Follow these simple tips and have free plants for life

Can you believe it’s that time of year again? We’ve been having unseasonably high temps in the south, so our daffodils, hostas and buds are coming early. I always revisit this post because I continue to divide my free plants. 

For the last few months, we’ve been tackling just a bit of our backyard bedlam. Just to make you all feel better about your yard, I showed you just how aggressively the weeds had taken over. I shared that the professionals told us our only hope for our grass was to start completely over and I asked for your suggestions on some of your favorite plants.

Since our front yard landscaping project is the first place we are going to invest in, you were great with all your ideas, but it’s a huge undertaking so for a quick landscape pick me up, I decided to focus on the area under our big shade trees – an area easy to beautify.

Initially, I made sure to kill all the crazy weeds lurking everywhere.

My beautiful swinging bed

But then, our son decided to surprise me for my birthday by creating a tiny landscape oasis (read about it here), complete with a swinging bed, right in the spot where I had started to work.

He divided the large hostess into small plants, used the rocks that he found in our woods and created the retaining wall and even pulled my freshly painted chair off the porch to use as a plant stand. 

Adding some simple frugal landscape elements to the back yard

Honestly, that is about the best present this momma could ask for even above jewelry or chocolate. 🙂

He saved up and worked for weeks to surprise me, but not only did he make the swing bed, he also knew about my landscaping project and assured me that he’d take that over too.

How can I say “NO?” He decided on his “landscape design,” which includes using what we already had around the homestead.

Dividing Hostas over the years

He divided the large hostess into small plants, used the rocks that he found in our woods and created the retaining wall and even pulled my freshly painted chair off the porch to use as a plant stand.

This is called working well on a teenager’s budget and it’s also a way to ensure you will have free plants for life. The first picture is what it looked like when he started and then the last picture was as he was finishing up. I’m so proud of him.

Before and after landscaping. Using what we had and dividing hostas

A few years ago, a sweet friend let me know she was dividing her hostas and daylilies and asked if I wanted any. Ummm…YES!!!

Lots of clumping perennials develop a really thick mass of roots and it’s in their best interest and yours, to divide them every three years.

The best varieties to do this with are hosta, daylilies, iris, astible and even daisies. You can divide their roots when they start to leaf out in spring or right before they bloom.

It’s now my favorite way of incorporating these wonderful perennials around our homestead and I want to share how it’s done. It’s frugal landscaping at its finest because you only need to buy one good plant to get you started.

Dividing Plants or Root Division is so simple.

1. The best time to divide both hosta and daylilies is either the spring or fall. I find them both the easiest plants to propagate. For daylilies, divide them in the spring as soon as you see new growth appear or wait until after they finish blooming for fall dividing. For hostas, spring is the best time to separate them if this is your first time because the new foliage sprouts are closed making it much easier to see the actual root bulbs, but you can actually wait until late August, which is a great time to transplant.

2. Using any garden variety spade, dig up the existing plant with as large a root ball as you can manage. Dig all around it and pull it up.

3. Rinse or shake off the bulb so that you can find a natural place to divide the plant’s roots. You will be able to see the roots by pushing some of the dirt aside and find the major stems or plantlets. Don’t worry though, these plants are hearty and you can nearly divide them anywhere and they’ll be fine.

4. Some of the root balls will be soft enough that you can even use your hands or a small garden fork to divide, but for the tougher plants like the asters or hostas, use a garden knifed to divide the plant.

4. You don’t want to divide the plant into too many tiny portions. Every section should have a healthy amount of root mass attached because dividing them puts them through a bit of a trauma and you need to ensure they have a thick core to recover quickly.

And those simple steps is how we easily divide our hosta and daylilies, ensuring free plants for life.

Thanks to our son, I’ve been enjoying this little oasis, but he still has a bit more work to finish out the swinging bed. It’s actually perfect just how it is, but he wants to finish the foot and head board and still stain the wood, but those don’t get in the way of our family enjoying some naps out there. We’ve used our air mattress and it works perfectly.

Once I show you the finished swing, you will all want to build one. 🙂

I first published this last year, but sine my new hostas are popping up, I wanted to share these easy steps again. We’re slowing tackling our Southern Living Wanna be landscaping, so follow along here. Remember, when you’re on a budget, it’s all about the process. 🙂

Back yard sand volley ball court