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Don’t Divide These Perennials

By: Sherri Ribbey
If you’re going to divide plants in the garden, check this list first! Not all perennials can handle the division process.

Division is a great way to get more plants without having to pay for them. However, not every plant tolerates this propagation method very well. You can divide them if you absolutely have to. But generally if a plant has a tap root or brittle roots, it’s easier to propagate it by another method, such as by seed, cuttings or layering.

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Plants that don't like to be divided

Plant name Botanical name Best propogation method
Baby’s breath
Gypsophila paniculata
Seed or cuttings
Butterfly weed
Asclepias tuberosa
Iberis sempervirens
Seed or cuttings
Evening primrose
Oenothera macrocarpa
False indigo
Baptisia australis
Digitalis spp. and hybrids
Gas plant
Dictamnus albus purpureus
Lavandula spp. and hybrids
Seed, layering or cuttings
Lavender cotton
Santolina chamaecyparissus
Seed or cuttings
Lupinus spp. and hybrids
Mediterranean spurge
Euphorbia characias
Rosmarinus officinalis
Seed or cuttings
Russian sage
Perovskia atriplicifolia
Published: May 2, 2012
Updated: Aug. 12, 2020
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