Divide and Multiply


DIY and how-to

A close-up view of lush green leaves and bright red berries on a plant.

Divide and Multiply

Autumn is the best season to divide and replant perennials to ensure lush growth during spring and summer. Most perennials need to be divided every 4-5 years to prevent overcrowding and to encourage optimum flowering and growth. Examples of perennials that should be divided are agapanthus, campanula, yarrow, alstroemeria, dietes, gazanias, salvia, Shasta daisies and lamb’s ear.

Here’s your hassle-free guide to dividing your perennials this year:

  • A perennial plant is generally ready to be divided after it has finished flowering.
  • Water the soil well beforehand so that it is easier to lift the plant from the ground. Use a garden fork to gently lift it from the soil, taking care not to damage the roots.
  • Rinse the soil from the root ball by placing it in a bucket of water.
  • Cut off all stems to about 15cm above the root mass. This helps to conserve water and reduce stress to the new plants.
  • Either pull the plant apart into 3-5 sections or use a clean, sharp knife to cut it apart. Discard the old middle section.
  • Plant your new cuttings as soon as possible to minimise water loss. Enrich the soil beforehand with compost and 2:3:2 and remember to water frequently.

Tip: Why not exchange cuttings with your neighbours? That way you’ll get a whole range of new plants for your garden.