Monday, May 23, 2011

Dividing perennials -

Heather – you asked about the best time to divide perennials – I have a great chart that was put out by the U of MN that I will email you, but to answer your specific question: The best time to divide irises or daylilies is in the late summer or early fall. Can you divide them now? Daylilies - Yes. In fact, I prefer to divide them in the spring when the clumps are more manageable. The best way would be to dig up the entire clump, divide it, and replant. Is that what I do? Not necessarily. I usually just cut a chunk off the back or the side and move it. Irises – in southern Minnesota the best time is in late August. At that time you can cut the blades down to about 3-4 inches, remove plants from the ground, divide the rhizomes and replant. Also a good time to check for iris borers which can be happy little campers inside the rhizones but nasty for the plants. Can you divide/move them now? Sure, but you might lose the bloom for the year. They are just starting to form buds here so you might be okay. One idea to ease the move in the fall is to write the color of the flower on a popsicle stick, put the stick in the ground next to plant. In the fall you will know what color each of the flowers are - great tip to use with tulips too. Joleen in MN


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