How To Easily Split and Divide Perennials

Featured Video Play Icon

Splitting perennials not only helps the plant it also makes for expanding your garden fast and affordable. Watch as Cynthia from Rockingham Cooperative Ace Hardware gives you her tips on how to divide perennials.

This is a Red Vested Approved Video which means our local Ace Hardware experts created this video right in their neighborhood and just for you, their neighbor!


  • The reason you should divide perennials is because they can die out in the center when they get large, especially the mat clumping forms like Day Lilies.
  • Another Reason to divide perennials is for good air circulation which can prevent diseases.
  • You could need to downsize the plant because it has outgrown it space.
  • Or, you can divide perennials simply to make more plants.


  • Perennials are plants that live 3-5 years or more, and every 3-4 years, you might need to divide them.
  • If it is a spring or summer blooming plant, you want to divide in the fall
  • If it is a fall blooming plant, you want to divide in the spring, as soon as you see new growth emerging from the ground.

Dividing Steps

  1. Cut back any dead stems so you can clearly see the edges of the plant.
  2. Dig along the dripline, which is the edge of the plant.
  3. Dig at an angle, lifting the plant as you dig.
  4. Lift the plant and the root ball out of the ground.
  5. To divide the plant you can use a knife or your shovel.
  6. You might want to rinse off the root ball itself, removing more soil to make it easier to tease out individual plants.
  7. To replant the now divided plants, re-dig a hole wider than the root ball.
  8. Depending on the kind of soil in your area, you may want to amend the soil with a 20-30% organic matter such as compost, soil conditioner, or composted manure.
  9. Water with a good starter fertilizer such as Bonide's Root and Grow.
    •  In addition to fertilizer, Bonide's Root and Grow has a root stimulator that encourages more root growth.
  10. Finally, mulch around your plants to prevent weed growth and help maintain soil moisture.

Always take necessary precautions before doing any DIY to your home or garden. Ask a neighborhood Ace if you have any questions or concerns on your project.

For more helpful tips, visit Ace Hardware's Tips & Advice.
Published: 3/3/2020