Dividing Ornamental Grasses - Knowledgebase Question

Weaverville, NC
Question by pweaver
October 31, 1997
I have some ornamental grass in my front yard that I think need to be divided. I do not know what kind; it is medium green with beige plumes and has expanded in the 18 months I have lived here. I have read that you can divide this plant, but am not sure and do not want to harm it as it is beautiful. How and when do I do this?


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Answer from NGA
October 31, 1997

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You may be describing pampas grass, one of the most common ornamental grasses. This is a warm-season grass, and should be divided in early spring.

To divide perennial grasses, gently lift the clump and pry the crown apart. One easy way to do this is to use 2 garden forks back to back to carefully pry and untangle the root ball. Replant the sections, and keep well watered throughout the season.

Is the patch of grass showing signs of decline? If it is starting to die off in the center, it mayindeed be time to divide. If it looks healthy throughout, you can still divide it to create new plants, but you might want to leave it alone to be on the safe side. Ornamental grasses generally don't need the periodic dividing that many perennials doto remain vigorous.

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