The Q&A Archives: care of ornamental grasses

Question: Dear Expert-

I live in a So Cal coastal city and my city recently has been cutting back the ornamental grasses down to a few inches of the ground. They say it is to rejuvenate the growth, however, until it grows back it is unslightly, not to mention it cost money, labor, uses energy, and produces pollution & CO2. What is the recommended approach to care for ornamental grasses?

Thanks, James

Answer: The fact of the matter is, cutting back ornamental grasses is the best treatment they can receive. It removes the spent foliage plus and insects they may harbor and makes way for fresh new foliage. Another benefit to the plant is that when old foliage is removed, spring growth will begin earlier. Old foliage left on the plant can delay the crown?s warming and subsequent growth by as much as 3 weeks. So, even though it looks unattractive for a few weeks, the plants will rejuvinate sooner and at a much faster rate.

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