Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:56 pm
Location: Livonia MI

Shade Perennial Bed - Overcrowding!!!

I am experiencing a great deal of overcrowding in my backyard perennial bed. It is an area of morning sun and afternoon shade facing east. I have several hosta...2 very large! Also, I have a bleeding heart that has continued to get larger each year. It is really taking over and hiding some of my other plants such as astilbe and ferns. What should I do? Can I divide any of these plants now or should I wait? And, the bleeding heart really is not pretty after it is done blooming. Would love some input. I am truly an experimental gardener!!!

Greener Thumb
Posts: 1152
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 10:26 am
Location: North Carolina

Mark where the bleeding heart is planted then divide and transplant in the early fall so the plants become established before winter. Use some bonemeal in each hole.

Newly Registered
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2010 9:11 am
Location: Toronto, ON Canada

overgrown shade garden

You can cut back the bleeding heart after it finishes blooming. Mine always dies completly after bloom but is back in spring. Hosta can be devided anytime really because it is extremly hardy. I would dig up the whole plant, divide it into at least 4(you will need a sharp shovel to do this as the root system is thick and tough), then give some away that is more than you need and replant where you want some. Use transplant fertilizer when you do this to help it re-establish itself.
Happy Gardening :flower:

User avatar
Green Thumb
Posts: 319
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:17 pm
Location: Western MA

Your hostas are probably just coming into bloom...not the best time to move any plant, as it's using energy to bloom that you will want to go toward root production. If you divide them now, cut off all the buds. If you want to wait until fall (the best time for dividing most plants, you can safely just snip away some leaves to give your other plants more room. It won't hurt the hostas. Dicentra can be cut away (usually dies back all the way on its own.

Susan W
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1858
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 2:46 pm
Location: Memphis, TN

I 2nd the suggestions. It is difficult to have a perennial bed do so well, and then have to make the decisions of keeping, dividing, sacrificing etc. I would let it ride out the summer, and as mentioned mark your bleeding heart spot. This will give you time to re-arrange in your mind. Then come September do the digging, dividing etc.

One thinks of perennial beds as being set, but they are not! Always shifting! And some things don't make it, another plant put in that space. Some plants just want to have it all for themselves.

Sounds like a pretty space you have with your selections.

Return to “Perennials”