Part of our fall clean-up means bringing in the plants that spent the summer thriving on the deck. That means, among other things the ficus tree that is on loan from a neighbor with no room and that we moved a few years ago from a cramped pot into a the heavy, giant ceramic pot — and that we can now barely lift.
We also had four pots of clivias on the deck. These are native to South Africa, like shade and occasionally bloom beautiful salmon flowers. (They also like very little water in the winter, when they are indoors.) Several years ago, a sister gave me a jam-packed pot of them that she’d inherited from a friend, and we needed a knife to get them out and break them apart into separate pots. But we left a lot in one pot, and now it was that container’s turn to be nearly as full.
Fall may not be the best time to divide plants, but we felt we had little choice. I’d thought about doing it this past spring, but several plants looked ready to bloom (just like one might be now). Plus, I think we’d divided them in the fall years before, and they seemed to do just fine.
So out came the knife, and we filled seven nothing-fancy black plastic containers we had lying around in the garage with a plant or two, plus a lot of compost mixed into the soil. We kept three for in the original container.
And yes, a few still need homes!