Dividing Plants

image of blue geranium flower head

If you are thinking about moving and dividing plants as you plan your 2021 garden, now is a great time to start.

When you divide perennials regularly you not only get healthy plants for year after year, you also get the opportunity to multiply your supply of plants.

Various plants can be divided during spring or autumn but whenever you decide to undertake this task, the one thing that you must ensure is adequate watering of the plants.

Most grasses and herbaceous perennials will benefit from dividing every 2-3 years, but it can be done more often. Some of the plants that are suitable for, and will benefit from, dividing include anemone, aster, hostas, primrose, geranium and lily.

March to May is an ideal time to divide summer flowering plants, whilst spring flowering plants should be divided later in the year as they produce new roots after flowering.

Dividing plants is quite easy – some root balls will need teasing apart using tools, others very simply and gently be pulled apart. With denser or more robust roots, it may be necessary to cleave a clump in two using a knife or axe. Hopefully your roots are not as wild as these below!

close up of very dense plant roots

After dividing any plant, it is vital to plant the new clumps as soon as possible and water them well. It would be beneficial to all new plants to have an automatic watering system that you can set to keep them well watered, no matter what the weather. For more information on our garden watering systems visit Irrigation.


Dividing plants rarely causes an issue, especially if done at the right time of the year for that specific plant.  They need to have adequate watering, which can be handled easily with a garden irrigation system.

There are some plants, however,  that need slightly different treatment when dividing, and the RHS website has some great information on the division of all kinds of plants, if you would like to read more.