How to Get Plants For Free

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A lot of perennial plants can be grown by division. This is a lot easier than taking cuttings, and if you have friends, who have large gardens. You can usually get your plants for free, By dividing their plants up. You can get 50 to 100 little plants from one large plant, which means if you have a few friends with biggish gardens, you can stock your whole nursery for free. Also Perennial plants need dividing every two or three years. So you are doing your friends a favour by having all these free plants off them.

When should you divide perennials?

The best time to dig up and divide perennials is late autumn through to early spring. Personally I like to leave this until after Christmas, as the plants start to shoot and grow in January.

How to divide your perennials

Dig around the plant and lift the root ball out of the ground shaking it. Once you have got it out of the ground kick as much soil away as possible. Try make it so you can see all the buds of the plant around the crown.

If possible pull the plant apart with your hands, If not use a sharp knife. For larger plants you may need to sharpen a spade to use. If you read nearly every other book it will tell you to be very careful, when you do this, and do not damage any part of the plant. In reality whether you use a knife, a spade, a fork or even a saw, 90% of the plants you divide will live. When doing it for myself I chop these perennials Into very small pieces. I will sometimes get 200 small plants out of a large plant. The one thing to remember is try and get a piece of root connected to a piece of the crown, if you manage this the plants should grow.


The easiest plants to divide are the perennial plants listed below Including:

Achillia, Aconitum, Agapanthus, Alcea, Alstromeria,.Anemone, Aster, Astilbe, Astrantia, Bergenia, Campanula, Chleone, Crocosmia, Delphinium, Dicentra, Digitalis, Echnacea, Erygium, Geranium (The perennial variety), Hellenium, Helleborus, Hemerocallis, Hosta, Iris, Kniphofia, Liatris, Lupins, Monarda, Paeonia, Phlox, Primula, Rudbeckia, Salvia, Sedium, Sidelsea, Tradescantai Trollis, Verbena, Verbascum, Veronica

a lot of other plants will divide, if you are nor sure either look in the R.H.S propagation guide or just try some.

The advantages of dividing perennials rather grown them from seed, is you get bigger plants which have more growth and flowers on them.

This means you can sell the plant faster, and for more money. Most perennial plants you grow from seed only flower in the second year, with splitting the plant is already a few years old so will flower the same season as you divide it.

When you do divide your perennials make sure you repot them as soon as possible, if you are going to be a few days make sure you put them in the fridge for safe keeping.

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