The Q&A Archives: Pruning Ornamental Grasses

Question: What is the proper method of cutting back ornamental grasses for the winter in northern climates. For example, can I cut Variegated Japanese Silver Grass down completely and expect it to come back in the Spring. The snow in Buffalo will only knock it all down resulting in a more difficult clean-up in the Spring.

Answer: Most gardeners wait at least until after the grasses have bloomed so that they can enjoy the ornamental plumes each fall season. They then cut them off short, either in late fall or early spring. If you do not wish to enjoy the plumes longer, you could cut them back short after a good frost or two in the fall.

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