Perennial Flowers that Rarely Need Dividing

Flowering Perennial Plants that Need Dividng Every 10 Years or Less

Many gardeners plant perennials because they think they will be lower maintenance. Unfortunately, some perennials can be very demanding, requiring frequent division, staking, deadheading, and watering. So it pays to do some research before you start planting.

These 10 perennial flower plants need division only every 10 years or so - if at all. If you are looking to make your garden lower in maintenance, consider planting a few of these and saving your back for turning the compost.

  • 01 of 10
    Balloon Flowers

    For such delicate flowers, this is one tough plant. Balloon flower also has a tap root. You will notice that becoming a trend among flowers that don’t like division. Older plants can even become a bit woody. This is another plant that is best left to reseed.

  • 02 of 10
    Bugbane (Cimicifuga racemosa)

    Bugbane or Black Cohosh is an imposing plant that can get woody, with age. It also has a deep tap root, that will make it difficult to lift and fussy about division. Put your bugbane in a spot of honor, let it grow into a focal point and leave it be.

  • 03 of 10
    Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

    Butterfly weed is one of the last plants to poke its head up in the spring. It will not be rushed. Butterfly weed likes to stay put. It sends down a deep tap root, which is always a sign that a plant does not wish to be moved, lifted or divided. You will probably get volunteers, which should be moved while they are young before they too send down roots.

  • 04 of 10
    Columbine (Aquilegia hybrids)

    Dainty columbine is a star of the mid-spring garden, bursting into bloom as the bulbs fade and the summer colors try and get started. Columbine will self-seed and spread, but the main plant rarely needs dividing. You can always pot up the babies, to use elsewhere.


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  • 05 of 10
    Joshua McCullough/Getty Images
    There isn’t a bolder blue plant out there and now Baptisia comes in dusky purples and yellows, too. But they all have deep tap roots and prefer to stay anchored in the spot they’ve been planted. Baptisia should not need any division, at all. Just enjoy.
  • 06 of 10
    Hellabores ( Hellebores orientallis)
    Hellebores are one of those plants that get better with age. They take their time filling out and you won’t need to divide very often, if at all. The only reason to divide Hellebores is to make more or to relocate them.
  • 07 of 10
    Hosta Plants

    If you’ve ever lifted a hosta plant, you have seen the thick gnarly mass of roots they form. Hosta plants get wider and wider, without dying out in the center. They are basically slow growing ground covers, perfect for so many tough spots. If only the deer would leave them be. You can leave them be, but hosta will adjust well, if you choose to divide them.

  • 08 of 10

    Monkshood (Aconitum napellus)

    Monkshood (Aconitum napellus)

    Beautiful blue monkshood is a late season stunner, especially when used to light up a shady garden. But it hates to be disturbed and you don’t have to divide it at all unless you are trying to make room or make more plants. Remember, all parts of this plant are poisonous and they may irritate your skin. Wear gloves.


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  • 09 of 10
    Hisako Sugano/EyeEm/Getty Images

    Nothing says Old House like a large stand of peonies. These beauties never, ever need to be divided. You can divide or move them if you really want to, but they can take a couple of years and just pout before they adjust to new surroundings. The best time to divide peonies is in the fall.

  • 10 of 10
    Kazuo Ogawa/Aflo/Getty Images

    Russian Sage is a woody perennial that is almost a shrub. It is next to impossible to lift the plant because its wispy roots run off in all directions. And Russian sage simply doesn’t adjust well with transplanting. However they will send up new plants and it is possible to dig the smaller volunteers and move them, with some success.