Dividing Plants - How I Turned Three Plants Into Sixty.

So, we talked about seeds, what’s next on my list of money saving tips for the garden?


Dividing plants by rooted slips is another method I use year-round in the garden.



By digging up the existing plant from the soil and gently teasing off rooted segments it allows me to duplicate specific plants to other areas of the garden.


Spring or early summer is the best time to use this method as it allows the plant to form a strong root system before frost sets in.


But if I am totally honest though I take slips any time of the year. I am definitely not organised enough to plan when to take cuttings of particular plants but rather operate on a “when I think of it” basis.



Most herbaceous perennials can be divided using this method, but I mostly use it for ornamental grasses, geums and primulas.


All you have to do is lift your plant from the soil, shake off any excess soil and begin teasing apart the foliage into rooted segments. I like to cut back about fifty percent of the foliage to allow the roots to recover. Pot up these new slips into individual pots and allow them to develop a strong root system before planting them back into the garden.



My previous blog post explains my use of seeds when developing the prairie style planting in the berms last year. This allowed me produce large ornamental grasses, but I had issue in locating the seeds of smaller grasses like Stipa Tenuissima and Carex.


So, what I did was I took a trip to the garden centre and purchased one small plant of each variety I wanted to propagate. I got a mixture of green and bronze grasses and took them home where I divided them up creating multiple slips.


Although these slips were too small to plant into the ground right away, it meant I could produce over 60 grasses for the price of three.


With a little patience and some nettle tea fertiliser the slips have now grown to the size of the original plant I purchased. So, although I did have to wait a full year for them to mature, for me it was worth the wait because the cost of purchasing 60 grasses from a garden centre was beyond my budget.


Just like growing from seed, growing from slips will take time and patience. Not all your attempts will be a success but having a bit of determination will gain you amazing planting in your garden for a fraction of the cost.



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