In the Garden: Dividing perennials

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) It's so exciting that things are starting to green up and blossom in the garden! And if you have a perennial flower garden, things are really starting to pop out of the ground! It's a good time to do a little maintenance. One of the best things to do this time of year is to divide your perennials.

People always ask me, what do you divide when? It's actually really simple. All you have to do is know when it blooms. If it's something that blooms later in the season, for example, asters, sedums and those kinds of late bloomers. Those are the ones you want to divide now. If it's a flower that blooms pretty early, like in May or maybe early June, like peonies and iris, those you want to divide late summer or fall. After they bloom.

If you have a plant, like a daylily or a hosta, you can divide it anytime. Because they are really tough plants. They can handle anything!

When you are dividing the plants now, like a bee balm is something you could divide now, there are two ways to do it. You could dig up the whole clump, divide it and cut it into sections. That's good for plants that are big and thick, like an ornamental grass or an aster. But you can also divide it, like this bee balm, by just taking off sections of it. That's good for plants that sprawl out like this bee balm or geraniums. These you can just take a little section off, make the plant a little bit smaller, and then you have all of these new babies that go with it. So, it's really simple. All you've got to do is take a nice sharp shovel and go around the outside edge, just cut right through it, and you can take off little sections. And then you can just hand it to your friend! And then I can take this to my house!

And, of course, you want to plant it in a similar location, with the same sun and the soil conditions. And keep it really well watered. It should just bounce back and something like the bee balm will flower again this year even if you divide it.

~by Charlie Nardozzi