When And How To Divide Alliums? ( Easy Guide )

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Allium bulbs tend to multiply relatively easily as long as the local conditions are ideal for them. It usually takes 2-3 years until the bulbs will start to multiply, so in theory, you should get new Alliums in your garden after the second year of planting. Alliums that do not grow in an ideal condition, but are still able to flower will multiply as well, although the process will be a lot slower, and the main bulb will produce fewer new ones.

Alliums should be divided after 2-3 years in the garden, the ideal period for dividing them is in the autumn when the bulbs are already dormant. To divide the Allium bulbs you have to dig them up and look for natural division lines, then simply use your hand to divide the bulbs at these lines. Make sure to throw away every rotten, damaged, or sick bulb as these are less likely to survive for the next year and they might spread diseases.

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The main reason why you should divide your Alliums is because this way you will get healthier plants and bigger flowers. If you leave your Alliums in the garden for several years, they will multiply to a point where they will struggle to survive due to the increased competition. Each Allium bulb only grows one flower per season, and if the competition for nutrients is too high then the Alliums will not be able to flower.

Once you notice that your Alliums are still growing but only a few of them actually flower, then this is a clear sign that they should have been already divided. The good news is that dividing Alliums is relatively easy, and once the bulbs are replanted into new areas of your garden you will see a massive splash of color provided by the Alliums in the following year. Alliums can also spread by seed as well, for more information check out my recent article Do Alliums Self Seed? ( From Seed To Flowers ).

When And How To Divide Alliums?

Alliums can be divided in early spring or fall when the plants are dormant. Dividing alliums is a simple process that involves carefully digging up the bulbs and separating them into smaller sections. Start by loosening the soil around the allium clump using a garden fork or shovel, taking care not to damage the bulbs. Gently lift the clump from the ground and remove any excess soil. Inspect the clump and look for natural divisions or offsets that have formed around the main bulb. These smaller bulbs can be carefully separated by gently pulling them apart or using a sharp, clean knife. Ensure that each new bulb division has its own set of roots attached.

Once divided, replant the bulbs at the appropriate depth, spacing them apart to allow for growth. Water the newly planted bulbs thoroughly and continue to provide them with the necessary care to promote healthy growth and flowering. Dividing alliums every few years helps rejuvenate the plants, prevent overcrowding, and promote better overall growth and flowering.

When To Divide Alliums

The best time to divide Alliums is in the autumn after their leaves have decayed naturally. At this point the plant is in its dormancy period, so you can divide the bulbs and also replant them without stressing out the plant. Under no circumstances divide the Alliums while they are flowering or in the middle of the summer, as the process of dividing them can be extremely stressful for the plant and if you replant the bulbs they will in most cases not flower in the current year.

Alliums should be divided after 2-3 years, usually, the bulbs will start to multiply in the second year, and their numbers will increase every year. If you have planted large Allium bulbs then they might even be able to multiply after the first year, although at that point there is no reason to divide the bulbs. You can also divide the Allium bulbs in the spring, just make sure that you do it before the bulbs grow any leaves.

Although dividing them in the spring is not ideal, and some would say it can be risky, you can still do it as long as you are careful and the Allium bulbs are still dormant. If you want to gift the divided Allium bulbs then you can store them indoors for a relatively long time, just make sure to place the bulbs in a cool and dark environment. For more information on how Allium bulbs multiply check out my recent article Do Allium Bulbs Multiply? ( How Fast? ).

How To Divide Alliums

Dividing Alliums is not that difficult, although you need to be very careful not to damage the bulbs. The larger the Allium bulb clump is the more likely it is that some will be damaged while you are dividing them, although you should still have plenty of healthy ones. To divide Alliums you can simply use a shovel to dig them up, make sure to dig deep enough so that you get all the Allium bulbs.

At this point, you will have a massive clump of Alliums with a lot of soil around them and it will look like a mess. Clean some of the excess soil and the rotten roots off and look for natural division lines. You will notice Allium nubs pointing out of the soil, every bulb will have one, this is the pointy tip. Between these nubs, you will see natural division lines, and all you have to do is break them loose with your hands.

Make sure to break up the Allium clump entirely, this way you will have a lot of bulbs. Allium bulbs that are mushy, smelly, and rotten should be thrown away, as these could spread diseases to other Allium bulbs. If the clump of the Allium bulbs is rather large or you do not have the necessary force to divide them by hand then you can use a spade and simply cut through the natural division lines. If your Alliums are not flowering then check out my recent article Alliums Not Flowering ( Top 13 Reasons ).

Key Takeaways

  • Allium bulbs should be divided after 2-3 years in the garden, although this also depends on how many of them you have planted.
  • The bigger the clump of Allium bulbs is the less likely they are to flower as the competition for nutrients will be too high.
  • Make sure to divide the Allium bulbs when they are still dormant.