Coneflower is a delightful perennial that produces blossoms that are similar in appearance to a daisy except the coneflower’s blossoms are much grander in appearance. Like all perennials, coneflower must be divided at least once every three to four years to maintain optimal health and growth.
Dividing a coneflower plant is fairly easy and the divisions are easily transplanted or given away as charming gifts. The following information details exactly how to successfully divide coneflowers.
Step 1 - Prepare to Divide in Spring or Late Fall
Coneflower can be divided in early spring before the plant has begun to bloom or in late fall after all of the blossoms have died down. Division is the least invasive and damaging during these two periods of time because the plant is either resting or in a state of dormancy.
Step 2 - Uproot the Coneflower and Remove the Unhealthy Roots
Use a large shovel to dig a trench around the roots of your entire coneflower plant; take care to dig vertically into the ground to prevent root damage. Make sure that the trench is as deep as the roots of the plant so you can easily remove it from the ground.
After the trench has been dug, use the tip of your shovel to completely uproot the plant. It is helpful to use your shovel around the circumference of the coneflower to gently dislodge the root system before completely uprooting the plant.
Once the plant is completely uprooted, use your hands or a garden hose to dislodge all of the soil that has become entangled and caked on to the plants' roots. This will expose the entire root system and allow you to eradicate any unhealthy or unproductive roots. Use a pair of cutting tools to remove any soggy, slimy, or discolored roots from the root ball.
Step 3 - Divide Your Coneflower Into Separate Entities
With the roots exposed, you should be able to determine where the best and natural place to divide your coneflower is. Use a tool to pull apart the coneflower into separate divisions, taking care not to mutilate or disrupt the root system more than you have to.
After successfully dividing the coneflower, it is a good idea to trim back one-third of each of the divided plants root mass. This will free up room for the plant to send out new fresh roots. These roots will be stronger and more efficient than those that they are replacing. Not to mention, the new roots will be able to organize themselves within their new location far better than any pre-existing root could.
Step 4 - Plant the Divisions and Water Them In
After dividing the original coneflower plant into several separate plants you should place them into their new homes in the ground immediately. After you have located the place where you want to replant the divisions, dig a hole into the ground that is just a little larger than the root system of the division. Place the plant into the hole and cover the root system with dirt. Water the division thoroughly and keep the plant’s soil moist for the next two weeks until the roots have established.