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Dividing Perennials In The Summer - Creating New Plants For FREE!
We created this bed of daylillies from a single plant division last summer.
We created this bed of daylillies from a single plant division last summer.

When the hot sun and sizzling heat of summer begins to set in late June, July and August – many think it may be too hot or too late to create new plants from the ones already in your landscape.  

For many plants – such as ornamental grasses – it’s quite true. The summer heat is just too much stress to divide and establish multiple new plants.  

But for some perennials – such as daylillies or hostas, it’s a great time to take a few oversized plants and create an entire new bed of color.  I

n fact, from an average 12 to 18″ full-grown hosta or daylilly – we can usually make 10 to 12 new plants or more!

Dividing in the summertime is a little different, and it will take a few more weeks to get them established and growing again.  With summertime dividing – understand that you will lose all of the leaves and foliage of the plant, as the tops will slowly die off after transplanting.

But soon enough – with a little water every few days – new growth will appear at the base within 2 to 3 weeks – and by late fall – the plants will have become established and ready to thrive next spring.  

With the right growing conditions in the summer and fall – we have even had many of our daylillies throw out a few blooms the very same year they were transplanted!

In fact – except for a beautiful rose bush my sister gave us as a “farm warming” present a few back – we have zero dollars in our landscaping plants – which now total in excess of 600.  

This past week – we used this summer-time transplanting trick to add some new plants to a new bed we are creating for a pergola area – all for free!

Here is how we do it:

Whether dividing hostas, daylillies, liriope, or coral bells – the process is the same.  It’s such an easy way to create a lot of plants to fill an area quickly – for free!

1.Dig up the entire plant – making sure to dig down deep enough to pull out the entire root ball.

2. Using a sharp spade shovel (or a sharp axe if the plant is really large) – begin slicing from the root ball side.  

I like to make sure to have at least a square inch of root ball cut for each new plant.  You can usually get anywhere from 6 to 12 per plant depending on the size.

3.  Planting – dig a hole deep enough to plant the roots along with about 1″ of the top growth of the plant under the soil.  Water in, and continue to water at the base every few days until the new plants have emerged.

With a sharp shovel - divide the plant into 1" sections
With a sharp shovel – divide the plant into 1″ sections

Although you can cut off the tops of the plants when you plant – I like to leave the foliage in place to help see where they are going.  It also helps when it comes time to water – making it easy to find where you planted them!   The tops will all eventually die off – but in about two to three weeks – you will begin to see shoots beginning to peek through the ground.

Potting up transplants :

Occasionally, if we are removing a plant and have no area to put them – we will pot up the transplants for use at a later time.  Use the same technique and plant the roots down in the pot to an inch above the roots.  Place them in an area that receives at least partial sun and water every few days.  Within a few weeks you will begin to see new growth coming up – and you will have tons of ready-made potted perennials to plant whenever you need!

Happy Gardening!
Mary and Jim

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Dividing Perennials In The Summer – Create Tons Of New Plants For FREE!