Here the ornamental grass is cut off about a hand’s width above the Soil. Equipment | What Type of Equipment Do You Need to Maintain a Koi Pond? Ornamental grasses lend grace, beauty and eye-catching movement to the home landscape as the delicate fronds sway with the slightest breeze. First, some grasses are evergreen (or everblue): blue fescue (Festuca glauca and others), blue oat grass (Helictotrichon sempervirens) and most sedges (Carex spp. Remove old growth to 4 to 6 inches (10-15 cm.) You can trim the top any time from fall until growth resumes in the spring. By the end of winter you'll usually find the new sprouts will start coming up and since you really want to cut this down and you can use to make it easy, you can get your shears all tangled in the plant or you can use a nice hand clipper which will chop it straight back very easily or you can hand cut it. The cascading leaves on this plant have a fountain-like appearance. Purple fountain grass is an annual grass in Parker County but sometimes pennisetum is known as fountain grass so make sure you have the true purple fountain grass and not some other ornamental grass. Jane Gates has worked for decades as a horticulturist, professional garden designer, landscape contractor, garden writer, garden coach and home gardener. This way, the grass will stay bundled as you prune and not explode into pieces everywhere. This is just to make the chore of cutting back fountain grass a little easier because you won’t have to clean up all the fallen stems. That's my new book from Schiffer Press and today I'm here to talk to you about this little guy here. This foliage will die back in the winter anyway. Tap into your inner hairstylist as you lean over the fountain grass and comb or rake your gloved fingers through the middle of the clump, grabbing all loose and dead or dried-up hairs (blades/branches). Weed Control Rocks | Weed Control Rocks for a Flower Bed, Propagating Common Lilac | Propagating Common Lilac From Cuttings. For taller grasses, bind them about a half a foot (15 cm.) 0 0. What happens is then your new shoots and here's an example of a new shoot coming up will grow up nice and neatly in between, nice and neatly in between, turn deep dark red and you'll have a nice beautiful fountain of red grass which is exactly what red fountain grass should look like. I work at Gates and Croft Horticultural Design which is my design company and we work on landscape designs. You can cut it back to about three inches or so and then place it either in a sunny window in a cool area of the home or simply place it in your basement. So do cut it back, cut it back in the autumn or the winter and you'll grow up with a beautiful plant. Next step in fountain grass pruning is to use a cutting tool, such as pruning shears or hedge clippers, to cut back the stem bundle. Purple fountain grassnamed for the arcing spikes of purplish flowers that gracefully spray out of its mass of long, slender, burgundy-colored leavesis not a very cold-hardy plant, but it is well worth growing in the northeven if you can enjoy it for only two seasons out of the year. Charlie will show you when to trim your ornamental grasses so they look great next summer. It is not required, but it help to maintain a healthy look for the plants. How to Prune Dwarf Fountain Grass 1. Keep the plant moist, not soggy, watering it about once a month. When digging up to trim out dead growth, or to create new transplants, start by digging up the entire ball of grass. The Greens Get a Rake A clump-forming ornamental grass variety, it is … In warmer zones, growers should leave the tall grasses and plumes through the fall and winter—not only to add visual interest to their gardens but to allow the plant to fully go dormant before cutting. Ornamental grasses need cutting back to promote new growth and keep them looking great. That's how it's called Pennisetum. How to Prune Red Fountain Grasses. Fountain grass (Pennisetum) is a mound-forming ornamental grass and a garden favorite, as the care of fountain grass is easy. Utilization Because of its attractive growth and pretty flowers, the lamp cleaner grass is particularly suitable for single use or … You may also comb with gloved hands. Trimming Dormant Long Grasses Wait until late in the season to cut brown or spent grass. Do this when you bring it indoors, cutting back both flowers and leaves to about 2 or 3 inches (3-5 cm) high. Start by wrapping a piece of rope around the outside of the grass and tie it into a tight column of foliage. The best time for pruning the lamp cleaner grass is in late spring, just before budding. What you'll find is this plant which has this beautiful burgundy colored foliage, if you don't cut it back what you'll end up with and you see that in this example, is a lot of these older leaves that kind of turn a bit brown, straw colory, not quite as pretty and it kind of well it diminishes that really really strong punch of burgundy deep red color that this plant has to offer in the boarder, in the garden. This stuff will be gone. This will not stop the ornamental grasses from growing, but it will make the spread of the plant easier to see. Shorter mature plants can be cut back to about three inches. Examples of warm-season grasses include switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), which grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9, and fountain grass … Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. You want to avoid doing fountain grass pruning in the fall, as the plant has not yet died back all the way. It can be used alone as a specimen plant or in a border alongside other perennials. Cut the grass back with pruning shears or grass clippers. Continue reading to learn more about fountain grass pruning. I enjoy the dormant grass through the winter, so I delay until just before growth begins. The remaining stems will be quickly hidden under the new growth. Prune cool-season grasses back by two-thirds. In the fall, winter or in the spring? Yes, many people do trim back their fountain grass and other foliage type plants this time of year. About your ornamental grass. Cut the Grass Now that the ornamental grass is neatly bundled, take your pruning shears and cut the grass, either by two-thirds for cool season grass, or to ground level for warm season grass. Hi I'm Jane Gates. up and prune at that point. The white fountain grass was the first ornamental grass that I was introduced to many years ago since then I have learned about so many other ornamental