What to Divide?

What to Divide?

Want to divide, share, or participate in a plant exchange but don’t know where to begin? Take a look at your garden and ask yourself, “Which plants am I willing to part with?” and, “What kinds of plants am I hoping to add to my collection?” If you’re not sure how to begin this evaluation, take an inventory of your existing garden:

The sweeping waves of Amsonia hubrectii in the John W. Nason Garden are continually divided to maintain their vitality. photo credit: Scott Arboretum Archives

Is it dominated by one type of plant? If so, dividing your masses will temporarily tame the dominant species as well as free up space for new plant experimentation.

Chartreuse colors of Catalpa bignonioides 'Aurea' and Rhus typhina Tiger Eyes(R) provide an accent plant in the John W. Nason Garden. photo credit: D. Mattis

Do you always tend to garden in one style? Though you may be married to one type of garden style, consider dividing a mass to make room for an accent plant. The contrast will highlight your design intent, strengthening your concept.

The Pollinator Garden marries Echinacea purpurea 'Magnus', Eupatorium purpureum subsp. maculatum 'Gateway', and Rudbeckia maxima as great companion plants. photo credit: R. Robert

Have you tried to contribute to the vitality of your garden through companion plants? Imitation is the highest form of flattery! Nature inherently designs with companion plants; now, you can too! By complementing one another through pollination, aesthetics, and improved garden health, companion plants thrive together when planted in the right places. Make room for fast friends!

Members Plant Exchange and Sale is a great place to share plants and discover new ones. photo credit: H. Kalish

Asking these questions can be eye-opening and will help you make room in your garden for new plants. Bring your potted divisions to the Members’ Plant Exchange on Saturday, May 10th and start sharing great garden plants. If you’d like to find out if other gardeners will be contributing companion plants that will complement your existing garden, simply join the conversation on the Scott Arboretum Facebook page! No matter what your gardening goals are, we can’t wait to see you on Saturday, May 10th for our 19th Annual Members’ Plant Exchange & Sale!

Grace Byrne
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