How to divide potted herbs

How to…

Use this guide to divide clump forming plants such as herbs and perennials. Division is a form of vegetative propagation.

  • Estimated time: 15 minutes
  • Location: Outdoors & Indoors
  • School term: Early Autumn, Late Autumn, Late Spring, Early Summer
  • Level of experience: No experience needed


Divide and pot plants several weeks before you sell or plant them out in the garden to allow them to establish new roots. Dividing chives, coriander, basil and parsley is a great fundraising activity.

Essential background information

  1. Choose good quality plants to divide and ensure they have lots of strong new growth

  2. Take the plant out of the pot and with your hands roughly divide the plant in the middle.

  3. Gently begin to pull the plant apart

  4. Once you have two plants look to see if you can divide the plants further into quarters

  5. Using the same technique you used before divide the plants again

  6. Once you have divided the plant into as many pieces as you wish, pot up each plant separately

  7. Water after potting and keep the plants in a warm light place until they have established


Additional information

You can divide a number of other clump forming plants found in the garden. Find more information about grasses and perennials (herbaceous plants) by following the links.