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 and many of them are. However, there are also some perennials that 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 Flower (Platycodon grandiflorus)

    Balloon Flowers (Platycodon grandiflorus)

    Daisuke Oka / Getty Images



    The flowers may look dainty and delicate, but this is one tough plant. It can grow for years with very little maintenance required. Balloon flowers have taproots, which is true of many perennials that do not like being divided. It is very difficult to get the entire taproot when digging and slicing it will stress the plant. Older balloon flower plants can even become a bit woody. The easiest and best way to get more plants is to simply let them reseed.

  • 02 of 10

    Bugbane (Cimicifuga racemosa)

    Cimicifuga racemosa

    Carol Sharp / Getty Images


    Bugbane, or Black Cohosh, is a tall, imposing plant that makes a statement in the garden. It is long-lived and can get woody, with age. It also has a deeptap 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 (Asclepias tuberosa)

    © Marie Iannotti

    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 taproot, 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)

    Columbine Flowers

    Neil Holmes / Getty Images


    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 grows in a nice tidy clump and rarely needs dividing. You can always pot up the babies, to use elsewhere.

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  • 05 of 10

    False Indigo (Baptisia australis)

    Baptisia australis

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    There isn’t a bolder blue plant out there and now Baptisia comes in dusky purples and yellows, too. But whatever the color, all Baptisia plants have deep taproots 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

    Hellebores ( Hellebores orientallis)

    Hellabore Flowers

    Christian Hutter / Getty Images

    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. If you choose to divide them, do it in early spring.

  • 07 of 10


    Hosta Plant

    Manuela Schewe-Behnisch / EyeEm / Getty Images


    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. However, You can leave them be, however, hosta will adjust well, if you should choose to divide them.

  • 08 of 10

    Monkshood (Aconitum napellus)

    Monkshood Flowers (Aconitum)

    Frederik / Getty Images

    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

    Peony (Paeonia hybrids)

    Peony Flowers
    Hisako Sugano/EyeEm/Getty Images

    Nothing says "Old House" like a large stand of peonies. These beauties live for decades and 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 before reblooming. They will just sit and pout before they adjust to new surroundings. If you do want to divide your peonies, the best time to do so is in the fall.

  • 10 of 10

    Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)

    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 to transplanting. However, the mature plants will send up new plants and it is possible to dig the smaller volunteers and move them, with some success.