Free plants for your garden: how to divide perennials

digging the garden in wellies

Do you like the sound of free plants for your garden? Of course you do!

This step-by-step-guide to dividing your existing perennial plants shows you how to make new plants for free.

Filling gaps in your garden without spending any money

Does your garden have holes in it at the moment?  Not actual holes in the ground you understand, but holes nonetheless.  Are the borders are looking bare, with whacking great patches of soil with nothing in them?  Mine certainly are, and it’s not very uplifting to look at!

Gaps in your borders are perfectly normal during winter and early spring. Lots of plants are in their dormant phase, until the weather warms up and they start to put on new growth.  You can use this as an opportunity to take stock, and make some changes that will plug those gaps.  And the best part is you can do it without spending a penny.

dividing a geranium plant

How to get free plants by dividing

Lifting and dividing plants while they are dormant in late winter or early spring causes less stress on the plant, and gives them time to re-establish before the growing season starts.  You can do this with pretty much any perennial plants (ones that die back and come again year after year), but make sure the original plant is a decent size before you start chopping it up.

Here’s how to make yourself new, free plants.

lifting plant for division

Start by lifting the plant carefully out of the soil; be careful not to damage the roots.  Shake off loose soil around the roots, and trim off any dead stems.

If the plant has fibrous roots like this geranium, you can divide it with two forks, placed back-to-back near the plant’s middle.  Ease the handles back and forth to separate the two sections.

free plants by dividing perennials

For plants with fleshy roots, you’ll find it easiest to divide with a spade, or an old knife. I have been known to saw my hostas in half with an old bread knife, which works perfectly well!

If your original plant is a whopper, keep repeating this process.  Each new section needs some healthy growth or bud and a decent section of roots. Don’t go too small, as it will take a long time for the plants to get established.

Planting your free plants

firming in plant after division

Try to replant your divisions as soon as possible so they don’t dry out.  Make sure you leave enough space around each plant for it to grow into, and water at the base straight after planting.  Keep your eye on them and water well until they are established.

This video has a good visual guide to dividing perennial plants:

This method of dividing perennials is a brilliant way to increase your plants without spending any money.  It’s also great if you know anyone who is getting started on a new garden or border and needs some free plants. I love the idea of plants from my garden reaching out into new plots and giving other people enjoyment.

garden border with sculpture in background

More gardening tips

For more gardening advice and projects, take a look at these posts.

What to plant each month

Garden jobs for each month

How to get your garden ready for summer

Do you think you’ll be giving dividing a go this spring?  Let me know what free plants you create!

Pin for later

A step-by-step guide to making free plants for your garden by dividing perennials. Easy and a perfect gardening project for early spring.

The post Free plants for your garden: how to divide perennials appeared first on Growing Family.

Do you like the sound of free plants for your garden? Of course you do! This step-by-step-guide to dividing your existing perennial plants shows you how to make new plants for free. Filling gaps in your garden without spending any money Does your garden have holes in it at the moment?  Not actual holes in…
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The post Free plants for your garden: how to divide perennials appeared first on Growing Family.

digging the garden in wellies

Do you like the sound of free plants for your garden? Of course you do!

This step-by-step-guide to dividing your existing perennial plants shows you how to make new plants for free.

Filling gaps in your garden without spending any money

Does your garden have holes in it at the moment?  Not actual holes in the ground you understand, but holes nonetheless.  Are the borders are looking bare, with whacking great patches of soil with nothing in them?  Mine certainly are, and it’s not very uplifting to look at!

Gaps in your borders are perfectly normal during winter and early spring. Lots of plants are in their dormant phase, until the weather warms up and they start to put on new growth.  You can use this as an opportunity to take stock, and make some changes that will plug those gaps.  And the best part is you can do it without spending a penny.

dividing a geranium plant

How to get free plants by dividing

Lifting and dividing plants while they are dormant in late winter or early spring causes less stress on the plant, and gives them time to re-establish before the growing season starts.  You can do this with pretty much any perennial plants (ones that die back and come again year after year), but make sure the original plant is a decent size before you start chopping it up.

Here’s how to make yourself new, free plants.

lifting plant for division

Start by lifting the plant carefully out of the soil; be careful not to damage the roots.  Shake off loose soil around the roots, and trim off any dead stems.

If the plant has fibrous roots like this geranium, you can divide it with two forks, placed back-to-back near the plant’s middle.  Ease the handles back and forth to separate the two sections.

free plants by dividing perennials

For plants with fleshy roots, you’ll find it easiest to divide with a spade, or an old knife. I have been known to saw my hostas in half with an old bread knife, which works perfectly well!

If your original plant is a whopper, keep repeating this process.  Each new section needs some healthy growth or bud and a decent section of roots. Don’t go too small, as it will take a long time for the plants to get established.

Planting your free plants

firming in plant after division

Try to replant your divisions as soon as possible so they don’t dry out.  Make sure you leave enough space around each plant for it to grow into, and water at the base straight after planting.  Keep your eye on them and water well until they are established.

This video has a good visual guide to dividing perennial plants:

This method of dividing perennials is a brilliant way to increase your plants without spending any money.  It’s also great if you know anyone who is getting started on a new garden or border and needs some free plants. I love the idea of plants from my garden reaching out into new plots and giving other people enjoyment.

garden border with sculpture in background

More gardening tips

For more gardening advice and projects, take a look at these posts.

What to plant each month

Garden jobs for each month

How to get your garden ready for summer

Do you think you’ll be giving dividing a go this spring?  Let me know what free plants you create!

Pin for later

A step-by-step guide to making free plants for your garden by dividing perennials. Easy and a perfect gardening project for early spring.
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