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Dividing your Garden Plants.

Division as a method of plant propogation

       Growing plants from seed is the most common method  of propagation, but it is by no means the only one. Some  plants will not produce their exact replicas  from seed. Often,  flower  colours and sometimes  even flower shapes will be different, so alternative, vegetative  techniques  of propagation are required. Of these,  division is the simplest method but, for plants that you cannot divide, layering,  cuttings, budding and grafting  are methods that will ensure that the new plants are exactly  the same as the parent.
       Division is a method  used to increase the number of your perennial plants. It is perhaps  the simplest and most effective method of propagation and it produces  good, sizeable plants very quickly. Indeed,  many perennials begin to lose vigour after a few years and will benefit greatly from being lifted from the soil and divided.
For most perennials, this should be done in autumn. Cut back the old flower stems and lift the whole clump using a fork. Divide it in half, and remove the young shoots from the outside of  the clump. The centre of the clump is the older, less vigorous, part of the plant and you should  discard it.
      Some plants, such as plantain lilies (Hosta  sp.), have fleshy  roots and should be treated differently. These are best lifted for division in spring, just before they start into growth. Then you will be able to see new buds and thus have an idea of where to cut. Each new piece should have at least one good bud. Cut through  the root with a sharp spade or a large knife and replant the parts as soon as possible.

Dividing a clump of flowering perennials

    Dig up the crown with a fork, lifting the rootball without damaging the roots. Shake to remove the soil.

    Divide  the clump into at least two parts, using your hands for small plants, or, use a fork for bigger plants.

Planting the divided sections
    Plant the divided plants immediately, selecting the ones with healthy roots and also removinng the centres of those plants that are ggetting old.

Replanting your divided plant
    Replace the soil remove from the hole and firm well with your hands when the plans are small or with your feet when replanting larger plants.

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