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How To Split Grasses and Flaxes For Lots Of Free Plants

Updated on February 11, 2012
lilmrslay profile image

When Rachael isn't in her studio dyeing yarn (her real job), she's called to her passion for writing, and so here she is : )

Landscaping and planting out a new garden can be extremely expensive.

Even adding new, different plants to an established garden can quickly add up.

And, some of the easiest plants to grow, and propagate, as some of the more expensive plants which just doesn't make sense. These plants are often the more structural, textured plants like grasses and flaxes.

But you don't have to spend a fortune, if you are willing to practice a little patience, and expend a small amount of effort.

Not only can you create extra plants for your own garden, but maybe also have spares to sell for a profit.

Here is how you can get lots of free plants, from existing grasses and flaxes.

Splitting Grasses - Mondo

Splitting textured grasses like Mondo Grass is very easy.

The picture to the left shows a mature, medium sized Mondo grass. This grass took approximately 1 year to get to this size.

This plant is actually a clump of a number of smaller plants which have sprouted off the root system off the main plant.

Which means it can be split up.

First dig out the full sized plants, being careful to not damage any of the roots. Dig far enough out from the plant to be able to leverage it out of the ground, but not cut into the roots with the trowel or spade.

Once you have the plant out of the ground, shake off any excess dirt from the root system.

Looking at the plant you will see how the grasses each have their own little plant and collectively form the clump. Most of each of these sprouted plants will have it's own set of roots.

Take the plant and now very gently start to tease apart the separate plants. They should come away quite easily, without having to rip or tear them off. If they don't give with just a gentle pull, don't force it, just leave that clump with two plants.

Also tease away the roots from the other roots of the other plants and voila! You should have just scored yourself a free plant : )

Continue to do the same with the rest of the individual plants and create yourself lots of free plants.


In the picture above, I took 3 mature Mondo Grass clumps and split them into 23 individual new plants. That's a good haul of free plants to continue planting out the garden with.

Splitting Flaxes

Splitting flaxes is just as simple as splitting grasses.

These plants often benefit from being split and divided every 4-5 years as they can get quite large and start to degrade.

Once dug up they will be able to be divided like the grasses but do tend to form tighter clumps that need a little more care and patience to divide.

Astelia Rebel Flax - Mature

Astelia Rebel Split Into Multiple Plants

Follow the process as above with splitting the grasses but be a little more cautious about tearing away baby plants that are closely formed with the original plant. If you forcibly rip them off they will like come away without roots and you will lose the plant.

That said, these plants are still very easy to split and divide and will produce you many free plants over the years.

So, have fun and take advantage of the free plants available to you.

Happy Gardening!

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    • lilmrslay profile imageAUTHOR

      lilmrslay 

      6 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for the comment RTalloni : )

      It does. We have planted out a large portion of our garden with only purchasing less than a quarter of the plants we needed.

      And the rest that we didn't have room to use, went online for others to purchase. We have well and truly covered our original plant cost this way.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      6 years ago from the short journey

      It really works, too! It's a huge savings for our own gardens, it's a great way to share with friends, and sometimes someone does want to buy a stash of them!

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