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Fall Division of Perennials
This article was published originally on 8/23/1996Fall is an excellent time of year to move and divide many spring and summer blooming perennials. Fall is not a good time to move fall blooming perennials. A good rule of thumb is to divide perennials opposite their season of bloom. By dividing the plant when it is not flowering, all the energy it produces can be directed to root and foliage growth. Fall division should take place from early September to mid-October. Allow at least 4 to 6 weeks before the ground freezes for the plants to become established. Fall divided perennials should be mulched with straw the first winter to prevent heaving caused by alternating freezing and thawing of the soil. The best winter mulch is straw, though bagged leaves are also acceptable. Mulch should be applied when night-time temperatures are consistently in the 20's (mid-November is the usual time frame). A mulch layer 4 or 5 inches thick is usually adequate to protect plants through Iowa's unpredictable winters.
Perennials that can be successfully transplanted and divided in the fall include:
Fall is an excellent time to continue some of the unfinished spring projects in the flower garden. Transplanting many perennials can be just as successful at this time of year as in the spring.
Year of Publication:
IC-475(22) -- August 23, 1996