How to Propagate Plants Guide

How to Propagate Plants Guide

Propagation by Division

You will discover essential gardening advice here about how to propagate plants, using the division method. Division is the easiest form of propagation for most perennial plants – you can increase your own stock or swap plants with friends. 

In its simplest terms, division is the process of lifting a clump of plants, complete with roots and growth buds, from the ground, pulling or cutting it into separate pieces and then replanting each in freshly prepared soil

how to propagate plants - dividing plants Each divided piece will soon grow into a new plant — each with characters identical to its parent. The process is known as vegetative propagation. Division, therefore, is a very useful means of bulking up stock of a particularly desirable variety. Growing from seed — sexual propagation — by comparison, introduces some genetic variation in the reproductive process — flower colour, size or growth habit, for instance, may vary slightly among the offspring. 

Herbaceous perennials — those that die down to ground level in winter — are the easiest to divide since they have a dormant period during which most tolerate quite a lot of root disturbance. 

Evergreen perennials — including many house plants — can also be increased by division, but you must take greater care in separating and replanting the roots, and spend more time on aftercare. 

You can propagate plants, such as perennials by dividing every few years as a matter of routine, regardless of whether you wish to increase your stock. Old, matted clumps frequently die out in the middle and develop unmanageable shapes. Staking and tying become difficult and flower quality may be depleted. Division, therefore, serves two purposes: quick, easy propagation and an improvement in plant health. 

dividing-plants The precise methods of how to propagate plants by division vary according to the size and type of rootstock. After lifting, small clumps or fairly young plants can easily be pulled apart by hand. Older and overgrown plants, however, whose roots have formed an entangled mass, must be levered apart or severed with a sharp implement. 

Woody plants, including some true shrubs, can be divided if they produce multiple stems or suckers from ground level, rather than a single stem or trunk. 

Bulbs and corms can often be increased by offsets — a special type of division in which tiny bulblets or cormlets are detached from the parent and grown on to reach maturity. New plants, however, are invariably slower to reach flowering size than with the usual division method.


How to Propagate – Lifting Plants

The dormant period between mid autumn and early spring is the best time to lift perennials, except during frosty weather. Slow-growing perennials and those that flower early in the year are best lifted in autumn. Choose a day for lifting plants from open ground when the soil is neither sticky —the soil shouldn’t stick to your boots — nor frozen. 

Push a garden fork into the ground alongside the clump of plants to be lifted. Gently lever the clump upwards until resistance is felt. Repeat this procedure on the other sides of the clump until all the roots are free. Lift the clump out of the ground — either by hand or with the fork. 

Tease away as much soil from the roots as possible with your fingers, being careful not to damage any strong fleshy roots or tubers. If growth buds are still concealed by soil, wish the clump by submerging it completely in a bowl or bucket of tepid water.


how to propagate plants – dividing plants

22. November 2010 by admin
Categories: Garden Management, Propagating Plants | Tags: , | Comments Off on How to Propagate Plants Guide


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