Autumn is a great time in the garden, there are asters, goldenrods, and sedums blooming, pumpkins and mums adorning the porch, and all the trees have put on their fall splendor. Autumn is also a great time to divide, plant, and move perennials in the garden. While the garden is starting to go from amazing to browns with a few colors of the late blooming asters, I like to move some perennials to empty spots, or divide my overgrown plants and share them with friends and neighbors.
Perennials that can be divided in the autumn, usually spread by tubers, rhizomes, or bulbs. Our most common perennials for division include peony, iris (bearded and Siberian), hosta, daylily, tall sedum and golden glow (Rudbeckia laciniata). These perennials are easy to divide, long-lived, and take well to disturbance.
When dividing perennials, I like to dig up the plant, or a chuck of it (as with bearded iris), wash the roots off with a hose, then either pull or cut apart the different sections of root, rhizome, or bulb. I then replant the division in a new location and give any extras away. (This is a good way to make your gardening friends and family happy).
These perennials can also be divided when all top growth is dead and the plant is dormant, November here in northeast Kansas.