Hi! I have a small garden with some lovely Cardinal flowers. We received 8 from my neighbor, both in the form of rosettes and shorter baby plants about 1 foot tall, and we planted them last fall. Seven of them came up this spring, most of them taller than me, and all if them had lots of offshoots as well (photo #1). I cannot find much info on the internet about how to actually separate the rosettes I see forming at the base of the flowers (photo #2). Can I use a trowel to dig them apart from the main plant? How do I not injure the rosette or the main plant? Do they need to be a certain size before harvesting? Also, in photo #3, I THINK I am also getting baby plants, as these are coming out of the ground and do not seem to be attached to the stalks of the plant. How can I harvest these? Thanks for any info you can provide!!
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Yes, cardinal flowers can be divided in fall by digging up the rosettes. Simply use a trowel to carefully dig up and separate them- there will be some root damage but the plant should recover. The main plant will be fine as long as you re-fill the hole. Here is our guide to dividing plants:
As for the baby plants, I am not sure whether they are fully separate or growing from the roots of the main plant, but you can always gently dig one up and see if it has its own roots. In that case, you can replant it.