Chapter 20

Vegetative Plant Propagation

Plant Propagation by Division

Division is a form of plant propagation in which new plants are not grown from seeds or bulbs but are rather separated from the parent plant. Division, is one of the best ways to propagate herbaceous perennial plants. Plants such as chrysanthemum, daylily, peony and iris can be divided by this simple, reliable method. Some woody shrubs that branch or sucker from the base can also be reproduced in this way. As a general rule, plants that flower in spring and early summer should be divided in late summer or fall. Those flowering in summer and fall should be divided in early spring before new growth begins. 

Division Methods

Division methods vary widely. Rough division consists of using a sharp spade or axe to cut across large clumps of such plants as phlox, rhubarb, and many shrubs. The pieces are then dug and immediately replanted. Finer practices include digging and breaking clumps apart with the hand or fingers and then cutting them apart with a sharp knife. Other division methods incorporate stolons (slender branches), which naturally take root after being cut apart. Tubers, short, thickened parts of underground branches are broken apart from the main stems and clumps and then planted separately.

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