With daylilies, the rules are not so strict. Here you can decide for yourself at which of the two seasons you propagate the perennials by division.

Propagating perennials by division – this is how you proceed

Propagate perennials by division - What species divide in autumn

To divide a perennial, you must first lift the whole plant out of the ground. To do this, first poke the digging fork diagonally downward and toward the roots, loosening the root system by moving it slightly up and down. Then you can take a spade and lift the plant out. Be careful when doing this, as no roots should be injured if possible.

Dividing will be easier if you can better see the entire root ball. So, for this purpose, you need to expose it by first roughly shaking it out so that soil can fall off, and then possibly rinse it with water.

Separate root ball and remove dead roots

Now you can inspect the root ball. Each section cut off should be about the size of a fist. In order for them to develop well later, they should also still contain shoot buds and some leaves. Separate only with a sharp knife to create smooth cuts that heal better.

Do not injure roots to avoid infection


Before you replant everything, clean the cuttings as well. This means removing excess roots of weeds, for example, and cutting off injured roots. Also shorten roots that are too long (about a hand’s width). Loosen the soil well where you plan to plant the new perennials. You should also mix the excavated soil with compost so that the plants are well supplied with nutrients for now. Then dig them in at the same depth as you found them before and press the fresh soil down. Water the planting holes copiously and keep the soil moderately moist for the next while, unless it rains.

Winter protection for divided young plants

Propagate perennials by division in November and protect from frost

By themselves, perennial plants are hardy and frost can not harm them. However, if you do the division in November or late fall, you can also protect the not yet rooted perennials from frost by covering them with brushwood as a precaution. Other cuttings from the garden or garden fleece is also suitable for this purpose.

Propagate perennials by division with rhizomes

Propagate perennials by division - How to divide rhizomes


How exactly you propagate perennials by dividing rhizomes, we have already explained in this article. You can then plant the separated parts in pots for the time being until they develop new shoots. It is best to treat the cuttings with charcoal powder beforehand to prevent infections. You can dispose of the mother plant while still removing dead parts from the young plants before planting.

Preserve root cuttings for taproots.

Propagate perennials by division - root cuttings for taproots.

You can also propagate perennials with taproots by root cuttings. This involves cutting the root of the mother plant in a similar way to the rhizome to obtain cuttings. It is important that you leave at least one third of the taproot to the mother plant so that it can continue to thrive. The new cuttings are also best planted in pots first, where they can develop enough roots, stems and leaves over the winter to be released outdoors in the spring. Autumn anemones, Turkish poppies, phlox, evening primroses and mullein, for example, can be divided in this way.