New gardeners should be wary, however. Some plants can be dangerous. Years ago I accepted a plant called Creeping Buttercup (Ranunculus reptens). For two years this pretty groundcover grew spreading in the area planned for it. Then the gift became a curse. The third year I was pulling it out of the vegetable garden and away from the perennial plants it was choking. By the fourth year, I sprayed Round-Up on any shoot daring to come out of the ground.
|Hemerocallis 'Spring Fantasy'|
Many perennials require dividing every three to five years. When a plant dies-out in the middle leaving a ring of growth around a dead center, it is time to dig it up and re-plant the living sections. Other plants spread and outgrow their allotted space in the garden.
Most dividing and transplanting takes place in the spring or fall. In fall transplanting, plants should be moved at least a month before the first expected frost, and they usually will not bloom the first season in their new location. To ensure success keep the transplants watered the first year while they get established, but do not fertilize as this can burn the roots. Once the ground has frozen for winter, spread mulch over the plants to keep thawing and freezing cycles from uprooting the plants.
Receive a few plants, and in a few years you will be giving away plants. The hard part is finding someone willing to take all the extra plants.