Dividing Perennials in the Fall

Karen Russ
Home & Garden Information Center

Fall is the best time to divide spring and summer blooming perennials (divide fall bloomers in early spring). Fall division should take place between early September in the uppermost Piedmont and mid- to late-October on the coast. Allow at least four to six weeks before the ground freezes for the plants to become established.

Daylilies that are ready to divide
These daylilies are ready to be divided.

Dividing perennials is an easy and inexpensive way to gain additional plants. A large clump of daylilies like this can yield many more plants for your own garden or to share with fellow gardeners.

Drawing of a daylily before and after division into three plants.
This diagram shows a clump of daylilies that has been divided into three plants.

Dividing perennials is also used to control the size of the plants and to help rejuvenate them if they become overcrowded. The hosta below has little growth in the center of the clump. This is a sign that the plant is overcrowded and should be divided for better health. If any of your spring and summer flowering perennials looked like this in the spring, plan to divide them this fall.

A clump of hostas needing division
This clump of hostas is in need of division.

For more information on perennial division methods, difficulty, frequency and timing, see HGIC 1150, Dividing Perennials.

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