Splitting, Dividing and Transplanting Flax or Grasses

One of my sisters has just recently bought the rental they were living in off of my parents. After much bush-whacking you can now see the path around the back, the sun, and some garden.

That garden is full of self-sown tree babies. She kindly gave me a massive bunch of them that are currently hanging out in a bucket of water waiting to be planted – YAY free plants!

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She also had a flax that was growing up through a fern (that she has also removed) and under a camellia that really didn’t need a flax squashing it. So we pulled it out. And didn’t land on our bottoms, which was no mean feat, I tell you. More free plants!

Once we got it home it too hung out in a bucket of water for a day. But my super-keen kids wanted things to plant, so I thought we could divide it up and plant it in a few places so we would have several free plants out of the original one.

How to get Free Plants

Flax and grasses are very easy to split up and make many more free plants from one original plant.

So you can buy one $10 flax and get 5 or more free plants from it! Or better yet find a willing person to let you lift and split some they have established.

Super free!

How to divide a flax bush and transplant it successfully

Dividing and transplanting flax is one of the technically easier, but physically harder things you can do in the garden.

Step One: The hardest thing is probably to dig it out. Use a fork and slowly work your way around the flax (or grass). Stick the fork in the ground and then lean on the handle, slowly lifting the plant. Take a step sideways and repeat. At the end you may need something longer to help pry it up if it is a big flax like a large pry-bar. 

Step Two: Wash the mud off most of the roots carefully so you can see what you are doing.

Dividing flax. Homesteading in NZ

Step Three: Trim all the leaves down with sharp secateurs to about 15-25cm for flax and 10-15cm for grasses. This reduces their fluid loss and helps them cope with the massive root loss.

Step Four: Identify the individual plants that make up the whole.

Dividing flax. Homesteading in NZ

Step Five: Carefully pry the plants and roots apart at the join, you may need some sharp secateurs to aid you in this, but generally they pull apart fairly easily.

Dividing flax. Homesteading in NZ

Step Six: Either pot up in potting mix or pop directly into your garden.

Dividing flax. Homesteading in NZ
I enlisted the help of some very keen waterers

Step Seven: Water well and keep watering every 2-3 days (unless it rains of course) until you see signs of new growth.

For further reading, I really recommend all of these books. I own every one of them and they are amazing resources!








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When you start a new garden, or renovate and old one, plants can be expensive! Did you know you can get free plants by dividing flax, tussock and other grasses? #gardening #frugal #homesteading

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