As in politics, so in propagation. At this time of year plants are begging to be divided. Luckily, I have a garden to re-populate according to the new (incomplete, but it’s coming…) border design, and I also have a plant sale to which I need to contribute as much as possible. The sale is in a few weeks so I need to get my skates on.
Yesterday I divided a small clump of Geum “Mrs J Bradshaw”. This plant is a “do-er”. The foliage is inoffensive and it flowers pretty much continuously from mid-May through to the autumn, although you do need to deadhead to prolong the flowering season. It also comes true from seed.
The clump was 5 plants originally, and I think this is only their 2nd year in the ground, maybe 3rd. The procedure is basically the same as for any perennial clump, read here for a more detailed description. Dig em up, use forks to divide the clump into manageable chunks, then go in with hands to break down into mini-plants, chopping off the old woody parts and trimming the roots. I like to go as small as possible with the divisions, mostly because I get more plants this way, but also because it gives me an opportunity to inspect for stray weeds that I might otherwise be spreading around mine and other people’s gardens.
I got 18 plants from that clump of 5 original plants, plus another 3 that went back in the ground. Not bad for a small clump of young-ish plants.
I also dug up and divided a clump of alchemilla mollis, or lady’s mantle. This self-seeds prolifically and I have clumps of it dotted around the garden. I think I originally bought just 3 plants, probably 10 years ago, and I now have some in every border. This might be annoying if it wasn’t such a useful plant. The foliage is a nice shape, and I particularly like the way it looks after rain, the water sits like jewels on the surface of the leaves. The flowers are a useful shade of yellow and provide a good counterpoint to purple, among others.
From my one, spade-sized clump I got 14 plants. They need to grow on a bit, but they will be a good size for the plant sale in a month or so.
More plants to add to the tally…
Have you been able to divide any plants this spring? Love to hear in the comments.