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Dividing Bulbs

Written by Stephanie on September 9th, 2011

Whether it is starting to feel cooler where you live or is still hot, it is time to divide your bulbs.  There is nothing mysterious about this, but it does take a little planning and some hard work.  You divide bulbs after they bloom and the foliage turns brown, whenever that happens in your area.
Bulbs, such as daffodils, reproduce by making new bulbs.  After three or four years of that, things get a little crowded.  The patch gets so dense that air movement is restricted and diseases can come in.  Usually, some of the plants in the center end up dying from the diseases, which thins out the stand a little and solves the problem.
It is better, however, if humans divide the bulbs before the diseases come in.  This rejuvenates the plants and lets you decide what plants to keep and what to move.
The planning part. What  will do with the surplus bulb?.  Are you planting them elsewhere, trading them with friends or neighbors, or shipping them somewhere?  If you plan to plant them elsewhere, have that place all ready before you start digging bulbs up.  If you trade them, make sure you plant the new stuff you get far enough away from the old stuff that both can grow.
Dividing the Bulbs.  Dig up a bulb.  You will find two or more bulbs on each flower.  Peel off all but the center bulb.  Put the center bulb in the keep pile.  The others go in the move pile.  After you have dug up each bulb and divided it, you cut the foliage off all the bulbs. Replant the keep pile in the flower bed.  You may have to move some of the bulbs from the keep pile if there are too many for the space available.
Surplus bulbs can be planted immediately.  There is no need to refrigerate them first.  Never, Never freeze a bulb.  If you want to refrigerate the bulbs for a couple of months before replanting to simulate winter and make sure they will bloom, you can.  If you freeze them, however, they will die.
Generally, dividing a bed reinvigorates it.  You get more colors, especially in Iris, and much more growth.  You also get fewer diseases and pests because the plants are not so crowded.  Enjoy your reinvigorated bed and the blooms it contains.

Whether it is starting to feel cooler where you live or is still hot, it is time to divide your bulbs.  There is nothing mysterious about this, but it does take a little planning and some hard work.  You divide bulbs after they bloom and the foliage turns brown, whenever that happens in your area.

Bulbs, such as daffodils, reproduce by making new bulbs.  After three or four years of that, things get a little crowded.  The patch gets so dense that air movement is restricted and diseases can come in.  Usually, some of the plants in the center end up dying from the diseases, which thins out the stand a little and solves the problem.

It is better, however, if humans divide the bulbs before the diseases come in.  This rejuvenates the plants and lets you decide what plants to keep and what to move.

The planning part. What  will do with the surplus bulb?.  Are you planting them elsewhere, trading them with friends or neighbors, or shipping them somewhere?  If you plan to plant them elsewhere, have that place all ready before you start digging bulbs up.  If you trade them, make sure you plant the new stuff you get far enough away from the old stuff that both can grow.

Dividing the Bulbs.  Dig up a bulb.  You will find two or more bulbs on each flower.  Peel off all but the center bulb.  Put the center bulb in the keep pile.  The others go in the move pile.  After you have dug up each bulb and divided it, you cut the foliage off all the bulbs. Replant the keep pile in the flower bed.  You may have to move some of the bulbs from the keep pile if there are too many for the space available.

Surplus bulbs can be planted immediately.  There is no need to refrigerate them first.  Never, Never freeze a bulb.  If you want to refrigerate the bulbs for a couple of months before replanting to simulate winter and make sure they will bloom, you can.  If you freeze them, however, they will die.

Generally, dividing a bed reinvigorates it.  You get more colors, especially in Iris, and much more growth.  You also get fewer diseases and pests because the plants are not so crowded.  Enjoy your reinvigorated bed and the blooms it contains.

 

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1 Comments so far ↓

  1. john says:

    re: removing & separating roots
    from caladigum and winter storage
    Question 1: after removing plant should root be cut about 2″ up?
    Question 2: should root be placed
    in sun to dry before storage?
    Question 3: will be packing roots
    in saw dust and paper shreddings-
    is there a problem with this idea?
    Can any one send me an answer!
    thanks ever so much!

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