Dividing August Lilies

DawnStorm(7/MD)September 7, 2005

When is it best to divide August Lilies? I'm not gonna do it now--they're still in bloom. I remember reading somewhere that this plant is best left alone, and honestly it's not crowding out anything. Any advice?

Here is a link that might be useful: August lilies

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cfmuehling(7b DC/MD burbs)

They're pretty hard to kill, Dawn.
I'd wait, as you said, until they stop blooming. Lift them and break off the eyes. I've frequently had to take a steak knife to them, so know you don't necessarily have to be that gentle, depending upon the age of your hosta.

If you do it now, water well and they'll sulk but come up next Spring just fine.

If you want to wait until Spring? I've just done the same.
Admittedly, I have no idea what I'm doing, but I have had perfect success dividing at both times.

I've even stuck broken leaves into the ground and had them live. The biggest killer have been slugs and voles that eat the entire root systems. Grrrrrr..

Christine

    Bookmark   September 7, 2005 at 6:10PM
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gardenpaws_VA(z7 NoVA)

Knives work much better than breaking - less damage, more guarantee that you'll have both viable root and viable eye. I keep an old serrated steak knife in my garden kit for such purposes.
However, Christine is right that they are nigh unto unkillable. They do sulk more than some other hosta species and cultivars if not provided with enough water, and of course, they are deer salad.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2005 at 9:31PM
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DawnStorm(7/MD)

I noticed that they were rather late in blooming this year. Hmmm, maybe I should divide them soon after their bloom time is over. Looks like it's winding down. Would the late blooming indicate a need for dividing? These beauties came with the house and I've never laid a finger on them. A nose, yes, but not a finger!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2005 at 2:25PM
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gardenpaws_VA(z7 NoVA)

Don't know about you, but mine sulked this summer until I finally gave up on the weather and started watering that bed (late July). If your watering (or non-watering) schedule was similar, plants at both our houses might just have been kick-started by the water. I don't think that being old and big slows them down especially, as they are, with peonies, one of the most persistent bloomers on old properties.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2005 at 9:09PM
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lostlkfarm(6/7NJ)

We inherited 20 or so of these with our "new" house and have divided until we have 40/50! We love them. Anyway, we always do the dividing in the spring, just when the shoots start to show and we always have bloom in August.
Marian

    Bookmark   September 14, 2005 at 12:55PM
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vladpup

G'Day!
Rule of thumb: divide spring-blooming plants in the fall and fall-blooming plants in the spring. But, as others ahve said, these guys are tough, so i think it's "divide at will" with them. Still, probably best to wait 'till their done blooming and cut the bloom stalks (so they aren't trying to put energy in to making seeds).

Dawn, you apple mint from the spring swap is looking great! Thanks again!

Happy gardening,
-vlad

    Bookmark   September 23, 2005 at 12:00PM
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rich_in_nfpa(Z6 S Central PA)

Hi,

I've always divided hostas in the spring when they first start to break dormancy. However, I just saw a tip on some gardening site (sorry, can't remember where) about using a bulb planter to take a "plug" of the parent plant and then dropping that plug into another hole created with the same bulb planter. This is done in the fall after the tops have died back. The mother plant will fill in the hole without any problem and the plug, since it's in close contact with the sides of the hole, will take root and be ready to go in the spring. I haven't tried this but it sounds interesting.

Rich

P.S. "August Lilies" were the first hostas I purchased when I moved into this house. I have fond memories of them growing in my grandmother's garden and just had to have some for myself. They will take more direct sun than many hosta varieties and, as has been stated by others, they're practically indestructable. Just wish the slugs didn't like them so much.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2005 at 12:54PM
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gardengranma(6a/6b MD)

This particular variety blooms very late, I'd say late August/September. Mine are still blooming. I'd divide in the Spring and use any of the method above. With the drought right now, probably not a good time to do much of anything. In the Spring, you probably won't have to worry about watering.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 4:46PM
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