The Q&A Archives: Splitting elephant ears and relocating coreopsis

Question: I planted some elephant ears last year at my beach house in Delaware that have become gigantic - much larger in only a year than I ever anticipated. Two questions: 1) I'd like to divide them and give some away or relocate as they have outgrown (and overtaken!) the place I chose for them and, 2) I didn't bring them in over the winter last year and they have thrived. Do you recommend bringing them in since predictions are for a particularly harsh winter this year?
One more question - I want to bring some coreopsis to my beach house from my home in MD. Can I split these plants? Although quite bushy, they appear to have a single stalk going into the ground.
Mak Peterson

Answer: You are really lucky to have your Elephant's ears overwinter in Delaware! They are tropical plants! I'd recommend digging the tubers and storing them over the winter months. When temperatures get cold the foliage will die back. At that point, cut off the dead foliage, dig the tubers, brush off excess soil, and store the tubers in dry peat moss over the winter months. You may find that the tubers have developed outgrowths. If so, you can break them off in the spring and plant them on their own. Coreopsis is difficult to divide because they typically grow only one main stem. I think I'd simply move the entire plant rather than trying to split it.

Best wishes with your garden!

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