Every few years Helenium's need to be split. After a few years many perennials become tired and the blooms are not as strong and not as plentiful as before. So to rectify this we need to take action to help the plant to grow stronger and to help it flower. It is not as hard as you may think to split the plant up, many magazines will tell you to use a spade to dig the plant up, then use the spade to split it into sections and plant on where you want them to be. Today I have decided that I need split it a little further as the center part of the plant is dead, maybe this is the main cause of the plant not doing very well. So below this is the plant that i want to split up.
So now I will lift the plant up so I can split it up, Using a spade I will dig it up ensuring that I can lift as much of the root ball as possible, trying to make sure I lift the whole plant in one, Then using the spade I split it into two sections.
I have now got one section of the plant in a tray which I will now start splitting up the plant into smaller sections. Normally I would just split straight into 4-6 plants using the spade to slice the plant apart. This time I want to get as many plants out of the big one as possible, removing the dead section in the middle.
In the picture above you can see I have carefully removed a sprouting section of the root, It is important that each piece has a sprouting section. Following this rule you will be sure that It will grow into a plant and not just be a piece of root that may just die. Of course I want to try and keep as much of the root section as possible to give the small plant a good start. If you have a piece of root that has two sprouts, cut the root in half and split the root between the two plants. Plants are quite hardy and will take being split and survive quite well. Just remember to have a good root and and the sprouting leaves on each plant you make. Just remember not to be afraid to cut the plant up, it will be okay and will grow as long as It has roots and growth on the section of root.
In the picture above you can see that I have split the main body of the plant up completely, From one large plant that was effectively dying slowly I have now got 37 plants in total, that's with cutting out the dead section that was in the middle. I will allow these to settle in the pots for a few weeks and grow some good roots before planting them directly into the garden before the winter sets in. I hear you ask, how do I know if the plants have good roots, well remove one plant from the pot and if you have lots of good solid root growth, it will be okay to plant out, if you can still see lots of compost and few roots, pop the plant back into the pot and give it another few weeks. Ideally I will prefer to get them in before the winter to give them the best chance.
Remember if you have any questions then just drop me a line and I will help you as much as I can.
Polyanthus an member of the Primula family of plants, some of which you may have seen growing in the wild, The Cowslip is the one you have normally seen in the hedgerows and fields. usually one of the first bright flowers to appear in the garden in the spring along with Pansy and viola. Generally planted in the autumn and will safely overwinter just fine. Very hardy from the cold and frost although they can be very tasty to slugs and snails.
Polyanthus come in all colours, unfortunately I just have white and yellow at the moment so forgive the repetition. The blue and red are still in bud so were not in flower at the time of shooting the pictures.
Polyanthus are pretty easy to look after, after flowering you can remove the heads and they will flower again later on, if your a little tardy and forget to remove the heads they will seed, Polyanthus can be quite prolific and one plant will become several. At the end of the season you just need to remove the dead leaves and clear up for the next year. So if you want easy colour early on in the year that needs very little attention then Polyanthus is for you.
My name is Jonathan and I enjoy working in my garden in my spare time. I am no professional, just an amateur. My second love is photography, shooting the flowers in my garden and of course sharing them with people who share my passions.