How to Divide an Artemisia

Many varieties of Artemisia make wonderful border shrubs and are usually silver-grey or gray-green in color. They are very versatile and frequently used as an accent plant in gardens and landscapes. However, artemisia do need to be divided every two or three years. This will promote healthy growth or help in dividing for propagation. The following will provide a guide on how to divide your artemisia shrubs.

Step 1 – Know When to Divide Artemisia

Artemisia shrubs should be divided in early spring after they have been pruned, cut back or thinned out. Also it is best to dig out your srubs in the morning or late afternoon, when the temperature is not as hot. This is typically true when dividing almost any type of garden flower, plant, or shrub.

Step 2 - Digging Out the Artemisia

Begin digging the roots out at the drip line of the shrub so you don't risk splitting roots. Use a garden spade to gently dig out around the clump of the shrub. Make sure to cleanly cut any roots that extend farther out. After you finish digging out the root system, remove the Artemisia shrub from the ground and carefully shake off any excess dirt from the roots.

Step 3 - Divide the Artemisia

If the shrub you plan to divide is particularly large, you may need to divide the root ball while it is still int he ground. If the shrub is more manageable, take the entire shrub out before dividing the root ball. Use a garden spade board or knife and divide the root clumps into halves or quarters. Try to ensure that the crown sections are left intact as much as possible. Larger clump sizes will help the transplanted artemisia establish better root systems and have a better chance of survival. Sometimes, not all of a root ball will be usable, so keep the healthiest looking parts of the clump and discard the others.

Step 4 - Things to Consider for Transplanting

Before transplanting your newly divided Artemisia plants, you'll need to make sure that you choose an appropriate location and prepare the soil. Use compost and a high grade all-purpose fertilizer to prepare the soil before planting the new Artemisia divisions. Also, make sure that you space the divisions at least 3 or 4 feet apart in order to give the Artemisia root systems adequate room to grow, and make sure to plant the new Artemisia divisions at the same depth as the original plant. Finally, fill in any holes left by digging out the Artemisia with compost and good-quality soil.