Step Outside: Dividing perennial flowers in fall

By ALEX DEASON STEP OUTSIDE,

With cooler temperatures inevitably on the horizon there are lots of gardeners ready to get outside and rework their flowerbed masterpieces after the summer heat and lack of rain have diminished the beautiful foliage and colors.

While there is a little time to plan remember that fall is the perfect time to dig and divide perennial flowers such as daylilies and irises.

If you don't happen to get this done right away do not worry because you have until next spring as it is best to divide these flowers when the plants are not blooming.

Dividing can be very easy even to the beginner. Start by digging up the plant in a clump. Next choose how you want to divide the plant. You can choose to cut the clump in half or quarters or other combinations. Once the plants have been divided, dig your new holes and plant the smaller pieces at the same depth that you dug them from. Be sure to use some potting soil and mix with normal soil when replanting and water the replanted pieces thoroughly. If you are just looking to thin out the population, share some of your excess with your neighbors or friends and family so they can enjoy the beauty as well.

Soon we will have the perfect weather to get out and reclaim our landscape, think about dividing some of these plants that may be overcrowded or getting large.

If you fail to get them back in the ground immediately you can also hold the plants somewhere cool and moist.

This could be a bucket or box with soil in a shady spot that is well watered.

Remember to give them room to grow when replanting.

Taking this step today will pay off when you start looking for the perfect place for spring or Easter pictures next year.

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