Can spirea be divided?

Answered by Jeremy Urbaniak

So, I’ve had some experience with dividing spirea plants, specifically the golden spirea variety. It’s a deciduous shrub that can be propagated through division during its dormancy period. This is typically done in late fall, after the leaves have died back, or in late winter or early spring, before new leaf buds start to form.

When dividing spirea, there are a few steps to follow. First, you’ll want to prepare the new planting site or pot where you’ll be placing the divided sections. Make sure the soil is well-draining and amend it with compost or organic matter if needed.

Next, carefully dig up the spirea plant, taking care not to damage the roots. Once it’s out of the ground, you can gently shake off any excess soil to get a better look at the root system.

At this point, you’ll want to assess the plant and decide where to make your divisions. Look for natural separations in the plant, such as areas where multiple stems emerge from the base. These are ideal spots to divide.

Using a sharp, clean gardening tool (pruners or a shovel can work), carefully separate the sections. It’s important to ensure that each division has a good portion of roots attached. You may need to use some force to separate the sections, but try to do it as cleanly as possible.

Once you have your divisions, you can go ahead and plant them in their new location. Dig a hole that is wide and deep enough to accommodate the roots without crowding them. Place the division in the hole, making sure it’s at the same depth as it was in the original plant. Backfill the hole with soil, gently firming it around the roots.

After planting, water the divisions thoroughly to help settle the soil and provide moisture to the roots. It’s a good idea to continue watering regularly, especially during the establishment period, to ensure the divisions have enough moisture to grow.

In terms of caring for the divided spirea, it’s important to provide them with the same care as you would for a mature spirea plant. This includes regular watering, especially during dry spells, and mulching around the base of the plant to help retain moisture and suppress weeds.

In terms of pruning, you may want to consider removing any dead or damaged branches, as well as any crossing or crowded stems. This can help promote better airflow and overall plant health. Pruning can be done in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins.

Dividing spirea can be a rewarding way to propagate and expand your collection of these beautiful shrubs. By following proper techniques and providing the necessary care, you can successfully divide and establish new plants.