Dividing plants is a great way to turn a large plant into numerous small ones. Plus, it’s actually a beneficial practice. Many plants, including perennials, grasses, and bulbs, need to be split or divided for their health. Perennials and grasses can get too big and rangy; bulbs, corms, and rhizomes will slow their production of flowers when they become overcrowded. Take stock of your garden, especially if some of the plants have been there for a long time, and you’re likely to find a sage that could use a trim or irises that can be divided. The best time to divide is when the plants are non-flowering or dormant. If you have enough extras, you can turn a brown patch of garden into a new flowerbed in no time.
Who says money doesn’t grow on a tree (or succulent or perennial) branch? Taking cuttings and propagating new plants is an essentially free source of new foliage and will save you time and money. However, it does take patience, as you have to wait for the small cutting to grow into a normal-sized plant. That said, some plants, especially succulents, grow fast and easily from cuttings. Just cut off a stem piece, dry it out for a day or two to let the cut heal, and repot it in well-drained soil. If you don’t have succulents in your yard, you might stroll the neighborhood looking for a plant that needs a small pruning. While I’ve had luck with succulents, I find propagating perennials frustratingly slow. However, the idea is the same and if you don’t mind waiting, it’s a cheap way to fill up the garden.
Did I mention patience? If you have some, seeds are the ultimate way to go. They’re dirt cheap and can produce a multitude of annuals, perennials, and vegetables. Vegetable seeds are great because you can order heirloom and exotic varieties that you aren’t likely to find as grown plants in nurseries. And there’s nothing quite like coaxing a small speck of seed into a wonderful fruit- or vegetable-producing plant.
When shopping for seeds, make sure you’re buying some that are amenable to your climate, as there’s nothing more frustrating than spending money on something you either kill or have to have to devote loads of water, fertilizer, and time to save.
All prices are in GBP