Personal Garden Coach

The Motivational Gardener at Large

Devotedly Hoarding and Dividing Spring Perennials March 28, 2012

It has turned out that I have a great passion for collecting Heuchera, Heucherella and now some Tiarella too.  Especially in part due to the eye candy of plants at the Terra Nova website. Dan Heims of Terra Nova Nurseries has built an empire of Heuchera and MANY other tempting delights. I never thought of myself as one of those gardener’s who would have a fixation for assembling great numbers of any one genre of plant, but these seem to be my thing. All right, you got me. That’s not ENTIRELY true I must have Euphorbia too!

My current favorite 'Berry Smoothie'

I did have quite a love affair with Nandina of ALL types for many years, they still have a place in my heart, just not as ardently. I had an extremely prized ‘Threadleaf’ Nandina that made it to an impressive size at one home. I couldn’t bear to dig it up and take it with me as it seemed to complete the spot near the front door where it thrived.

You could add on to my list of devotions, Hellebore’s and Conifer’s now, thanks to my friend Mitch, a serious collector. His influence on me has been profound in a Plant Porn kind of way. I go to his garden for a biennial fix. Mitch is going to give me a division of some of his gorgeous Blue ‘Willow’ Gentians. I am SO excited!

It occurred to me the other day as I was out on spring garden clean up day two of probably ten, that I had not divided the Heuchera’s since I had been at this house. So, I grabbed my camera to show you, if you have never done it. It’s a shame that many people simply let them die and don’t realize that Heuchera can be divided incredibly easily and with a fabulous ratio of success!
When your, let’s call her the “Mama” Heuchera gets to about 4 years old or so, you will begin to see the foliage diminish slightly and she will develop finger length “Pups” that stick up about 3-4″ with a little tuffet of leaves at the top. I know this is terribly technical, but, stick with me! :-)

What I like to call a Heuchera "Pup"

In late March, I will either, dig up the whole plant, or if she’s a tough broad, sometimes I will just rip chunks off of her right from the ground. You will usually see anywhere from 5-10 “Pups”. Some that will be large and fat, about 4″ long and an inch around and some that are really small, only a few inches long and 1/3″ around. Yesterday, I got more than 40 divisions out of 5 plants. That’s a pretty great ROI on plants that are not inexpensive!

Simply plant them back in the garden, roots side down. :-) Then hurry up and wait! Smaller ones take longer, larger ones just take off. Easy peasy! Try it and save yourself a few bucks to go out and get obsessed about a new plant to spend your money on.


Hmmmmmm…. Terra Nova has these new Kniphofia I have been eying.

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11 Responses to “Devotedly Hoarding and Dividing Spring Perennials”

  1. Great post today. I really enjoyed your photos very much. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Kathy Juracek Says:

    I’m glad to know it’s the time of the year to divide the Heuchera’s!
    All my favorites. You’re so kind to share your gardening knowledge.

  3. Ok, I’m going to head out and divide mine soon too. Thanks for the great information!

  4. Great info. I have some I have never divided. Now is the time to get started.

  5. I’m crazy about Heuchera’s, too. I use them a lot in containers, so my gardens benefit at the end of the season. Last year I discovered that many had reseeded into crevices of nearby boulders in my rock gardens… so much fun, and now that I know how to divide and conquer, I’ll have even more of the fun ones!

    • personalgardencoach Says:

      I use them in containers for that very same reason. But, mine don’t seed out in the cracks, I would SO love that!!!

  6. I was pretty surprised. It will be fun to see how they grow during their 2nd season!

  7. [...] fun we have the ever-delightful Christina from The Personal Garden Coach with a post on how to divide your Heuchera plants! After a few years, Heucheras start diminishing in their foliage and get a little leggy, and this, [...]

  8. [...] perennials that you want to propagate! About hoarding and dividing spring perenials: http://j.mp/H9Y0PQ TwitterFacebook [...]

  9. Great, really great! I had been wondering why my plants were all “dying”. This is so wonderful. I love this kind of discovery, which completely changes the course of my day. Thank you!

  10. Dan Heims Says:

    Lol- Roots side down! ;). Enjoyed your blog and your passion(s). I’ll bring you some Kniphofia plugs next time I see you. GWA?


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