March 7, 2007

Dividing Herbaceous Perennials in Spring

Perennials are divided to contain their size, to rejuvenate declining plants, and to propagate prized perennials. Vigorous perennials may grow so rapidly that they crowd out neighboring plants in the flower bed. In contrast, the performance of some perennials begins to decline after a number of years. One of the easiest ways to propagate a prized perennial is to divide the plant into two or more smaller plants.

The best time to divide perennials varies with the different plant species. Early spring is an excellent time to divide the following perennials.

Snow Molds on Turf

Extended snow cover on ground that is not completely frozen is conducive to turf diseases called snow molds. Two snow mold diseases, gray snow mold and pink snow mold, occur in Iowa and typically appear at this time of year. Gray snow mold is caused by two species of the fungus Typhula, while pink snow mold is caused by the fungus Microdochium nivale.