Divide autumn-flowering perennials in spring

Divide autumn-flowering perennials in spring

Autumn-flowering perennials such as asters, anemones or sedum species allow the garden to shine in beautiful colors with their long-lasting abundance of flowers right into November. For gardeners, the sight is a real feast for the eyes and is also appreciated by numerous insects as a valuable source of nectar. However, to ensure that the autumn-flowering perennials develop their full potential year after year, it is important to divide them every 3-4 years. This measure promotes healthy growth and extends the overall lifespan of the plant. Division is an essential step to maintain vitality and flowering splendor.

Why should you divide your perennials? 

Firstly, dividing rejuvenates the plant. This is because it stimulates the growth of new roots and fresh shoots, which in turn has a positive effect on the number and size of the flowers.   

It also creates new space in the flower bed. This allows weaker growing neighboring plants, which have been overgrown by the stronger growing species over the years, to spread better. 

When is the best time to divide autumn-flowering perennials? 

For species such as asters, anemones and sedums that flower in the fall, early spring offers an ideal opportunity to rejuvenate them. This gives the plants enough time to sprout vigorously during the growing season and establish themselves before flowering again in the autumn. 


Step-by-step instructions for dividing fall-flowering perennials: 

  • Preparation:    

Carefully dig up the perennial (mother plant) and prick off a root ball around the roots with a spade. The entire mother plant is then carefully lifted out of the ground with a spade fork. Take care not to damage the roots. Remove the excess soil to get a clear view of the root system. 

  • Dividing:    

The root ball is carefully pressed apart using two spade forks, which are inserted back-to-back into the root. Make sure that the sections are about the size of a fist and have at least two healthy shoot buds. Particularly thick or old roots can be easily severed with a sharp spade prick.   
Now is also the right time to cut off dead or heavily woody shoots, as they would only interfere with the plant's new growth. Look carefully to see if there are any rhizomes of unwanted species such as field bindweed, goutweed or couch grass in the root network.   
You should then remove these thoroughly, as new plants can quickly develop from each small piece of root.   
Tip: Give away a section of your favorite perennial or swap it for another beautiful perennial that is not yet growing in your garden. 

  • Planting:    

Plant the divided pieces in a new location or back into the ground.   

Make sure that the soil is well loosened and that there is sufficient space between the plant and its neighbors. Shorten the plant above ground with secateurs according to the respective variety recommendation. 

  • Watering:    

After dividing and transplanting, it is important to water the perennials root deep. This gives the new plantings good soil contact, which helps them to take root quickly.   

  • Care:  

Keep the freshly divided perennials well-watered and regularly remove unwanted plant species to provide them with optimum growing conditions. 

Autumn anemones

Autumn anemones







Dividing fall-flowering perennials in early spring is a simple but effective way to maintain vigor and beauty.   
By performing these important steps every 3-4 years, you can ensure that your perennials will delight with lush blooms year after year. Use spring to rejuvenate your fall bloomers and give your garden a new lease of life.  
For more gardening tips and instructions, visit our website and discover more valuable advice on caring for your outdoor plants.   

Sharp and precise pruners are essential for cutting shrub shoots. Not only do the Gardena pruners offer convenience and performance, but the combisystem cultivator also allows you to easily loosen and prepare the soil around your shrubs before dividing or transplanting them.  
A high-quality spading fork and spade are essential for precise and gentle planting work.