Gulf Coast Daylily Society of Southeast Texas
By Harland Merriam
Many daylily clumps , which have been in the same place for many years, will benefit from a good division of the clump.
A periodic dividing of your daylily clumps will help you expand your plantings and provide a way for you to share daylilies with others. About every 4 or 5 years is a good period for dividing most daylily varieties.
BEST TIME TO DIVIDE. Although daylilies can be divided at any time of the year, the best time is late summer or early fall here in Southeast Texas (September - October), when the weather is cooler and most daylilies have finished blooming. This also allows the plants to get well established for the new year.
Here are steps for dividing.
1. PREPARE YOURSELF. Gather tools (shovels, garden forks, large knives, scissors, tarps, garden carts, markers, etc.)
2. PREPARE THE CLUMP. Clip the foliage back to 12" or less, which makes it easier to handle and re-plant. Some people simply pull back the mulch or top layer of soil from the clump, without trimming foliage.
3. PRY CLUMP OUT OF SOIL. Preferably with a garden fork, starting well away from the clump, pry a good ways under the clump and its roots, lifting the whole clump with roots out of the soil. Sometimes you will have to pry up from all sides, particularly in heavy clay soils and in soils intertwined with roots form shrubs and trees.
3. SEPARATE CLUMP INTO DIVISIONS. Form smaller clumps or as many divisions as you desire. This can be done by prying apart the clump at weak points or by cutting it apart. I sometimes wash away the soil. I sometimes dip smaller divisions into a tub or bucket or water to loosen up the individual plants. This also helps in removing weeds and grass from the smaller clumps. Keep the separated clumps moist and out of direct sunlight, specially in the hot days of summer.
4. REPLANT. Prepare a new bed or expand the bed you have. Improve the soil with organic matter, sand, etc. Loosen the soil a foot or deeper, if possible. If planting clumps with soil intact, simply place the clump in the hole at a depth where the crown is at the soil line and fill and tamp around the replanted root ball. If planting individual bare-root divisions, create mounds in the planting hole/area and fan the roots over the mound, backfill and tamp.
5. MULCH AND WATER. Be sure to mulch around the plant, but not right up against the crown. Keep well watered for several days or weeks until well established.
AN EXCELLENT WEBSITE WITH INSTRUCTIONS AND PICTURES FOR DIVIDING DAYLILIES DIVIDING DAYLILIES WEBSITE
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