Dividing Fountain Grass - Knowledgebase Question

Denver, Co
Question by jjhow
November 14, 2008
When is the best time to divide large Fountain Grass? This is their third year and they have outgrown the containment area. Everything I read talks about digging them up and then dividing, can they be cut in place so as not to disrupt the existing planting area? Should they be cut down to 5 or 6 inches high before dividing? If we divide now, can I leave the 5 foot high stalks on the transplants to provide interest in the new area until Spring?
Thanks for your expertise,
John Howard

Answer from NGA
November 14, 2008


You can dig into your existing fountain grass to divide it without uprooting the entire plant. Just make sure that each division has some foliage attached to the rootmass. Replant but don't prune anything back; wait until spring to remove the dead blades and tidy up the plants. Aside from digging to divide, I would simply leave the plants alone - the foliage and spikes (stalks) will add winter interest to your garden and you can cut everything down in the spring when new growth begins.

Enjoy your garden!

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