How to Divide Oregano, Chives and Lemon Balm

How to divide oregano, chives and lemon balm

We show you how to propagate herbs like oregano, chives and lemon balm in autumn.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
To do
To do

Do not To do in January

Do not To do in February

Do not To do in March

Do not To do in April

Do not To do in May

Do not To do in June

Do not To do in July

Do not To do in August

Do To do in September

Do To do in October

Do not To do in November

Do not To do in December

Herb gardens often become overrun by zealous growers that need to be kept in check.

Near the end of the season, and while the ground is still warm, the most vigorous herbaceous plants can be trimmed back, lifted and divided to rejuvenate them and control their spread. This method can be used on marjoram (oregano), chives, creeping thyme and lemon balm.

Newly planted divisions will sulk for a couple of weeks, then perk up, root out and put on some growth before going dormant for winter.

Just bought some potted herbs from the supermarket? Find out how to divide these supermarket herbs to get extra pickings.

Follow these easy steps on dividing oregano, below.

Newly planted divisions will sulk for a couple of weeks, then perk up, root out and put on some growth.

You Will Need

  • Spade
  • Garden forks (Two)
  • Bonemeal fertiliser

Total time:

Step 1


Cut the old stems back hard, then use a spade to lift the whole clump with a large root ball onto a bare patch on the border. Use a tarpaulin sheet on the path or lawn if there’s no room.

Step 2


Divide the fibrous root balls cleanly into smaller pieces by placing two forks back to back into the clump, then pulling apart. Discard the oldest part of the plant and divide the rest.

Step 3


Prepare the new planting area. Remove any weeds, dig a hole and soak the bottom of the hole thoroughly. Add some bonemeal fertiliser to aid root establishment.

Step 4


Select the best young outer divisions for replanting, then plant them into the prepared planting holes. Firm them well to avoid the frost lifting them out later in the year.


Oregano aftercare

After dividing, water the plantings initially and again in the first few weeks if the weather is dry. Keep the area free from weeds, but otherwise these groups of plants need little help to provide you with plenty of strong, fresh growth next year.