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  • Divide and Conquer

    Posted on June 28th, 2010 Pam No comments

    Would you like to divide some of your perennial flowers, but not quite sure of the best time?

    Here is a simple rule of thumb.
    Flowers that bloom in the Spring, transplant in the Fall.
    Flowers that bloom in the Fall, transplant in the Spring.

    Spring blooming examples: Iris, Bleeding Heart bloom in Spring, so when they finish blooming, transplant them. This allows them several months of growing time before Winter and they should bloom the following Spring. They have a better chance of having strong roots and settling in to their new home.

    Transplant Daffodils and Tulips after they have bloomed and the strength of the foliage has been transfered to the bulb. It is very important to wait until the leaves are brown and dead before transplanting.

    Fall blooming examples: Phlox. These bloom later in the Summer, transplant them early in the Spring when they are about 4″ tall. This way they can establish their new roots and get ready to bloom for you in the Fall.

    Transplant Asiatic and Orential Lilies in the Spring, before they have much growth. It is important to dig up the entire clump of bulbs, be very careful, the bulbs may be deeper than you think. Divide the bulbs and plant immediately, don’t leave the bulbs out of the ground for more than a few minutes!!!!

    Remember, when transplanting flowers, be as delicate as possible, the less damage the easier for them to get a great start in their new home.

    Do a little research before dividing a particular perennial.  Did you know some flowers love to be crowded and should not be divided? Here are a few:  Geraniums, Alyssum, Fox gloves, Russian Sage, Lavender and Delphinium.

    Tips for transplanting:

    1.  Divide in cool weather.  It is best to plant in the evening.
    2.  Loosen the soil in the hole where the transplant is going to be planted and mix in organic matter.
    3.  Fill the hole with water before planting and allow to drain.
    4.  Watch for signs of disease and weeds in the plant.
    5.  Water well after planting.

    Oh, and one more thing, plan before you dig.  If you plan ahead, the flowers will have a more permanent home.  Flowers are like people, they don’t like to move every year.

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