grasses which are grown and made available for our use. Like most ornamental grasses, purple fountain grass does best when you cut it back drastically to remove old leaves. Trimming back the grasses this way makes it much easier to prune, instead of simply hacking away at the unruly mob of dried grass. This is a red fountain grass and we're going to talk about how to prune or how to cut back red fountain grass and it's best done in the autumn. The exact timing is not as important as just making sure that you prune fountain grass back before it starts actively growing. It's a rubrum and it's a nice looking plant in the garden. Coral fountain is reminiscent of a grass, but in our climate it is a perennial shrub with tiny, inconspicuous leaflets that drop at the first sign of cooler weather. Place the plant near a sunny window in a heated room. And what steps are involved in cutting back fountain grass? Only utilize sections of the newer, outer growth area for replanting. Fountain grass is a warm season grass that is dormant during the winter and begins growth after the coolest weather is past. The best time when to trim fountain grass back is in the late winter or early spring. Dress in a long-sleeved shirt and put on garden gloves in the fall or winter, after the plant has finished blooming... 2. from the ground. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! For deciduous grasses like some Miscanthus, the old foliage may be completely removed with a chainsaw or hedge shears. 1. Part of the series: Landscaping & Gardening with Jane Gates. Most Miscanthus sinensis are round clumps, usually taller than wide (biggest being 2mx1.4m), with long leaves that cascade down like a fountain. above the ground. 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It is more expensive than other plants grown as annuals but this plant will delight you with a showy, multi-faceted display. That’s all there is to it. With the tape or bungee cords holding the grass blades in place, lean the bundle away from its base as you cut. In South Florida, you may wish to cut back or trim ornamental grasses in January or February. Once your grass is tied up, use handheld or powered hedging shears to cut the entire grass to about 10 inches tall. Use a hedge trimmer that's an inch or two longer than your clump of grass is wide, and you'll be able to cut the entire bunch back at once. For evergreen grasses like Fakahatchee grass, the ragged, dead leaves can be removed by combing the grass with a pitchfork. Sign up for our newsletter. Remove and discard the “dead” center portion to the compost pile. Ornamental Grass Care Tips. Fountain grasses are a reliable and pretty addition to the home landscape, adding drama and height, but their nature is to die back to the ground, which causes confusion for many gardeners. Clump-forming grasses grow in mounds or clumps, making them ideal for many areas without becoming invasive. The steps to trim fountain grass are easy and quick and taking the time to cut back fountain grass will result in a nicer looking “fountain” in the summer. ), among others.Since they are evergreen, they don’t normally need pruning. Current cultivars do not seem to self-seed and, unlike other grasses, don’t produce runners. Tip. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. The first step when you trim fountain grass back is to tie up the dead stems. Prune dead blades at the bottom if they don’t come out with combing. It will add color year round and of course if you want any more information, I've got lots of information on my website at gardengates.info. The white fountain grass is another ornamental beauty that is worth our attention. Cut the old foliage 3 to 4 inches above the ground. Yes, when pruned it looks just like someone gave the plants a flattop buzz cut. Piglet Fountain Grass. Prune fountain grass about 4  to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm.) I really don't think buzz sawing it is necessary but people will do anything. The clumps become better and bigger as each year passes. Grow Ornamental Grass | How to Grow Ornamental Grass in Containers, Splash Fountain | How to Build a Splash Fountain, Decorate Fountain | How to Decorate Your Fountain With Rocks and Grass, Replanting | How to Divide Ornamental Grasses for Replanting. Cut all remaining sections down, working next to the section just cut. Another advantage of using hedge trimmers is that it will give you an even cut all the way across a clump of grass. Dig out sections of roots to root prune ornamental grasses. I'm also the author of "All the Garden's a Stage". Comb it with a small, fine toothed rake to easily get your clump back in shape. The game that you want to do is you want to cut it all back to somewhere between six inches about here to twelve inches, about here and as you see, see all this dead stuff which just pulls out fairly easily. Get a sharp shovel and separate the grass into several sections. Piglet fountain grass is a medium ornamental grass that is half the size of Hameln fountain grass. If you try to cut back fountain grass in the fall, you may cause it to go into a growth spurt, which will make it more vulnerable to the coming cold weather and will reduce its chances of surviving the winter. Warm-season grasses that are taller than three feet should be cut back to four to six inches from ground level. When do you prune fountain grass? Comb through the entire grass, and shake it occasionally to get out more dried plant material. Once the threat of freezing weather and frost has passed in spring, you can set the purple fountain grass back outdoors. You want … If your ornamental grass is large, divide and conquer. Cut off the dead foliage from last season 3-5 inches from the ground. Start by cutting off the stalks close to the base. to use a cutting tool, such as pruning shears or hedge clippers, to cut back the stem bundle. This will make it easier for you to remove the grass entirely. Branches die back when temperatures fall below 25°F to give this plant a short winter rest, but new growth resumes quickly every spring. Jab the point of the shovel around the perimeter of the crown of the grass and remove as much as you want to keep the grass in check. ln this video I demonstrate how to cut back ornamental grasses. Hameln dwarf fountain grass is a small, clumping ornamental grass that only grows 2 to 3 feet tall and bears ivory to white plumes that wave above the foliage from summer to fall. 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