This spring I had many overgrown water plants that needed dividing. I did the waterlilies and the irises, but didn’t get around to the pickerel rush and the pennywort. First mistake. But someone at the water garden store had told me they could be divided in late summer, so I didn’t worry about it. Finally, today, I divided the rush.
During this process, however, I began to lose my shade. These water plants had been out of the water for a half hour, and soon began to bake in the sun. To make matters worse, it was 95 degrees today. But I was engrossed in my work and didn’t realize anything until…
First – Don’t transplant in the middle of the summer! No plant in its largest, most vigorous condition will respond well to that. I think I trusted the person at the store rather than my own common sense.
Second – transplant early in the morning, or in the evening, on a cool day! I think because I was dealing with aquatic plants, which obviously get plenty of water, I wasn’t thinking they would suffer just as much as any other plant.
Third – Once I’ve cut the pieces, keep them moist while I’m potting.
Well, I do still need to divide that pennywort this fall, because it is too overgrown to survive the winter, I think, but I will definitely use the other lessons I learned. I am confident the plants will bounce back; they're bog plants and used to suffering during drought then bouncing back when the rains come. But some of their leaves will probably die since the roots will not be able to provide many nutrients until they re-establish themselves. There should be time for more growth to set before frost, but they won’t be as lovely for a while, sigh. Lessons learned!