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How to Divide Creeping Phlox

Creeping phlox is a fast-growing, flowering perennial groundcover that thrives in sunny locations. If the plant is long and leggy, balding or growing less vigorously, phlox will respond well to division and transplanting. Divide creeping phlox every one to three years in early spring while the plant is still dormant, or in autumn to give the roots time to settle in before dormancy begins. It is best to divide and transplant phlox on an overcast day, to prevent the roots from drying out.

Clip off leggy or unproductive branches from the phlox.

Locate the central root system of the plant. Dig up the plant with the shovel.

Gently shake clumps of soil off the roots.

Slice the root system into sections with the garden clippers or a sharp knife. Discard any broken or diseased root segments.

Place the roots of the newly divided sections into the bucket of water to keep the roots moist.

Return the mother plant to the original hole, if desired, and refill with dirt. Pack the soil down very firmly. Water thoroughly. Spread a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch around the base of the plant.

Replant the newly divided sections into other areas of the garden immediately. Always pack the soil down very firmly, water well and spread a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch around each plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Garden hose
  • Bucket of water
  • Garden clippers
  • Knife
  • Mulch
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About the Author

Rebecca Mecomber, a former radio broadcaster, has been a professional blogger and writer since 2006. Her articles and interviews have appeared in "The Wall Street Journal," Salon.com and several other publications, covering topics such as Federal Trade Commission policy and media regulations, blogging, home improvement and New York travel.