Dividing large clumps:
It is easiest to do this while the plant is still in the ground. Using
a sharp spade, divide the clump into as many pieces as you want (pie shapes
seem to be the easiest). Then dig the pieces out from the outside edge.
I know that many gardening books tell you to dig the clump and divide
it with 2 garden forks placed back to back. Unless you have incredible
upper body strength, this is, at least for me, an exercise in futility.
Dividing to get as many undamaged fans or small clumps as possible:
1) Dig out the clump, leaving all the foliage on, and remove as much
dirt as possible by lifting and dropping the clump or using a hand claw
to rake through the roots.
2) Using a jet nozzle (those dial-a-spray nozzles are great) on your hose,
remove the rest of the dirt. Use the foliage to manhandle the clump around
so that you get all sides and the bottom.
3) Cut the foliage back to 8" - 12".
4) Inspect the clump and find what looks like a natural division between
the two fans.
5) Insert a large screwdriver or knife (I use a 10" boning knife)
into that spot and give it a sharp twist. You should hear it crack.
6) Remove the knife.
7) Grab the roots near the crown on either side of where you inserted
the knife and start to wiggle it apart. If it doesn’t come apart
easily you may have to insert the knife somewhere else.
8) Continue with this method until you have as many pieces as you want.
9) Trim the foliage back to about 4”. You may also trim back the
roots as well – this is a personal preference, but my experience
has been that many of the roots will die anyway once it goes back into
the ground, so I always trim the roots back to about 4-6” and also
remove any broken or damaged roots. I also think that root pruning sends
a wake-up message to the plant, so that it starts making new roots very
It is also OKAY (Daylilies are incredibly resilient) to just slice through
the crown and roots with a sharp knife. If you are doing this while the
weather is hot, it is best to let the knife wound heal overnight before
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