The Q&A Archives: Porcupine Grass

Question: I have one of your porcupine grass plants and want to know if it can be trimmed..if so, how do you do the trimming. I love the grass but it is getting too tall for the spot it is in. Also this is the first season I have had it and want to know if it will get plumes this year, if so, when? Thank you

Answer: The ornamental grasses bloom in the fall, so if you look in the center of the plant you may see the beginnings of the bloom stems coming up, they are taller than the foliage by the time they unfurl. If you have been trimming it however you may have trimmed them off. Trimming destroys the shape and grace of the clump (it grows from the bottom so you will be looking at the cut tips forever) and prevents blooming. You will have a constant job, too, just like mowing the lawn. This is a big plant and needs a lot of room; if your first year plant is outgrowing the space then you should move it next spring. By year three it will be somewhat taller and definitely much much wider! There is a routine cutting back that should be done each year -- cut it back as close to the ground as you can manage in either late fall or very early spring. Try to have it cut before the daffodils bloom. This removes the old frost-killed grass and makes room for the new growth to come up from the ground. Good luck with your grass!

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