How to Divide a Herbaceous Perennial

Low Spreading herbaceous perrenials can be split & divided into individual plants offering you more plants, colour & flowers in your garden without having to spend a penny. Dividing plants can also help to improve your plant's vigor & health

When can we divide herbaceous perennials

  • When plant becomes 2-3 times their size
  • Or within 2-5 years
  • Or simply if it has exceeded it's space
  • Early spring is usually best time

Why do we do it

  • To reduce competition within the plant
  • For healthier, longer living plants 
  • For the bonus of more (free) plants

What plants can be divided

  • Clump forming herbaceous perennials
  • Bulbs
  • Grasses
  • Spreading shrubs / ground cover

Process of dividing plants

The process varies depending on the type of plant

For clump forming perennials

  • Dig up or lift the plant from the ground
  • Using two garden forks placed through centre of plant, pry the plant apart
  • Lever the two forks slowly, separating the plant’s roots
  • Once done, plants can be further divided by hand
  • Examples include: Heleniums, Heuchera, Iris

For low spreading plants

  • You can simply dig up a small piece of plant & re-sow individual plants
  • Examples include: Geraniums, Persicaria,  Ajuga


  • Dividing should be done on an overcast day
  • It is best to not leave the plant's roots exposed
  • Keep your plants well watered until new growth appears
  • Provide some shade if they appear to be wilting