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Separating Plants In A Dish Garden

Ask the Expert: How to divide a planter sent from a florist
I have a planter sent by a florist for my mother\’s funeral and I want to divide the plants up into more containers, leaving one or two in the original ceramic planter. There are six different plants in the planter. ONe is a diffenbacia?, pothos, peace lily ,etc. Any special advice would be appreciated, I have done this before and some of the plants didn’t survive, so I though maybe there was a special trick and care to use. Thank you. Beth KNuth

Dish GardenFlower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply: Dividing the plant should be easy. First gather everything together that you will need: a bag of houseplant soil, containers, a serrated knife, scissors and pebbles, broken clay or rocks.

Decide whether each plant will have it own container or if certain plants will be grouped together. If you are going to group plants together make sure that the plants are water and light compatible.

If you need to identify the houseplant go to the Flower Shop Network plant gallery – it has all types of houseplant pictures. Once you have identified the houseplant click on the picture. This will take you to a page that allows you to purchase that houseplant, but better yet gives you care instructions for that plant. This way you can group your plants by compatibility.

Now it is time to divide the plants.  Some florist create their own dish gardens. Since they select the plants and pot them based on your order, the plants have not had time to root together. Dividing these plants will be very easy. Remove the container and feel for each individual rootball. Then re-pot the plant into it’s new container. Remember to keep the level of the rootball top the same in the new container.  **Before you place the plant and soil in container, put a some rocks, pebbles or clay pieces in bottom of container first – this will help with drainage.**

If your florist buys pre-made dish garden, the plants and their roots may be intertwined. This may make division a little more involved. Remove the container. If the roots are one solid mass, you will need to cut the roots to separate the plants.  I would begin with the plants on the outside edge.  Make an imaginary line between the plants. Take your knife and cut from the bottom up along the imaginary line.  Continue this process until the plant is free from the rest.  I like to cut all plants away from each other before I re-pot any of them.

After plant are re-potted be sure to place the container in the right light condition and water all thoroughly. Make sure the container allow for good drainage, then follow the water requirements for each.

This plant care question was brought to you by local Sioux City Florists. Not in Sioux City IA? Use Flower Shop Network to find a local florist near you.


  1. Hey,I got everything I needed here !Why thank you all ! I wish you all a good work and a good luck.Dant :)