Divide and Rule – Clump-forming Plants

Early spring is the ideal time to divide, or split, Dietes and other clump-forming plants like Carex, Liriope and Ophiopogon. Here is a simple step by step pictorial of the process.


Step 1. Carefully dig out the established clumps with a strong garden fork, making sure that the entire root system is removed.

Clump-forming plants

Step 2. Wash off any excess soil from the roots under a running tap or in a bucket of water.

Clump-forming plants

Step 3. Carefully break the plant apart by hand, or with the aid of a sharp knife, into individual ‘splits’. Ensure that a portion of root is attached to each plant.

Step 4. Cut the leaves back with a sharp pair of secateurs, removing two thirds of the length of the foliage. This minimises transplant shock and ensures that the plants grow out rapidly during spring and summer.

Step 5. Plant the splits out into well prepared garden beds which have been enriched with plenty of well rotted compost and super-phosphate. The neat, tidy and uniform appearance is very evident here.

The Gardener