The Q&A Archives: Ornamental Grass Maintenance

Question: At the end of fall should I trim back my ornamental grass? My neighbor cuts hers down to the ground before winter. One neighbor burns the tops off to the ground when they turn brown. I think what I have is mondo grass and porcupine grass.I appreciate your input. Thank you!

Answer: Ornamental grasses are cut back in the late fall after frost has killed them back, or in very early spring depending on your preference. Grasses with ornamental blooms such as the porcupine grass may be decorative in winter so some gardeners will wait to cut those back. Try to do the spring trimming by the time the daffodils bloom and take care not to damage new growth coming up from the ground. Mondo grass may be semi evergreen in your area and so would be trimmed back in the spring to remove winter damage. I honestly would not recommend burning any of them as the dry grass burns fast and hot like a tinderbox and there is potential for the fire to get out of control. Enjoy your grasses!

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