Episode 9: How to Divide Garden Plants

Episode 9: How to Divide Garden Plants.

In Episode 9 of The Pescetarian and the Pig, I’m taking you out of the kitchen and into the garden with a lesson on how to divide garden plants to save you some serious money.

How to divide garden plantsWhen I was new to gardening, I made the common novice “mistake” of thinking that if I wanted my garden to flourish and look beautiful, I had to buy each and every plant I wanted to place in the yard. Well… when I bought my house, my garden was very obviously going to be a large and very expensive work in progress…

How to divide garden plants

The previous owners of my home had not done any landscaping and I’m assuming they were either befuddled at what to do with that hill, or just didn’t want to bother, so they took the easy way out by just letting the grass grow everywhere (the grass which is actually mostly comprised of clover) and kept it mowed.  Well, after spending far too much time watching HGTV during college, I’d pretty much been over-inspired by their backyard makeover shows and I was determined to create a spectacular garden spectacle of epic proportions! My ambitions quickly came to a halt when I discovered how seriously expensive plants were.  A single pot of day lilies was about $25 at Home Depot and considering my property is about a half acre, it takes a significant amount of plants to make a dent in the landscaping. I wanted to plant a border of day lilies to create a natural border of separation between the hill and the level part of the yard. Well, if I’d bought each lily to create the border, I easily would have spent over $2,000. No thanks!

How to divide garden plants

I was extremely fortunate that my mother’s neighbor happens to be an amazing gardener who had spent a week dividing her garden plants and was offering the divided parts up for anyone to take. As it turns out, certain plants that grow through rhizomes need to be thinned out every couple of years in order for them to flourish and to prevent their roots from overcrowding themselves, and when you divide those roots you can then plant the parts that you’ve removed to create more and more plants throughout your garden! It may seem obvious if you’re an experienced gardener, but when I first learned about it, it was like a glorious solution to all of my about-to-spend-too-much-money-on-my-garden troubles. I took an abundance of her lilies, hostas, irises, and even a few decorative grasses, and from there I was able to completely transform my garden through a lot of dividing, a bit of patience, and a whole lot of money saving.

How to divide garden plants

Of course, there were certain plants that I had to buy individually– various fruit trees, roses, hibiscus plants, azaleas– but for the most part, my yard has been completely planted by dividing plants through the years. I did spend quite a bit of money adding a koi pond and waterfall feature to my yard for my pet ducks, but if I had not learned the art of dividing plants, there is no way I would have been able to afford to do both things.

How to divide garden plants

That’s a pretty drastic change from the before picture, huh? So I have created a video to show you how to do the same thing! It’s best to separate the plants in early spring, but depending on your climate, can usually be done through mid-June, provided you can water the plantings regularly.

In this video, I demonstrate how to purchase “one plant” and turn it into 14 different plantings!

How to divide garden plantsI’ll also bring you right into the garden to show you how to easily divide plants from your garden that have already been established (with the assistance of Azzy the cat and Banana Sandwich the duck, who insisted on cameo appearances).

how to divide garden plants

The video can be found here: Episode 9: How to Divide Garden Plants , on my curious.com page. It does cost one “curious coin”, but don’t forget by following this link, you’ll be able to sign up and receive 25 curious coins for free! You can spend them around the site or save them exclusively to watch my videos that interest you. There’s always so much to learn!

Do you have any video tutorials you would specifically like me to create for you? Let me know!

Now, get to the garden and make it amazing!

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2 Responses to “Episode 9: How to Divide Garden Plants”

  1. Gail
    May 13, 2014 at 12:14 pm #

    Hi Rachel,

    On our suburban acre we are always dividing something and moving it somewhere. The big ugly new house in back of us will soon be screened by divisions of timber bamboo some purchased and others graciously provided by a friend. Peonies are great candidates for division too. Also, I have started several new hydrangea plants simply by sticking pruned hydrangea branches into the soggy PNW soil in late winter/early spring. Day lilies actually do better when they are divided. Mine need to be cut up and moved around soon. BTW your garden is beautiful!


    • May 16, 2014 at 10:22 am #

      I wish I had the right conditions for hydrangeas, but my yard is too hot and the clay here is just too hard and thick to keep the poor things wet! I have 4 hydrangea plants that have just barely ever grown and they’ve never flowered. I planted some in my shade garden where it tends to much wetter, but then I think it’s TOO wet there over the winter and it kills off pretty much everything except the hostas! I do so love the discovery of dividing plants, though… It has saved me a bundle of money on landscaping (I can’t even imagine how much everything would’ve cost if I’d bought each plant individually), and they do all tend to look twice as good after they’ve been divided! It’s a lot of work, but so worth it!

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