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Dividing Libertia, Tricyrtis, Epimedium, Brunnera

LG_LG_ gardens in SE LondonPosts: 3,800
Dear all,

I'm just looking for opinions / experience. I have one each of the above plants and would like to make more, so am planning to divide them.

I'm quite used to doing this (though not with these plants) but wondered whether anyone would particularly recommend spring vs autumn for any of them, and anything else I should watch out for, based on your experience. 

The Tricyrtis is in a pot, and will continue to be, but is congested. The Libertia is a couple of years old but has not flowered. It's a good size and healthy looking, but I don't want to set it back too much. And for some reason I'm nervous about the Epimedium (it's big, healthy, I don't quite know what my problem is!).
'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
- Cicero
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Posts

  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 11,324
    Epimedium and Brunnera I have divided [ not proper English punk ], both easy and both done in Autumn.
    The others I have not tried.
    He calls her the chocolate girl
    Cause he thinks she melts when he touches her
    She knows she's the chocolate girl
    Cause she's broken up and swallowed
    And wrapped in bits of silver
  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,126
    Is it just me or do these four plants sound like the daughters in a classical tragedy?
  • LG_LG_ gardens in SE LondonPosts: 3,800
    Ceres said:
    Is it just me or do these four plants sound like the daughters in a classical tragedy?
    Ha ha, yes - or Lear's nieces maybe?

    Thanks @punkdoc. I would prefer to do them in autumn, just wanted to make sure there wasn't some reason not to. When you lifted the epimediums, was it obvious where to divide them? 

    Hoping to find someone with experience of Libertia and Tricyrtis now. I've read that the toad lilies work well from root cuttings too, so as I love them so much I may give that a go as well.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 11,324
    @LG_ Good point. No if I remember rightly. A mass of tangled fibrous roots, that I just chopped through with a knife, but both parts survived, so presumably the right way to do it.
    He calls her the chocolate girl
    Cause he thinks she melts when he touches her
    She knows she's the chocolate girl
    Cause she's broken up and swallowed
    And wrapped in bits of silver
  • micearguersmicearguers CambridgePosts: 594
    I've just transplanted my Tricyrtis (not exactly the same as dividing, but still). They were suffering in too much shade and perhaps too dry, so I transplanted them while they are in flower. Not the best time, but I used a similar adage to 'prune when the secateurs are sharp', perhaps 'transplant when the spade is out'.
  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 3,222
    Some libertia grow into enormous clumps and can be divided into chunks, some send out runners which can be detached easily and planted up. I have one - you will note that I can't name any of them - that grows from one central point and I can't see any way to divide that.
  • LG_LG_ gardens in SE LondonPosts: 3,800
    I'm not sure what mine is either - picked up at a plant honesty shop. It does appear to be from a single centre - certainly no runners. I was thinking of digging it up and chopping it in half, but I'm now feeling even less sure than I was to start with!
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,349
    edited September 2019
    @LG_I have a golden Libertia which was suffering a bit in it's 'too wet' location. I moved it into a raised, sunnier site, and had to remove a fair bit of dead foliage, but I'm thinking of splitting it in spring. I think they'd be like phormiums, and this one looks a bit gappy because of the dead section. I feel it can only improve it.  :)
    I wouldn't do it at this time of year, although you may  be ok where you are. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 4,453
    edited September 2019
    I have Tricyrtis, I haven't divided it but would probably wait until late winter/early spring to do so. I had a look at the roots when I transplanted it in March - horizontal fleshy runners below the surface with fat growth buds at the end. The plant almost automatically divided itself on the spade as I transferred it to it's new hole.

    Plus if you did it now, you'd lose the flowers!
  • LG_LG_ gardens in SE LondonPosts: 3,800
    I think my Libertia is almost certainly grandiflora. I think the 'golden' one sounds like the runner-y type, @Fairygirl - peregrinans. The Brunnera is Jack Frost or similar (also from honesty shop). I would have left the Tricyrtis for a while yet, @WillDB, but maybe I'll have a go at the Epimedium and Brunnera this autumn and leave the Tricyrtis and Libertia until spring. And hope the Libertia flowers one day...

    Thanks all.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
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