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Dividing agapanthus: Ugh!

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Suich Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-15-08 09:29 PM
Original message
Dividing agapanthus: Ugh!
It's been in the same container for about 5 yrs. and is just a mass of roots. I finally got it down to about 3"-4" of roots, after a lot of hacking and using the hose. What do I do now? It's still really stuck together. Can I just take a knife and cut through everything or do I try to preserve as much of the root as possible?

TIA!
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flying_wahini Donating Member (856 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-15-08 09:49 PM
Response to Original message
1. Here's what I would do....


Have these started dormancy yet? If they have, then you can trim the tops,

depends on your winter... what zone are you?


Yes, you can use a sharp knife, be careful, wear good gloves.

carefully pry apart the largest roots and save them as much as possible...


Then cut. Not anything serrated, if you can find a smooth knife, that way

it won't shred the roots to a pulp. should be a big tuber down there....
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Suich Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-15-08 10:01 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I'm in Seattle.
The tubers are more like green onions, rather than iris, which are horizontal rhizomes, aren't they? I've never trimmed the tops before. They mostly stay green all year, except for some underneath. Should I trim them?

Really appreciate the advice...I'm in the dark on this one!
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flying_wahini Donating Member (856 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-15-08 10:26 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Well I am in zone 9b couldn't be more different! but...


when you seperate them it may slow down their first year of blooming....

they bloom better when potbound or rootbound... since you are already there,


I would go ahead and seperate as gently as you can then whack them

with a sharp knife...

I usually trim the lowest leaves, (just a few) to relieve the

bulb or tuber of the hard work involved to keep all those leaves going.

then just rebury with some fresh soil.... my agapanthas don't like wet feet,

but other than that they aren't too picky.... takes a season to really recover...

and if you leave the biggest clumps together, they come back a little faster..

just what I would do..... have fun!

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Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-15-08 11:29 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. That's how I do it.
I inherited a small, overgrown patch of it when we bought the house. Not knowing any better I divided it into too many pieces and had no flowers the first year, a few the next, and a robust crop the third year. However, other than that I agree that it's not too picky. I cut back leaves only when they yellow -- my patch is in heavy clay soil and the outer rounds of leaves do wither in the winter.
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