Garden Gnome: Divide those multiplying plants

Garden Gnome

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Most folks are worried that all the spring blooms will fade before Masters. But isn’t it glorious and aren’t you itching to check out the nurseries?

Some plants can be bullies in the garden and try to take over. My buddy Crystal gave me some irises a couple of years ago with a warning. They have spread but they haven't gone wild, and you should see them in bloom.  Sandy Hodson/Staff
Sandy Hodson/Staff
Some plants can be bullies in the garden and try to take over. My buddy Crystal gave me some irises a couple of years ago with a warning. They have spread but they haven't gone wild, and you should see them in bloom.

Before running out with the charge cards, take a look at what you have growing and probably multiplying in your garden. The mild winter has really given everything a boost.

It’s a great time of year to divide perennials – those fabulous plants that live for years instead of dying after a single season. If you’ve had a perennial for two to three years, chances are it is time to divide.

Besides the fact that you get more plants to add to your garden, give to friends or donate to the Pendleton King Park Plant Swap, dividing perennials is good for them.

If you have ever had a beautiful batch of daylilies that stopped blooming one summer, you know it’s time to divide. When plants get too crowded, they stop blooming. My buddy Sheila gave me a big chunk of one of hers that has a flower so tall it towers over her picket fence. I can’t wait to see what it does in the center of one of my favorite beds.

Some plants can be bullies in the garden and try to take over. My buddy Crystal gave me some irises a couple of years ago with a warning. They have spread but they haven’t gone wild, and you should see them in bloom. I went through an iris craze last year and have a half a dozen varieties. They are just starting to bloom, so division will need to wait.

There are plenty of flowers to divide. After lusting for a couple of years for the spectacular fall show put on by swamp flowers, I planted a couple last spring. This year there are a dozen plants. My library buddy Tom, who has promised poppy seeds, came by for a few, but I’ll still have plenty to pot up for the Master Gardener’s donation to the plant swap.

With some plants, it is not so easy to know when they have multiplied. The swamp flowers come up as individual plants, but plants such as the scabiosa keep offspring close. It took me a while to figure out why mine stopped blooming. When you have a plant that’s become a huge mound, it is probably time to divide. Granted, dividing a plant that you have to cut into is nerve-racking, but your flower will love it.

So take a good look around. Plot a course of action to divide those flowers then reward your frugal ways by supporting our local nurseries. It’s spring and definitely time for a flower road trip or two.

After all, the azaleas are already starting to pop and we want to look good for Master’s, right?


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