Root Spread Of Karl Foerster Ornamental Grass - Knowledgebase Question

Irwin, PA
Question by linda_berret
January 24, 2001
There is an ugly wire basket filled with rock retaining wall bordering my yard. I would like to plant Karl Foerster ornamental grass against it to naturalize this area. I like the look and the height of this plant. There is a french drain that runs beside the wall about four or five feet away. Would the grass roots spread into the drainage area and clog the drain and ditch?

Answer from NGA
January 24, 2001


In my experience, five feet should be fine. You can also keep an eye on the grass. If it suddenly seems to grow faster and better as though it has been receiving extra water, then it may have reached the drain area and it is time to divide it to control its size. You could also do this routinely as a precaution.

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