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What you need:
  • Butcher knife
  • Spade
  • Pruning shears

Astible are readily divided either in the fall after they have gone dormant, or in the spring before new growth starts. Start by digging up the plant. Once you have the plant out of the ground, shake any excess soil from the root ball. This will make it easier to determine where to make your divisions. For this tutorial the root ball was washed to better illustrate the process.
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Use a pair of shears to trim the roots by about a third.
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Next, use a sharp knife to cut straight through the root ball. The number of divisions you make is dependent on the size of the plant. With a smaller plant such as this one, only two divisions will be made. Regardless of the size of the plant, you want to avoid making so many cuts that you end up with a bunch of small, pie shaped divisions.
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Pull the individual divisions apart.
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Each division should have at least 3-5 eyes on the crown. New growth forms from each eye, so the more eyes on the division, the larger and healthier the plant will be the next growing season.
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Each division should be evenly balanced and have a healthy root system. Plant the divisions as soon as possible. The eyes should be an inch or so below the surface of the soil. Then mulch around the plant. Avoid mulching directly on top of the crown or the plant may rot.